The history behind Chanel’s No.5 perfume
Chanel’s classic No.5 perfume is a fragrance that has lived through generations, while remaining resolutely modern despite its great age (almost 100 years!). It was created in 1921 and imagined by Ernest Beaux, perfumer at the Russian Court of the Czars, for Gabrielle Chanel. It was Coco’s first perfume and she wanted it to stand out from the traditional flowery perfumes at the time, in order to offer something to her image, something personal, like a dress: “I want to give a woman artificial perfume, I say artificially as a dress, which is, say, produced, I’m a sewing craftsman. I do not want rose, lily of the valley, I want to compose perfumes”.
Legend has it that the perfumer proposed two selections of 4 perfumes to Coco Chanel, numbered respectively from 1 to 5 and from 20 to 24. She is said to have chosen the bottle n°5 and, at the fateful moment the name was chosen, she would have uttered these words “I show my collections on the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year, so let’s leave the number it bears, and this number five will bring it good luck.” And so, the perfume No.5 of Chanel was born. A resolutely abstract perfume, reminiscent of many floral notes, but without being able to name them precisely.
It was not until this year, 2018, that Chanel totally revisited the bottle of its iconic perfume. During its long life, it always has known only subtle changes, its silhouette evolving subtly, but still in a constant balance of shapes and proportions. But, for this end of the year, it is the favorite color of Coco Chanel that is in the spotlight for a limited edition: red. With this color, a symbol of seductive femininity, of passion, Chanel highlights the woman and her captivating power. Besides, Coco said that the ideal place to wear this perfume was “where one would like to be kissed“. These words also remind us of Marylin Monroe, who confessed to a journalist “that she wore nothing but a few drops of Chanel’s perfume No. 5 at night“.
CHANEL No.5 L’EAU – Top notes: lemon, mandarine and orange.
CHANEL No 5 – Top notes: Jasmin of Grasse, May rose.
The limited edition of the No.5 is available on Chanel’s website (note that delivery is offered from 90 € of purchase and that each order is delivered in a Chanel box).