Arguably the world’s most iconic perfume, Chanel No 5 has truly stood the test of time. Ninety years later and it is still loved by millions, so what’s Chanel No 5’s secret?
Coco Chanel was a woman of many different distinguishing qualities and characteristics. In 1909 couturier Coco Chanel had come to Paris as the Mistress of textile baron Etienne Balsan and started her boutique under Balsan’s apartment.
By 1921 Chanel was already a phenomenon in the French fashion industry and wanted to create a perfume ‘which smells like a woman’.
Chanel went on a journey to find a perfumer who could create fresh fragrances that lasted on the skin, something that perfumeries had previously not been able to achieve.
The search led Chanel to Grasse, the center of the perfume industry where she met Ernest Beaux. After several months of testing fragrances, Beaux came up with 10 samples and presented them to Chanel. Chanel Picked No 5.
The scent top notes are composed of Aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, neroli and ylang-ylang, the middle notes of jasmine, rose, lily of the valley and iris, while the base is created of, sandalwood, vanilla, amber and patchouli.
As with many great inventions, some happen by accident. Rumor has it that No 5 may have been the result of incorrect dose of aldehyde.
The success of Chanel No 5 is the culmination of many things, Coco Chanels unique personality, some ingenious marketing and most perhaps most importantly the beautiful complexity of this classic fragrance.