Gabrielle Chanel was born in 1883 in Saumur. Her mother died when she was only 12 years old, and she was then taken to the orphanage. It was in 1910 that she opened her first store, quickly followed by two others. In 1917, she cut her hair, the following year she wears pants. If she is daring, she is also unconventional and free. Its collections and fragrances will always reflect this image. She revolutionized the fashion world in an impressive and irreversible way. His first perfume, “N ° 5”, released in 1921, is a real myth.
N ° 5, the birth of a legend
It was in 1921 that Coco asked Ernest Beaux, a perfumer of Russian origin, to create a “woman’s perfume, with a woman’s scent”. At that time, the fashion for perfumes was more for soliflores. However, Coco said “I don’t want lily of the valley, no rose… I want a compound scent”. Ernest Beaux presented her with numbered essays in two series, from 1 to 5 and from 20 to 24. Coco Chanel then chose essay No. 5.
In this test, the nose had mixed for the first time synthetic molecules, aldehydes, with armfuls of May rose and Grasse jasmine. The rendering was indefinable to say the least. It was the first time that a perfumer dared to deviate from the scent of a single flower. However, this wonderful perfume lacked a name, and Gabrielle Chanel chose to give it No. 5, because it was the 5th try. In addition, she was very attached to the symbolism of the number, and decided to release this perfume on May 5, which also corresponded to her day of birth. On this subject, she insisted “I leave my collection on May 5, fifth month of the year, let us leave him the number which it carries, and this number 5 will bring him luck”… The eternal feminine was launched.
The sensual floral notes of N ° 5
It is therefore Ernest Beaux who is at the origin of the best-selling perfume in the world. According to Jacques Polge, one of the Chanel house noses, “° 5 is a juice that offers a perfect balance between presence and mystery. “N ° 5” takes off on citrus notes (lemon, bergamot) and aldehyde notes. The base is ultra floral and therefore ultra feminine, because it is composed of rose, jasmine, neroli, iris, ylang-ylang and lily of the valley.
The base is very sensual, thanks to the presence of vanilla, sandalwood, white musks, vetiver and oak moss. The bottle is sober, square in shape, and features a refined style that makes it ultra elegant. Stripped of any artifice, it was designed in perfect proportions. Finally, the bottle is topped with a cabochon cut like a diamond.
Recognized as an icon of the twentieth century, “No. 5” joined in 1959, the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. More than a legend, “N ° 5” is a true art of living. If there was only one perfume left in the world, it would undoubtedly be “N ° 5 de Chanel”.