Chanel No. 5 perfume history is an iconic story and an interesting one to read.
Whenever we mention Chanel No.5 , I’m sure there’s not many women in the world who haven’t heard of such a famous fragrance. Or indeed men.
We automatically think of a classy fragrance that is still hugely popular today as it was back when it was first created.
With fragrance notes based in the flower perfume family group, with fruity, oriental, aldehyte, citrus and woody notes, it had every woman purchasing, not just for it’s iconic name.
So where does the Chanel No.5 perfume history begin?
A classic Chanel No.5 perfume created back in 1920.
The story began with a very clever French businesswoman.
She was the belle of the Parisian social elite who created a fragrance that revolutionized the way that women smell.
By the beginning of the 1920s, Chanel was already a phenomenal in the French fashion circle.
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Chanel’s mother was a laundry woman in rural farms but when her mother died, Chanel was sent to a Cistercian convent at Aubazine.
She spent her younger years here and her father was a market stall holder.
Family- Chanel No. 5 perfume history
Living and growing up with the smell of soap and freshly cleaned skin stayed with her for years after.
She was very conscious about keeping clean and when she worked with other mistresses of the rich, she often complained about their odour.
Body odour and musk wasn’t a good mix and had a very unpleasant smell.
She struggled to find a commissioner for her creation with this new fragrance.
Back in the 1920’s, to create fresh fragrance they would often use lemon, orange, citrus and bergamot fragrances.
These scents were fresh smelling. A perfect combination for a ladies fragrance but they didn’t last very well when applied to the skin. We all strive to find a scent that lasts for the day.
During the summer of 1920, Chanel took a holiday with her lover. While she was there, she learned of a Perfumer who could potentially help her create the perfect perfume. This was the perfect solution.
A very sophisticated man called Ernest Beaux who lived close by in Grasse, in southern France and it was the world capital of perfume.
Grasse listened to Chanel’s quest and took up the challenge to create the perfect scent.
Pick a number …Chanel No.5
It took Grasse several months to perfect this new fragrance but eventually they came up with 10 samples and he presented them to Chanel.
They were numbered from one to 5 and 20 to 24.
Chanel decided to choose number five. There are rumours that the concoction for this scent was the result of a lab mistake.
Beaux’s assistant had added a dozen of aldehyde in a quantity never used before.
Aldehyde smells like soap so this triggered memories of Chanel’s childhood living in a convent and then enjoying the luxury life as a mistress.
An iconic perfume- Chanel No 5
The scent, which touched the notes of jasmine, rose, sandalwood and vanilla was an instant success. A wonderful mixture of scents.
After inviting Beaux and his friend to a popular restaurant to celebrate, and sprayed the perfume around the table.
Every women that passed by, stopped to ask what the fragrance was and where it came from.
Chanel knew that this was going to be an instant hit and she was well on her way to making an incredible perfume.
From that moment on, consumers knew that they had a fragrance that they had never smelled before.
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Chanel no.5 evolved.
The history behind the create creation of Chanel No. 5 perfume BBC news
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Do you wear Chanel No.5?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on such an iconic fragrance.