“Simplicity is the keynote of all
true elegance.” - Coco Chanel
It is difficult to be a part of
the design world in any way and not be influenced by the great Coco Chanel. In
particular, we are continually enamored with the iconic design of the Chanel
No. 5 bottle and the history of the fragrance itself. A few intriguing facts:
1. Perfumer Ernest Beaux, who was given the task of
creating Chanel No. 5, believes the scent was born out of Gabrielle 'Coco'
Chanel’s ‘reminiscence’ of her lost love for Arthur Capel, the English polo
player and lover of the fashion house founder, who tragically died in a car
accident in 1919. By channeling her grief into creativity, this ‘perfume of
eternity’ was her personal gift to herself.
2. When Ernest Beaux produced perfume samples for Coco Chanel to try in 1921,
she chose the fifth proposal that he presented, which is the same Chanel No. 5
fragrance that we know and love today.
3. Chanel No. 5 went against the fragrance trends of the time, such as flowery
scents including rose, jasmine and lilac, with no dominant notes
distinguishable from the 80 ingredients that compose it.
4. Coco Chanel named the perfume No. 5 to avoid any attempts at defining it
figuratively and descriptively, and to prevent it from dating thus keeping its
5. The number 5 was also the fashion house founder’s lucky charm.
6. No. 5 can be seen as the olfactory double of artistic movements such as
Cubism, Dadaism and Surrealism, in how it aspired to attain absolute modernity,
and this is explored in the Paris exhibition. The number 5 was also symbolic at
the time of its creation, linking to several other pieces of art including
composer’s Igor Stravinsky music, The Five Fingers.
7. Several of Chanel’s close artist friends, including Salvador Dali and Andy
Warhol, painted pictures of the iconic No. 5 bottle.
8. The black and white box design that houses Chanel No. 5 is the same as the
original packaging used in 1921.
9. On the black wax seal of the neck of the 1921 No. 5 bottle, Chanel placed a
'C', the first letter of her surname. She would then turn this into a monogram
by doubling it and the luxury label’s famous logo was born. The interlocking
‘C’ logo also closely resembles the curved patterns featured in the stained
glass windows of the church of Aubazine, where she spent her childhood in an
orphanage. The logo has also been compared to the royal monogram of French
Queen, Catherine de' Medici, who many believed Chanel admired.
10. The official launch of Chanel No. 5 was in the label’s Paris boutique on
the fifth day and fifth month of 1921.
Be inspired. Keep it simple…therefore, quintessentially elegant.
The Staff at Savvy