Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Chanel #5, A History Exotic

Chanel #5 is a fragrance of iconic status. Marketed as luxury, class and a beauty that stands apart #5's perfume story may surprise you as it includes black earth and melting ice. The creator of Chanel #5 Ernest Beaux {genuflects} has this to say about what inspired the fragrance:

"I’ve been asked some questions about the subject of the creation of No. 5. When did I create it? In 1920 exactly [launched in 1921], upon my return from the war. I had been part of the campaign in a northern region of Europe, above the arctic circle, during the midnight sun, where the lakes and rivers exuded a perfume of extreme freshness. I retained this note and recreated it, not without difficulty, for the first aldehydes I was able to find were unstable and unreliable."

Souvenirs et Parfums, by Constantin Weriguine

Weriguine tells us Beaux included the scent of tchernozium, a fertile black earth of the region and that #5 sought to create a "winter melting note".

Perhaps next time you wear or sniff Chanel #5 you can experience what the creator intended, something deeper than pearls and an expensive black dress. I've always loved #5 above all other Chanels and a perfume story such as this one only endears it to me more.

Thanks to FiveoaksBouquet and Michael Edwards "Perfume Legend's" for this story.


19 comments:

stella polaris said...

Thank you very much for this interesting information! I live in this region, and have not had those association. Now I look foreward to next time I wear no. 5! :)

Perfumeshrine said...

I love the picture you chose to accompany this post. The light blue tinge of ice is strangely mesmerising and eeringly chilly.

teacake said...

This is my favorite perfume story. The original concept is so far removed from the marketing. Interesting too that Beaux sought to create this even as he sought to make a perfect woman's perfume as Chanel requested.

lady jicky said...

You know Teacake - I shall never know what all the fuss is about this scent - its so "ordinary" to me.
you can now throw rocks at me! LOL

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Anonymous said...

As perfume stories go... this is one of the best ... the www.lifethreads.com is doing the same type of thing ... lovin it!