Out of all the perfumes in the world, Chanel N°5 remains unique. The original fragrance created by Coco Chanel has become synonymous with luxury, gracing dressing tables all over the world for the past 96 years. While most people are familiar with its sparkling floral scent, there’s more behind this best-selling bottle than meets the eye. Here are five little known facts about the classic perfume.
1. It was inspired by the ‘modern woman’
After coming up with the idea to create a perfume for her fashion brand during a meeting with friends in Monte Carlo, Coco Chanel reached out to master perfumer Ernest Beaux. She wanted the scent to be one of kind while also capturing her style and personality. Her goal was for it to reflect the sensuality and complexity of the modern woman. The result: a seductive, multi-faceted floral unlike any other perfume on the market.
Related article: Chanel is Launching a New Fragrance This Fall
2. The number “five” has significance
It’s been said that Chanel picked the fifth sample Beaux presented her with, leading the fragrance to be called N°5. Its numerical name and minimalist bottle made it identifiable to women across the globe.
3. It takes one ton of flowers to distil 1.5kg of the scent’s base
At the heart of N°5 is ylang-ylang harvested from Madagascar and Mayotte, May rose, a bloom that only flowers for three weeks a year, and jasmine from Grasse — and it takes one ton of flowers to create one and half kilograms of the ‘absolute’ (a concentrated, highly aromatic oil used in perfumery).
Related article: Her Name is Gabrielle
4. American soldiers queued to buy the fragrance at the end of WW2
5. The first commercial was the most expensive ever to be made at the time
In 1969, Richard Avedon filmed Chanel N°5’s first scripted commercial in New York City. Despite only being seconds long, it was the most expensive TV advert ever filmed at the time.
Related article: All the Celebrities at Chanel’s ‘Gabrielle’ Launch Party
From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK