When Gabrielle Chanel created N°5 Parfum with perfumer Ernest Beaux in 1921, she launched a revolution in a bottle. It was the first of its kind — ground-breaking for Beaux’s innovative use of aldehydes, or synthetic components which add layers of complexity, making N°5 shockingly modern in an era of single-note scents. As the most potent symbol of the luxurious simplicity for which Chanel is renowned, N°5 has since become more than a fragrance. It is an olfactory heritage: an idea of femininity, a masterpiece of chic, passed on from generation to generation. The now and forever fragrance.
A bouquet of abstract flowers is how Gabrielle Chanel described N°5, a floral-aldehydic fragrance whose formula requires no less than eighty ingredients. At first, the scent unfolds with a stunning surge of Ylang-Ylang and Neroli (bitter orange tree blossom). Then, a perfect harmony of voluptuous May Rose and sensuous Jasmine from Grasse emerges, followed by a vibrant woody base of Sandalwood, Bourbon Vetiver and Vanilla. An ever-changing fragrance with no single dominant note, N°5 boasts the incredible power of being able to be interpreted differently based on the wearer, thus revealing each woman’s uniqueness.
Art of Perfuming
Parfum is the most precious, concentrated and long-lasting form of fragrance, with its own specific application. Gabrielle Chanel's advice was to apply it "wherever you would like to be kissed." Neck, wrist, décolleté… Apply a drop of Parfum on each pulse point, letting it develop on your skin and feeling the fragrance echo the beat of your heart.
Designed in 1921 by Gabrielle Chanel herself, the simple lines and incredibly plain white label of The Classic Bottle were as surprising as the fragrance. The chiseled stopper, cut like a diamond, was inspired by the geometry of the Place Vendôme that Gabrielle could gaze at from the balcony of her room at the Ritz in Paris. Over the years, only subtle changes have been made to the original design in order to preserve its stunningly contemporary aesthetic.
Since the creation of N°5, Chanel has practiced the art of baudruchage to seal bottles of parfum. Performed entirely by hand, the technique consists of placing a fine membrane over the neck of the bottle and holding it in place with two rows of pearl-cotton thread. It is then closed with a wax seal. From this moment, a pact of exclusiveness is sealed: the bottle can only be opened by the woman for whom it is destined.