Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel aka Coco Chanel was born on the 19thof August 1883 (for those of you that read my numerology blog she is a life path 11/2 making her a Master Number). She began her career as a milliner then went into fashion and later wanted to make fragrances after having successful boutiques in Paris. In 1921 she wanted to revolutionized the way woman smelt. Almost one hundred years later and 40 years after her passing Chanel No.5 is still the most popular and sought after fragrance in the world! But creating this amazing fragrance was not as simple as she had thought it would be but it was certainly worth the wait!
As a teenager after her mother died Coco was sent to a convent and she was obsessed with cleanliness and the smell of soap and freshly scrubbed skin was something that stuck with her for years to come. She was always clean and had a dislike for the way mistresses of the rich smelt saying they stank of musk and body odour. When she decided to commission a perfume for her best clients it was important that there was a freshness to this fragrance. But she struggled to find a perfumer who could achieve this. At the time all fragrances where of citrus and bergamot but she felt they didn’t last on the skin.
During the summer of 1920 she met perfumer Ernest Beaux who had worked for the Russian Royal family. Chanel said to him that she wanted him to make her a perfume that would make all perfumers jealous and he took up Chanel’s challenge. It took him several months to come up with several fragrances and she picked the 5thone and when he asked her what they would call it she said we call it “No.5”. The bottle was designed to resemble a whisky decanter. Chanel later said “It was what I was waiting for. A perfume like nothing else. A woman’s perfume, with the scent of a woman.” The scent has Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Ylang-ylang, bergamot, Amalfi lemon, patchouli, Amber, lily-of-the-valley amongst other notes. It was popular because it was a fresh fragrance that did last!
Next week I will talk about her other fragrances!
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