I wish I loved the scent of Chanel N°5 perfume as much as I adore the history behind it. Because how can “A fragrance created in 1921 still be the best selling and most famous frangrance in the world” and I can’t stand the smell of it? There must be something wrong with me.
It just doesn’t make any scents at all…
Even my husband wears a Chanel cologne for men, albeit against my wishes, because he loves the fragrance. Both my grandmother and my mother wore Chanel N°5, among other fragrances by Chanel, and while it was my grandma who convinced me of the brand’s allure, I can’t help but think part of the reason the musky floral scent turns me off is tied to childhood memories of it. But I also have a ridiculously sensitive sense of smell, so it’s entirely possible that Chanel N°5 is just a bit too heavy a perfume for me.
Seeking “A woman’s perfume with a woman’s scent”, Coco Chanel hired Ernest Beaux who extracted and composed a bouquet of 80 scents for her … and created an “abstract, mysterious perfume radiating an extravagant floral richness” adding Aldehydes for layers of complexity which made it impossible to decipher.
Coco preferred the fifth sample Earnest Beaux presented to her and the number 5’s magical luck-giving quality, and so it was named… Chanel N°5
The Chanel N°5 Parfum Bottle is so classic, so timeless, little has changed since its conception. Without frills, it’s a perfect mix of masculine and feminine, with clean and hard lines, it’s mysteriously sultry, and has become an iconic example of the brand’s everlasting and alluring power. Warhol painted it, Marilyn wore it. And even though I’m not in love with the scent, I am in love with the air of sophistication surrounding it.
Is it frivolous and pointless to buy a bottle of Chanel N°5 just to look at? Maybe. But it has become as much a piece of decorative art as it has a best selling beauty product, and if displaying it on my vanity makes me feel as alluring as women do when wearing it, then it’s worth every penny.
But it’s also very telling of a product, not to mention the allure a brand can have on not only me, but women around the world, who spend small fortunes on unnecessary luxuries because of the way they make us feel. But because of that feeling, anything with the Chanel name on it makes for the perfect gift for almost any woman. From a simple nail lacquer to a soap dish to a bottle of Chanel N°5 Parfum, it’s as if someone is saying “you fit the image” when they give it to you and you can’t help but light up when you see those double C’s.
**Hint Hint: Mother’s Day is just a week away!