5 May: Coco Chanel’s Iconic Scent

Chanel No 5, the legendary perfume still said to shift one bottle every thirty seconds, was first released in Paris on 5th May, 1921.

Created by Ernest Beaux, its innovative mixture of jasmine, sandalwood, orange blossom and aldehydes gave it a freshness and fizz that turned heads – and its simple, masculine bottle bucked the trend for ornate designs crafted by renowned glass-houses.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Coco Chanel savvily put herself at the centre of the brand’s marketing; reveal how she collaborated with the Nazis to attempt to regain control of the company; and consider what she had in common with Colonel Sanders…

Further Reading:

• ‘How Its Made: The Iconic Chanel No. 5’ (Fashion.Luxury): https://fashion.luxury/beauty/how-its-made-the-iconic-chanel-no-5/

• ‘Coco Chanel’s Secret Life as a Nazi Agent’ (Biography, 2019): https://www.biography.com/news/coco-chanel-nazi-agent

• ‘CHANEL N°5 – For the first time’ (Inside CHANEL, 2012):