[WORLDKINGS] On this day - May 5, 2023 – The 102nd anniversary of Chanel No. 5 - the first perfume launched by Coco Chanel (1921)


(Worldkings.org) Chanel No5 (Chanel No. 5) is the first perfume launched by Paris haute couture designer Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel.

Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume launched by French couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel in 1921. The scent formula for the fragrance was compounded by French-Russian chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux. The design of its bottle has been an important part of the product's branding. Coco Chanel was the first face of the fragrance, appearing in the advertisement published by Harper's Bazaar in 1937.


Coco Chanel had wanted to develop a distinctly modern fragrance for some time prior to early-1920. At this time, Chanel's lover was Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov of Russia, the murderer of Rasputin. The duke introduced her to Ernest Beaux on the French Riviera. Beaux was the master perfumer at A. Rallet and Company, where he had been employed since 1898. The company was the official perfumer to the Russian royal family, and "the imperial palace at St. Petersburg was a famously perfumed court."

Beaux perfected what was to become Chanel No. 5 over several months in the late summer and autumn of 1920. He worked from the rose and jasmine base of Rallet N°1, altering it to make it cleaner, more daring, reminiscent of the polar freshness he had experienced during his war years. He experimented with modern synthetics, adding his own invention "Rose E.B." and notes derived from a new jasmine source, a commercial ingredient called Jasophore. The revamped, complex formula also increased the quantities of orris root, iris root, and natural musks.

When presented with small glass vials containing sample scents numbered 1 to 5 and 20 to 24 for her assessment, she chose the fifth vial. Chanel told her master perfumer, Ernest Beaux, whom she had commissioned to develop a new fragrance, "I present my dress collections on the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year and so we will let this sample number five keep the name it has already, it will bring good luck."

Chanel's initial marketing strategy was to generate buzz for her new fragrance by hosting a promotional event. She invited a group of elite friends to dine with her in an elegant restaurant in Grasse where she surprised and delighted her guests by spraying them with Chanel No. 5. The official launch place and date of Chanel No. 5 was in her rue Cambon boutique in the fifth month of the year, on the fifth day of the month: 5 May 1921. She infused the shop's dressing rooms with the scent, and she gave bottles to a select few of her high society friends. The success of Chanel No. 5 was immediate.


In 1924, the company Parfums Chanel was founded to run the production, marketing, and distribution of the fragrance business. Chanel wanted to spread the sale of Chanel No. 5 from beyond her boutiques to the rest of the world. The first new market was New York City. Up to now, Chanel No. 5 is considered the most famous perfume in the world and one of the best sellers.


According to the World Records Union (Worldkings.org)

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