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Chanel No.5 launched by Coco Chanel 100 years ago

Michael McLaren

Michael is joined by Gary Mortimer, Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour, Queensland University of Technology, regarding the history of Chanel No. 5 which was the first perfume launched by French couturier Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel on this day in 1921.

 

The scent formula for the fragrance was compounded by French-Russian chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux, who had worked for the Russian royal family, which sort to appeal to the flapper and celebrate the seemingly liberated feminine spirit of the 1920s.

 

The design of its bottle has been an important part of the product’s allure. Chanel envisioned a design that would be an antidote for the over-elaborate, precious fussiness of the crystal fragrance bottles then in fashion popularized by Lalique and Baccarat. Her bottle would be “pure transparency …an invisible bottle”.

 

Coco Chanel was the first face of the fragrance, appearing in the advertisement published by Harper’s Bazaar in 1937.

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Michael McLaren
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