The iconic perfume Chanel n°5 is celebrating its 100th anniversary 2021 and to mark the anniversary, Chanel Haute Jewelry has created the n°5 Collection, crowned by a necklace whose design reflects the main characteristics of the perfume bottle. More than 700 diamonds make up the necklace and surround a 55.55-carat D Flawless diamond. The custom weight gives the diamond Chanel’s signature.
One example is the n°5 signature bottle brooch in yellow gold, white gold, yellow sapphires and diamonds. According to Elle magazine, the geometric silhouette of the bottle, can be seen between strings of white diamonds, yellow diamonds and yellow sapphires—which are cascading on necklaces, brooches and drop earrings throughout the collection.
This approach is unprecedented. We started with a rough diamond that we cut not to get the biggest stone possible, but to get a perfect octagonal diamond weighing 55.55 caratsPatrice Leguéreau, Director of the CHANEL Jewellery Creation Studio
Coco Chanel was born in 1883 in Saumur (France), and after her mother’s death she was sent to an orphanage by his father, Albert Chanel. The girl was twelve years old. In 1909 she moved to Paris and shortly became the mistress of Etienne Balsan, a baron and a respected figure in the textile industry. Chanel opened her first boutique right below Balsan’s apartment.
For several years, she consolidated her position among the French elite, and she was known for never being afraid to express her sexuality, something that was unusual at the time. By 1920, Chanel already had several successful boutiques in Paris, Deauville, and Biarritz, owned a villa in the south of France, and was often seen driving around in a blue Rolls Royce.
Many biographers have noted that Chanel had an obsession with cleanliness, and that this obsession arose when she was placed in an orphanage with strict nuns at the age of 12. They too were obsessed with cleanliness. Up until the time of her death in 1971, the smell of the yellow soaps that the girls in the orphanage used to clean their faces was something that had remained linked to her life.
When she had already opened her boutiques, she decided to take a chance and commission a perfume for her best customers but she couldn’t find any manufacturer who could produce a scent that embodied the freshness she longed for. At the time, scientists had already managed to isolate chemicals called aldehydes, which could create those smells artificially. The challenge was that they were too strong.
In 1920, Chanel went on vacation to Cote D’Azur with her lover, Duke Dimtri Pavlovich, and met Ernest Beaux, a charismatic and well-known perfumer who had worked with the royal family of Russia. After a short exchange of ideas, Beaux managed to develop ten samples that were then presented to Coco Chanel. The samples had been numbered from one to five, and from 20 to 24. This selected scent, which was numbered five, is rumored to be the result of an accident. Rumor has it that Beaux’s assistant added a quantity of aldehydes never used before.
The scent was embedded in jasmine, rose, sandalwood and vanilla, and was an instant success, also thanks to the genius marketing strategies used by Coco Chanel. She began to use the the fragrance herself, and people were immediately drawn to it. Marilyn Monroe once said that the only thing she wore when she lay in bed to sleep was five drops of Chanel No. 5. The brand sells 10 million bottles of the fragrance per year, one of the products that put the Chanel brand in 52nd place on the Forbes list of the most valuable companies in the world, with a fortune of 11 billion euros.