wewomen Newsletter
Makeover Assistant
Perfume history: the history of classic perfumes

Classic perfume history


Chanel No. 5

The history
In 1920, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was the queen of Parisian fashion. During the summer, the idea came to her to release a perfume. This was an unusual project at the time as designers and perfumers were two distinct trades.

Even back then fraudsters started to copy the scent. According to Cleopatra's Boudoir in 1953, two men were arrested for counterfieting Chanel's signature scent. Fake bottles such as the one below can still be found.

The scent
A pioneer of modern perfumery, fragrance designer Ernest Beaux came up with an unusual scent, in complete contrast with the single-flower fragrances of the era.

The name
Mademoiselle Chanel opted for a simple trademark, almost an identification number. Whether it was the 5th sample proposed by Ernest Beaux, or because she decided to put her precious perfume under the protection of her lucky number, N°5 is also an easy-to-remember name that requires no translation.

Fake vintage Chanel bottle
Fake vintage Chanel bottle

The flacon
As unfussy as a lab bottle with its neat lines, the flacon designed by Coco Chanel is a fine model of simplicity and timeless elegance.

> Read more about the Chanel N°5 perfume revolution


Beauty Editor
Rank this page: 

Don't miss...
Fatigue fighters: 8 foods that boost your energyInterview with Eva Mendes: 2012
Oscars 2014 Vanity Fair Bash: Our Fav LooksThe best ideas for New Year's Eve worldwide!
Latest… 2016/10/22
Long Hair Goals: 9 Tips To Make Your Hair Grow Faster
Slick to sleek: How to take care of greasy hair
Lowlights vs highlights
PRP injections: The Kim Kardashian blood facial
See all Beauty guides
Louise Redknapp rounds up the hair trends at LFW
See all Beauty videos