As one of the most significant years in Chanel's sprawling history, 2021 marks 100 years of Chanel Nº5, the houses – and likely the world's – most famed fragrance to exist. It has transcended time as an icon of the ages. The first of its kind, and a fragrance made for women by Gabrielle Chanel herself in 1921 to give women ‘a perfume, but an artificial perfume...not rose or lily of the valley...a perfume that is a composition’. You know the bottle as soon as you see it, but it's what's inside that is even more distinguishable.
To celebrate, it has been quite the year for the french fashion house, there were parties, special editions, and iconic films, to name a few, and to round it out, Chanel has collaborated with writer and novelist Pauline Dreyfus on a luxury publication to mark the 100th anniversary of Chanel Nº5. Presented in two volumes, CHANEL N°5 explores the evolution of the perfume’s packaging, composition, manufacture and marketing, with unprecedented access to the Chanel archives and those tasked with creating the fragrance today. One volume will offer insight on the early years of Chanel N°5 from 1921 to 1945, the other on the period in which Chanel N°5 went truly global, from the postwar years to today.
The books will feature 750 colour illustrations for the reader to pour over, as they are enveloped in the rich history of the iconic fragrance, alongside archival campaign images from the world’s leading creatives. Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton have lent their expertise on such campaigns, as well as film directors including Ridley Scott and Baz Luhrmann, and the House's muses – Gabrielle Chanel herself, Suzy Parker, Catherine Deneuve, Nicole Kidman, Gisele Bündchen, Lily-Rose Depp and Marion Cotillard to name a few will be immortalised within the pages of Chanel Nº5.
Chanel Nº5 is out now and can be purchased at online book retailers across the globe.