The story behind Chanel N°5

The Palais de Tokyo in Paris is hosting an exquisite exhibition about the world’s most legendary perfume: Chanel N°5. And there is much more to it than just a bottle!

Hard to believe that such a classic & iconic scent was groundbreaking and revolutionary when created by Gabrielle Chanel in 1921. Composed by Ernest Beaux, perfumer to the Tsars, the fragrance is a blend of floral extracts and synthetic ones, a break in tradition from the soliflores (replicating the scent of a single flower) perfumes en vogue back in the days

The bottle’s design, radically modern, reflected the Cubist and Dada aesthetics of the 1920’s, the avant-garde artistic scene of which Coco Chanel was a main player…and there is much more to know…The exhibition is packed with artifacts and archives ( photographies, films, works of art by the likes of Picasso, Cocteau, Man Ray etc) which perfectly highlights the cultural effervescence of this early 20th century…. Not to be missed and running until June 5th !

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Chanel photographed by Berenice Abbott c.a 1930 and right, Philippe Halsman’s The essence of Dali, 1954

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collage – 1920’s

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Melle Chanel with Picasso

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Catherine Deneuve as the face of Chanel 5 in the 70’s

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the perfume original packaging

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Marylin Monroe by Ed Feingersh in 1955

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