A cool blend of contemporary & retro culture

Chanel No. 5: The glorious metamorphosis of an absolute icon

It is quite possibly one of the most recognisable – and certainly one of the most popular – fragrances in all of the history of perfume-making.

This year, Chanel celebrates 100 years of one of the most iconic fragrances of all time – N°5. And it is doing so in glorious minimalist style.

The house has introduced ‘Chanel: Factory 5’, releasing seventeen limited-edition products – such as bath tablets and shower gels to body oils and creams – all in packaging inspired by everyday objects. It’s a reminder that a little N° 5 injection transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary.

Dressing objects such as paint tubes, tin cans and yoghurt pouches in the familiar N°5 identity, they suddenly become luxurious, iconic, more coveted.

Says Chanel head of global creative resources, Thomas Du Pré de Saint Maur (his name not so minimalist, yes), “We are privileged to be here for this centenary and wanted to find an idea worthy of N°5. We want to show that an object is not iconic by birth, but that it becomes so by what it conveys, what it brings to life, what it says about its time.”

“N°5 has managed to transcend time and tell the story of the times.”

De Saint Maur agrees that the product lends itself well to various packaging while maintaining its unique identity codes, but why choose such everyday – some might say, mundane – objects such as tea boxes and tin cans?

According to de Saint Maur, these are “the things we use the most, and if they provide a luxurious experience, [they] are also valuable.”

Created in 1921, N°5 caused quite the controversy on its own. Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel had already altered people’s perceptions of what makes a woman attractive. Next up for her was the art of seduction via perfume, with N°5 being her first creation. Indeed, it was the first fragrance imagined by a woman for women.

One hundred years on, and the fragrance, like womanhood itself, has evolved into a force to be reckoned with – something that can expose beauty, grace and strength all in equal measure.

Antonino Tati

For more information visit chanel.com/au.

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