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Why Is Chanel No5 The World's Favourite Perfume?

Updated on December 2, 2018
Rangoon House profile image

I am an idealist, an optimist, a romantic, often a traditionalist. My writing mostly revolves around the beauty in our lives.

A Bottle Of Chanel No5 Perfume Sells Every 30 Seconds!

Chanel No5 Parfum
Chanel No5 Parfum | Source

A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future.

— Coco Chanel

What Makes Chanel No5 So Everlastingly Popular?

Chanel No5 was the first perfume launched by the legendary Parisian couturier, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, and is now sold every 30 seconds, making it the world's favourite and most in-demand perfume.

Chanel No5 was officially launched in the Chanel boutique on rue Cambon, Paris, on 05 May 1921, and was first marketed through The New York Times in 1924. It epitomised the liberated, flapper spirit of the 1920s, as it elaborated and expanded upon the long-standing traditional and respectable preference for a single flower fragrance.

When Coco Chanel commissioned Ernest Beaux to create Chanel No5, she famously told him that she didn't want the scent to smell like flowers, but more like a "composition." (1) Together, they created a truly beautiful and everlasting composition of 1000 jasmine flowers and 12 roses, and captured it in 30 millilitre clear glass bottles under the label of "Chanel No5 Parfum".

"Parfums Chanel" described the transparent square Chanel No5 bottle in 1924 - "the perfection of the product forbids dressing it in the customary artifices. Why rely on the art of the glassmaker ...Mademoiselle is proud to present simple bottles adorned only by ... precious teardrops of perfume of incomparable quality, unique in composition, revealing the artistic personality of their creator." (2) Coco Chanel had delivered her simply defined sophistication from fashion to scent, allowing the supreme quality to override all packaging, without frill or flounce.

Perfume is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion. . . . that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.

— Coco Chanel

Chanel No5 remains the world's most enduring, classic scent. It is a consumable inheritance - lovingly and proudly passed from grandmother and mother to granddaughters and daughters through the generations. The impact and sentiment of the introduction of Chanel No5 to one's life always remains.

Will you fall under the Chanel No5 captivating spell of jasmine and rose to become the next customer in 30 seconds?

Source - (1) -

Source - (2) -

Chanel No5 Has Been The World's Favourite Since 1921

One of the earliest Chanel No5 advertising  promotions
One of the earliest Chanel No5 advertising promotions | Source

Coco Chanel's earliest advertising campaigns reflected her own very social choreography, where she invited friends and associates to perfume spritzing soirees, with the design that they would spread the word of the new intoxicating Chanel No5 perfume through society circles. The organic multiplication of these private introductions to the new alluring perfume was inexpensive, rapid and highly effective.

French illustrator, Sem (Georges Goursat), captures Coco Chanel wearing her own elegant new fashion whilst admiring her newest creation, Chanel No5.

The Influence Of Chanel's Lucky Number Five On Chanel No5

Chanel's Figure 5 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Chanel's Figure 5 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City | Source

The number five was superstitious for Coco Chanel from her earliest days as an orphaned child at the Aubazine convent, where she lived from the age of 12. The paths which led Chanel to the Aubazine Sacred Heart of Mary Cathedral for daily prayer were designed in circular patterns, repeating the number five, and were then lined with five-petalled roses. The beauty of the pattern was not lost upon the young Chanel with an already keen eye for detail, and consequently, the number five successfully figured in many of her major business decisions.

When master perfumer, Ernest Beaux, presented Coco Chanel with small glass vials of scent to assess for the launch of her first perfume, she chose the sample composition contained in the fifth vial.

I present my dress collections on the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year and so we will let this sample number five keep the name it has already, it will bring good luck.

— Coco Chanel

Indeed, Chanel No5 was launched to the world on 05 May 1921 - the fifth day of the fifth month - and indeed, it brought good luck and longevity that long outlived its creator.

Coco Chanel - The Creator Of The World's Favourite Perfume

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel | Source

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

— Coco Chanel

Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was born in 1883, and learnt her dressmaking skills in the French orphanage, where she was raised after the death of her mother.

Her first career, albeit brief, was as a nightclub singer. It was this social background that gave her the stage name of "Coco", which she preferred to Gabrielle from then on.

Coco opened her first modest boutique as a milliner in 1910 and launched Chanel No5, the Chanel suit and the Chanel little black dress from a grander setting in the 1920s. The interlocking double Cs of Coco Chanel soon became synonymous with her monochromed simple sophistication, as exemplified in her trademark suiting, slimline black dresses, multiple strands of pearls, compact quilted handbags, embellished cuffs, bobbed hair and bright red lips - signatures of style aspired to by millions of women, worldwide, over a century later.

Marilyn Monroe Was The Chanel No5 Accidental Leading Lady

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe | Source

"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different".

— Coco Chanel

"Parfums Chanel" was established in 1924 to manage all aspects of promoting Chanel No5 to the world.

Beyond the Chanel boutique in Paris, Chanel No5 was first introduced to New York City's socialites in small advertisements in The New York Times and then across the luxury counters of upmarket department stores. Word of mouth propelled Chanel No5 into ladies' toilette throughout the United States and Europe.

The first comprehensive marketing campaign was developed a decade later in the mid 1930s. Leading ladies through the decades have starred in the marketing of Chanel No5, either as the intended sought after face of Chanel, or purely by accident, as in the case of Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe became the first celebrity to endorse Chanel No5 in the 1950s, albeit unintentionally. She responded to an interviewer's question in 1954 about what she wore to bed by answering "Chanel No5". (5) This response immediately launched Chanel No5 as the most desirable perfume in the world, but Marilyn Monroe was never the official face of Chanel and was never compensated for her golden answer.

Source - (5) -

Kiera Knightley Is The Quintessential Chanel Leading Lady

Kiera Knightley
Kiera Knightley | Source

"Fashion fades, only style remains the same."

— Coco Chanel

The Chanel No5 image temporarily lost its lustre during the 1960s and 1970s, when it was seen to be too ladylike, too old fashioned and ironically, too available.

The Parfums Chanel strategic response was to remove the fragrance from department stores, drug stores and the mass market generally, and to introduce French actress, Catherine Deneuve, as the face of Chanel, to renew the movie star glamour and sophistication of the product. The celebrity endorsement was successful and Chanel No5 quickly regained its allure. Deneuve was followed by other leading lady faces of Chanel in Carole Bouquet, Estella Warren, Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou and Gisele Bundchen.

More recently, Kiera Knightley has been the face of Coco Chanel herself, as the star of a short film homage to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Chanel's first store launch in Deauville.

A woman can be over dressed but never over elegant.

— Coco Chanel

The Complete Package Of Chanel Fashion, Jewellery, Perfume

Chanel: Fashion/ Fine Jewellery/ Perfume (Set of 3 Books) (Memoire)
Chanel: Fashion/ Fine Jewellery/ Perfume (Set of 3 Books) (Memoire)
Chanel was the ultimate designer, and in my mind, had no rival in her lifetime or since. She was a visionary, able to predict trends before women had even imagined the radical changes that would be required to adapt their style, fashion mores and traditions to incorporate her fashion into their lives. And yet for all her modernity and rebelliousness, she was the quintessential creator of classics. Chanel's early clients fully understood that they were wearing avant guarde and extending the boundaries of social norms, yet at the same time, they shared an innate realisation that they were promoting taste, style and classicism in a new era. Time has proven them right. This trilogy of books beautifully illustrates Chanel's creations in fashion, jewellery and perfume - pages that can be browsed and admired time and time again. This collection is a coffee table must for your enjoyment and that of your friends. It offers decadent delving into a world that was inspired by unrivalled creativity a century ago, yet remains current and dreamlike today.

"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury."

— Coco Chanel

You Have 30 Seconds To Be The Next Chanel No5 Customer

Chanel No5 Eau de Parfum
Chanel No5 Eau de Parfum | Source

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© 2011 AJ

Will You Be The Next Chanel No5 Customer?

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    • Rangoon House profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Australia

      I like you straight away Carol!

    • Carol Morris profile image

      Carol Morris 

      3 years ago

      What a well researched hub, well done. Chanel No. 5 is my favorite too.

    • Rangoon House profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Australia

      Thank you Graham. I really appreciate your comments.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Rangoon House. A tip top well researched hub and most informative. My wife has used only No5 for many years. It is without doubt a wonderful fragrance.


    • Rangoon House profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Australia

      Well somebody clearly thinks the world of you!

      it is a bit potent for some though, so I understand not wearing it. What a shame though.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I was given a bottle of Chanel No. 5 years ago as a thank you gift. Because I work in the entertainment business and with music students I don't wear perfume any longer. Thanks for your hub. Sharing.

    • Rangoon House profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Australia

      You both have exceptional taste! Congratulations on your 52 years together.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      5 years ago from California Gold Country

      The first pricy parfume I ever used. My future husband gave me some as a gift, and that may have sealed the deal. We are still married after 52 years.

    • Rangoon House profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Australia

      Thank you so much for visiting - I love to meet other people who favour Chanel No5 above the rest, especially as the choices available grow by the day.

    • travmaj profile image


      5 years ago from australia

      Throughout the years Chanel No5 has remained my favourite of all perfumes. Yes, I've used others, birthdays and christmas have brought many lovely perfumes but Chanel No5 stands tall. The scent brings many memories to linger over. Great to read so much about the history. Thank you.

    • justmesuzanne profile image


      5 years ago from Texas

      I had a little bottle of Chanel No. 5 when I was a teenager. I got it because it was the perfume Marilyn wore. Interesting treatment of the topic. Voted up and interesting. :)

    • Rangoon House profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Australia

      I love to hear that, and also to know that somebody else has different perfumes for different moods and occasions.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      5 years ago from USA

      My mother wears Chanel No5 and so do I. It is the favorite of three fragrances that I wear on a regular basis.

    • Rangoon House profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Australia

      I feel so sorry for your family who are restricted from the Chanel pleasure. Thank you for visiting Colorfulone.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      I had an Auntie who wore Chanel No5. I love the fragrance but I have family members with allergies and this perfume was on their list of things not to wear.

      Interesting hub.


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