Bon Anniversaire/ Happy Birthday Chanel No. 5
Sacre bleu! Yesterday was the anniversaire of my beloved Coco Chanel’s perfume, Chanel No. 5. It wasn’t on my radar until I read about it in a Brandweek article. Brandweek, of all places, has a very nice article on what Chanel is doing to commemorate the fragrance. Apparently Chanel is partnering with Saks Fifth Avenue NYC to feature special window displays later this month. They have also created a new arts program at a city school, P.S. 5 (Ellen Lurie Elementary School), which will receive special funding for after-school art classes, supplies and trips. What a wonderful way to pass on Coco’s legacy! If only I was young enough to go to P.S. 5.
Now, the whole idea of the anniversary of the fragrance gives me the opportunity to pass along some delicious myth-making stories I learned in Paris years ago on one of my trips. Officially, Chanel hired perfumer Ernest Beaux to create this fragrance for her 1921. But, I heard that it really wasn’t anything new. The reason being that apparently the beginnings of the Chanel No. 5 scent were from the Russian court in the early 19th century. You see, Chanel’s lover at the time she decided to start making perfumes was the Grand Duke Dmitri, a Russian prince who had been exiled by the Tsar for taking part in the murder of Rasputin. Because of his exile, Dmitri survived the Russian Revolution and was able to meet Coco Chanel later in Paris. He introduced her to many things Russian influencing her perfume and her fashions. The scent of Chanel No. 5 was actually a Russian Revolution survivor. If you follow Chanel designs as I do, you may recall that Chanel designed many Russian influenced blouses in the 1920s. Perhaps the real anniversary celebration for the scent should take place in Russia?
To celebrate the anniversary, Chanel has created a beautiful little film called “Train de Nuit” which I have embedded here. The film is available to enjoy and view for free, which makes it a lovely Recessionista treat for all Chanel lovers!
Nothing like a little fine escapist fare with Billie Holiday singing, “I’m a Fool to Want You” in the background. It’s nice to see a commercial elevated to such an art form.
Joyeux Anniversaire Coco!