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Chanel N°5

Pauline Dreyfus


The first book dedicated to exploring the story of Chanel No5, published to celebrate the centenary of the iconic perfume

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Arguably the most famous perfume in the world – most memorably endorsed by Marilyn Monroe – Chanel No5 continues to fascinate and claims millions of devotees around the world. Created in 1921 by Coco Chanel, the perfume was one of the first to use synthetics. To complement her pioneering fashion, Chanel wanted to give the modern woman ‘a perfume, but an artificial perfume...not rose or lily of the valley...a perfume that is compound’, presented in a distinctively pared-back glass bottle that would become an icon in its own right (inspiring a series of works by Andy Warhol decades later).

Presented in two volumes (one on the early years of Chanel No5 from 1921 to 1945, the other on the period in which Chanel No5 went truly global, from the postwar years to today), Chanel No5 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.

The world’s leading creatives have lent their talents to the perfume’s advertising campaigns, which are given pride of place in the book, from photographers such as Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton, to film directors including Ridley Scott and Baz Luhrmann, and stylish muses – Coco Chanel herself, of course, as well as Suzy Parker, Catherine Deneuve, Nicole Kidman, Gisele Bündchen and Lily-Rose Depp.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 32.5 x 26.5 cm

Extent: 426 pp

Publication date: 18 November 2021

ISBN: 9780500023129

Contents List

Book 1 Anatomy of a Myth.
The Height of Modernity.
From Fashion to Fragrance.
How to Start a Revolution.
A Winning Number.
A Lone Rider.

Book 2 Architecture of a Legend.
The Marilyn Miracle.
From Models to Muses: Through the Eyes of Great Artists.
From a Legend to an Icon.
Everything Must Change so that Nothing Changes.

About the Author

Pauline Dreyfus is a writer and novelist. Among her prize-winning works of fiction are Immortel, enfin, which was awarded the Prix des Deux Magots in 2013, and Ce sont des choses qui arrivent, which won the Prix Albert Cohen in 2015. She is also the author of a biography of the author Paul Morand, which won the Prix Goncourt de la biographie 2021.