Art and fashion continue to blur the lines of distinction between their different art forms with the hit show “No.5 Culture Chanel” at Palais De Tokyo in Paris, France. The show, which opened earlier this spring on May 5th, is a fabulous art exhibit that “…explores the inspiration and invention of Chanel’s most famous scent”. Coco Chanel’s perfume, Chanel No. 5, was the first perfume ever launched by the French fashion designer in 1921.
During the 1920’s there were very strict social rules about the type of perfume a woman would wear. Respectable ladies wore floral scents that were made of one single type of garden flower, while women who were perceived as promiscuous wore a fragrance that used musk and exotic jasmine. Chanel lived a very bohemian and luxurious lifestyle in the roaring twenties and wanted to create a fragrance that would speak to the modern flapper and the liberated spirit of young women of the era and so she created her first perfume, Chanel No. 5.
Not only was the scent itself revolutionary but so was the bottling. The original design of the bottle, which is still used today, was a huge shift from what was then typical for perfumes. Most perfumes in the 1920s were very fussy and ornate and came in highly decorate crystal fragrance bottles. Chanel No.5 was to be the antidote to that fashion aesthetic and was designed to be as minimal as possible and resemble bottles that pharmacists used to distribute medicine.
Although Coco Chanel may have died in the 1970s, her luxury brand, Chanel, continues its reign over the fashion world. Fashion photographers still vie for a chance to photograph the clothing and accessories of the brand all over the world, from New York City to Tokyo. Chanel No. 5 is one perfume that continues its allure for consumers and was forever immortalized in 1950s when actress, Marilyn Monroe, revealed that the only thing she wore to bed was “5 drops of Chanel no. 5”.
Although the fabulous “No. 5 Culture Chanel” exhibit is all the way in Paris, you can still find more information on the show online and if you are lucky enough to be in Europe, you can still buy tickets for the show. The show runs through June 5th.