Marilyn Monroe for Chanel N°5

1921 chanel N°5

By 1921, Coco had a series of successful boutiques in Paris, Deauville and Biarritz; she owned a villa in the south of France and drove a dashing blue Rolls Royce. It was while holidaying in the Cote d’Azur with one of her many lovers – this time, Russian Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich – that she met the sophisticated and well-read ‘nose’ Ernest Beaux, former perfumer to the Tsars. Together, they launched the world’s first ‘abstract’ scent (meaning it’s impossible to summarise in one note) that was named after the fifth sample Beaux presented to her, and which she knew would be timeless because “a number needs no translation”. Three decades later, Marilyn Monroe famously claimed that the only thing she wore to bed was, “five drops of Chanel N°5”, whilst almost a century on, Chanel N°5 is still the most iconic perfume of all time. Endorsed by a plethora of stars including Nicole Kidman, Catherine Deneuve and Gisele Bündchen, a bottle of Chanel N°5 is sold every 55 seconds.