No. 5 Culture Chanel

No. 5. “5” is my lucky number. It will be the No. 5 of Chanel
— Gabrielle Chanel

The most famous fragrance in the world is having a beautifully curated show at Palais de Tokyo until June 5. The inspirations that surrounded Mademoiselle Chanel in 1921, her favorite places, artists, friends and creations, they all played an important piece in the design and development of Chanel No. 5. And, years later, the whirlwind caused by Marilyn Monroe when she said that the only thing she wore to bed was, naturally, No. 5, or when Andy Warhol decided to immortalize the unmistakable bottle, all catapulted the iconic fragrance to the place it occupies today. The photographs, pieces and objects were delicately displayed in minimal Lucite boxes and the show ended in a gorgeous and luxurious lounge that had many iPads at people's disposal -all showing media related to No. 5, of course-, a screening room that was showing all the TV ads made for perfume and drawers that contained different notes present in No. 5 (like jasmine, rose and musk).    I was really happy to see this show and learn more about this amazing business woman and designer.

1. Gabrielle Chanel and Salvador Dali were good friends. Philippe Halsman captured the essence of that relationship in this cheeky silver print in 1954

2. As the great marketer and brand-builder that she always was, Mademoiselle Chanel posed in the ads for the perfume on many different occasions.

3. Warhol silkscreens depicting the bottle of Chanel No. 5, 1985

4. The amazing ring designed and worn by Chanel in the 1930s: yellow gold, emerald center, rubies and sapphires around.  

5. Iconic portrait of Chanel taken in 1936 by Boris Lipnitzki

6. A Dadaist sculpture made by an anonymous artist with Chanel's name in 1921  

7. One of the first bottles of No. 5 from 1924

8. Sales catalog of Chanel perfumes from 1924

9. More black & white portraits of Chanel circa 1930

10. Marilyn with a bottle of No. 5 in her hands in 1955

11. Francis Piacabia, who also was Chanel's friend, drew the number 5 on paper in 1922 almost at the same time that the perfume was launched.  

12. Mademoiselle Chanel was the first muse of her iconic fragrance.  Here she posed at the Ritz Hotel for an ad campaign to be published by Harper's Bazaar in 1937