Sunday, 6 January 2013

Chanel No. 5 Research

Chanel No.5 Research

What is Chanel No. 5 ?
Chanel No. 5 is the first perfume launched by Parisian couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. The chemical formula for the fragrance was compounded by Russian-French chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux. It is the world's top-selling perfume, reportedly selling a bottle somewhere in the world once every six seconds.

Innovation, boldness and pioneering spirit have always been the distinguishing features of Maison Chanel since its foundation. And it’s this same avant-garde approach that led to the creation of the iconic fragrance that this year marks its 90th anniversary

Chanel keeps all of its financial records private so the amount of revenue it brings in annually can only be estimated. But finance gurus estimate Chanel makes between $2.3 billion and $3 billion per year. The company's overall value is estimated to be around $15 billion.

Traditionally, fragrance worn by women had adhered to two basic categories. "Respectable" women favored the pure essence of a single garden flower. Sexually provocative perfumes heavy with animal musk or jasmine were associated with women of the demi-monde, prostitutes or courtesans.Chanel felt the time was right for the debut of a scent that would epitomize the modern flapper that would speak to the liberated spirit of the 1920s

Background of Gabrielle Chanel 
At the age of twelve, Chanel was handed over to the care of nuns, and for the next six years spent a stark, disciplined existence in a convent orphanage, Aubazine, founded in the twelfth century. From her earliest days at Aubazine, the number five had potent associations for Chanel. Aubazine had been founded by Cistercians, a Catholic order who placed great emphasis on numerology. The number five was especially esteemed as signifying the pure embodiment of a thing, its spirit, its mystic meaning. The paths that led Chanel to the cathedral for daily prayer were laid out in circular patterns repeating the number five

Her affinity for the number five co-mingled with the abbey gardens, and by extension the lush surrounding hillsides abounding with cistus, a five-petal rose. Cistercians, an ancient monastic order of Catholicism, derived the name of their order from this flower.
In 1920, when presented with small glass vials of scent numbered 1–5 and 20–24, for her assessment, she chose the sample composition contained in the fifth vial. Chanel told her master perfumer, Ernest Beaux, whom she had commissioned to develop a fragrance with modern innovations: 

"I present my dress collections on the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year and so we will let this sample number five keep the name it has already, it will bring good luck."

1910 Gabrielle Chanel opens her first shop at 21 rue Cambon in Paris, creating hats under the name "CHANEL Modes." Favored by the most famous French actresses of the time, her designs help to establish her reputation. Gabrielle Chanel’s simple, elegant style of dress creates a sensation, and is soon imitated by all of Paris

1912 Gabrielle Chanel opens a new boutique in Deauville, France, and introduces a collection of sportswear. Her line of jersey garments proves revolutionary, changing women’s relationships with their bodies and their ways of life. It is an immediate success.

1915 Her reputation now firmly established, Mademoiselle Chanel opens her first Couture House in Biarritz, France.

Design of the bottle 
Chanel envisioned a design that would be an antidote for the over-elaborate, precious fussiness of the crystal fragrance bottles then in fashion popularized by Lalique and Baccarat. Her bottle would be "pure transparency invisible bottle."
It is generally considered that the bottle design was inspired by the rectangular beveled lines of the Charvet toiletry bottles, which, outfitted in a leather traveling case, were favored by her lover, Arthur "Boy" Capel. Some say it was the whiskey decanter he used that she admired and wished to reproduce in "exquisite, expensive, delicate glass."

The first bottle produced in 1919 is not the Chanel No.5 bottle known today. The original container had small, delicate, rounded shoulders and was sold only in Chanel boutiques to select clients. In 1924, when "Parfums Chanel" incorporated, the glass proved too thin to sustain shipping and distribution. This is the point in time when the only significant design change took place. The bottle was modified with square, faceted corners

Mazzeo, Tilar J., The Secret of Chanel No. 5, HarperCollins, 2010, p. 104 , In a marketing brochure issued in 1924, "Parfums Chanel" described the vessel, which contained the fragrance: "the perfection of the product forbids dressing it in the customary artifices. Why rely on the art of the glassmaker ...Mademoiselle is proud to present simple bottles adorned only by ...precious teardrops of perfume of incomparable quality, unique in composition, revealing the artistic personality of their creator."

The octagonal stopper, which became a brand signature, was instituted in 1924 when the bottle shape was changed. The 1950s gave the stopper a bevel cut and a larger, thicker silhouette. In the 1970s the stopper became even more prominent, but in 1986 it was re-proportioned so it size was more harmonious with the scale of the bottle.

The bottle, over decades, has itself become an identifiable cultural artifact, so much so that Andy Warhol chose to commemorate its iconic status in the mid-1980s with his pop-art, silk-screen titled “Ads: Chanel.”

It is said that the formula of Chanel No. 5 comprises about eighty ingredients. Among the most discernible ones is the May Rose, handpicked in the early hours of the morning (this being the moment when flowers bloom) for twenty days to then be processed within one hour from picking.
A photograph I took from a Chanel counter handbook
Floral-aldehydic, a bouquet of abstract flowers with an indefinable femininity. 

N°5 Eau de Parfum is not simply a different concentration, but an olfactory reinterpretation, which is faithful to the spirit and base notes of the original composition. 

The 35 ml spray comes in a flat, rectangular bottle with a black and gold cap. 

The bottle with a glass cabochon shown above is available in 50 and 100 ml sprays.

Marketing And Advertising

1920s and 30s

Chanel’s initial marketing strategy was to generate a buzz around her new fragrance by hosting what was essentially a promotional event. She invited a group of elite friends to dine with her in an elegant restaurant in Grasse where she surprised and delighted her guests by spraying them with Chanel No. 5. The official launch place and date of Chanel No. 5 was in her rue Cambon boutique in the fifth month of the year, on the fifth day of the month: May 5, 1921. Chanel’s mystical obsession with the number five again proved to be her lucky charm. She infused the shop’s dressing rooms with the scent, and gifted a select few of her high society friends with bottles. The success of Chanel No. 5 was immediate and phenomenal. Chanel’s friend, Misia Sert, exclaimed: "It was like a winning lottery ticket."

Chanel felt it was time to liberate the sale of Chanel No. 5 from the restricted confines of her boutiques and release it to the world. The first target area was the United States, concentrating on New York City, the cultural and commercial center of America with the clientele for luxury goods. 

The inaugural marketing was discreet and deliberately restricted. The first ad appeared in The New York Times on December 16, 1924. It was a small print ad for "Parfums Chanel" announcing the Chanel line of fragrances now available atBonwit Teller, an upscale department store. The ad was unremarkable, all the bottles appearing indistinguishable from one and other, displaying all the Chanel perfumes available, #9, #11, #22, and the centerpiece of the line, #5. This presentation of the product line was the extent of the advertising campaign in the 1920s and appeared only intermittently. In America, the sale of Chanel No. 5 was a word-of-mouth phenomenon, promoted from perfume counters at high-end department stores by enthusiastic sales staff. The strategy in Europe was no less restrained. The Galeries Lafayette, a notable department store, was the first retailer of the fragrance in Paris. In France itself, Chanel No. 5 was not advertised at all until the 1940s

The first real marketing blitz was planned for 1934–35. The first truly solo advertisement of Chanel No. 5, as the most important Chanel perfume, comparable to her legend as a couturiere, ran in The New York Times on June 10, 1934


In the early 1940s, when the industry trend was to increase brand exposure, "Parfums Chanel" took a contrary track and actually decreased advertising. In 1939 and 1940, ads had been significant. By 1941, they had been cut back dramatically so that there was almost no print advertising. The directors of "Parfums Chanel" may have felt the expenditure was not needed. Sales of fragrance had flourished during the years of World War II. Perfume sales in the United States from 1940–45 had increased tenfold, Chanel No. 5 flourished
It was during the war years that the directors of "Parfums Chanel" came up with an innovative marketing idea. The intent to expand the sale to a middle-class customer had been instituted in 1934 with the introduction of the pocket flacon. The plan was now to extend the market by selling the perfume at military post exchanges, the PX. It was a risky move that may have hurt the exclusive status of the brand, but they went ahead and this marketing plan proved viable. It did not destroy the cachet of the brand, instead it came to epitomize a world of luxury and romance, a souvenir the soldier coveted for his sweetheart back home


In the 1950s the glamour of Chanel No. 5 was reignited by the celebrity of Marilyn Monroe. Monroe's unsolicited endorsement of the fragrance provided invaluable publicity. In a 1954 interview, when asked what she wore to bed, the movie star provocatively responded: "five drops of Chanel No. 5."


In the 1960s the glossy magazines, the high-fashion bibles such as Vogue and Bazaar, presented Chanel No. 5 as the required accessory to every woman’s femininity. Print advertising was staid and conservative in both visuals and text, eschewing the energy and quirky aesthetic of the burgeoning youth culture. Two catch phrases alternated as ad copy: "Every woman alive wants Chanel No. 5" and "Every woman alive loves Chanel No. 5."

1970s and 1980s

"During the 1960s the ads had diminished the allure of Chanel No. 5, identifying it with a scent for sweet, proper co-eds whose style bibles were teen-age fashion magazines. In the 1970s the brand name needed re-vitalization. For the first time in its long history it ran the risk of being labeled as mass market and passé. The fragrance was removed from drug stores and similar outlets. Outside advertising agencies were dropped. The remaking was re-imagined by Jacques Helleu, the artistic director for "Parfums Chanel." Helleu chose French actress Catherine Deneuve for the new face of Chanel. The print ads showcased the iconic sculpture of the bottle. Television commercials were inventive mini-films with production values of surreal fantasy and seduction. Directed by Ridley Scott in the 1970s and 1980s, they "played on the same visual imagery, with the same silhouette of the bottle," Under Helleu’s control the vision to return Chanel to the days of movie glamour and sophistication was realised

1990s through 2012

In the 1990s, more money was reportedly spent advertising Chanel No.5 than was spent for the promotion of any other fragrance brand. Carole Bouquet was the face of Chanel No. 5 during this decade. It has been estimated, as of 2011, that between $20 to $25 million is spent annually on marketing for Chanel No. 5.
In 2003, actress Nicole Kidman was enlisted to represent the fragrance. Film director Baz Luhrmann was brought in to conceive and direct a new advertising campaign featuring Kidman. Luhrmann described his concept for what he titled "No. 5 The Film":

Lurhrmann’s film was shown on television and in movie theatres in both a two minute length and a thirty second version. The project had cost 18 million English pounds; Kidman was paid 3.7 million dollars for her work.
Audrey Tatou is the current face of Chanel No. 5. It was announced in May 2012 that Brad Pitt would be the first male to advertise Chanel No.5 in the history of the fragrance. "The global push will span across several platforms including television and print and has been directed by Atonement's Joe Wright."

Current Advertising Script

Its not a journey
Every journey ends
But we go on

The world turns, and we turn with it 

Plans disappear
Dreams takeover

But wherever I go 
There you are

My Luck 
My Fate
My Fortune

Channel No.5



The City

  • looking over at a big city, from a high apartment suite ( suggests a certain class of person, expensive, luxury)
  • Night time ( Sensual, glowing, slightly darker )
Mountain/ Lake
  • Walking on the water ( god like ) 
  • Serene surroundings ( suggest calmness/ serenity/ simplicity/ natural )
  • An almost uniform army, one stands out ( suggest confidence and braveness )
  • Buildings almost replicate the shape of the bottle
  • Black, White and Gold
Brad Pitt
  • Simplistic surrounding ( focus is on him ) 
  • Eye expression and speech is the focus 
  • Grey Scale ( Like a memory, not really there compared to the full colour of the rest of the advert)
The World
  • Again represented at night. The lights are shown as being golden ( perhaps it represents the popularity of Chanel No.5 all over the world )
1. Unable to avoided, evaded, or escaped, certain necessary.
An inevitable conclusion

2. Sure to occur,happen or come,unalterable.

3. That which is unavoidable


other words: destined, certain, inescapable, unavoidable, destiny, fateful 

The Designers
Coco Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld!/timeline
Advert at the moment 
Staring Brad Pitt°5-N5-EAU-DE-PARFUM-SPRAY-95293?sku=95294

Interview with Nicola PrendergastWorks at the Chanel counter in Leeds

" The Black and White theme of Chanel is inspired by Coco/ Gabrielle Chanel's earlier experiences of being in an orphanage "" Black and White was worn by the nuns in the orphanage Chanel liked this as it is refined and simplistic " 
" The name Coco was given to Gabrielle Chanel because on an evening she used to sing in a bar, her song that she sung involved a person called Coco and so people gave her this name" 
" Chanel No.5 was her first fragrance"" She gave it out as a gift in her hat shop to people who bought her hats " 
" It is the no.1 best seller world wide and it sells better than any other brand " " At christmas it sold the best and we sold a lot " 
" Chanel is now makeup, fragrance, skin care, and male aftershave" 
" Bleu de Chanel is the male equivalent of No.5 is the top selling aftershave in the world "
" Mademoiselle is an exact replica of Coco Chanel's own perfume she had for made for herself, and it is only now she has passed away that it has been made into a product " 
" Brad Pitt is the first ever male to advertise a female perfume "" Chanel was also one of the first to wear trousers " " She liked to be the first to do things - She liked to shock " 
" Her apartment in Paris remains untouched only Chanels main designers are allowed to visit as a source of inspiration " 

Five words you would use to describe Chanel as a brand ? '" Classy, Expensive, Luxury, Premium and Timeless "
" Chanel never settles for less than perfection "
Who is your target audience ?" I would say that our target audience is all women from as young as 15/16 " " It goes through generations"
What is your customer service ? " Every Customer should feel luxurious when buying a Chanel product, they should also experience luxury"" Luxury Service includes Gift Wrap- Chanel Tissue paper, Chanel Wrapping Paper, Sprayed with the Chanel fragrance, and put into a Chanel gift bag " 
" Handmade black Baudruchage on each perfume bottle "

Who would you say represents Chanel the best ? " Marilyn Monroe represents Chanel No.5 Keira Knightly represents Mademoiselle " 

" Marilyn Monroe is a definite representation of the Chanel look and essence, red lips, natural eyes : she is classic, dresses simplistically , iconic. " 

My Online Questionaire
I asked...

1.What are the first five words that come into your head from the word Chanel ?
2. What specific product do you most associate with Chanel ?3. Which celebrity do you associate with Chanel ? (past or present) 4. Who buys Chanel ? Who would you say their target market is ?5. Have you ever purchased a Chanel product, or received one as a gift ?6. What is your favourite perfume ?

Answers I received... 

1. coco chanel, 1920s, perfume, couture fashion, iconic no.5 perfume3. audrey market- high end, expensive & luxurious 5.nail varnish,perfume, jewellry6. chanel no.5

1. Perfume, adverts, jewellery, beautiful, expensive 
2. Chanel chance perfume 
3. Kiera knightly 
4. Women (25-50) 
5. Yes both
6. Chance 

1.expensive, nice, high fashion,old and silly,2. perfume 3.dont know4.women 5. no 6.hugo boss sunrise

1. Fashion, classy, expensive, up-market, iconic2. Little black dress3. Keira Knightley4. Women 25-50 - the younger they are the more likely they are to receive it as a gift. 5. Only received as a gift6. Mademoiselle

1) Perfume, high fashion, bags, make up, jewellery2) make up 3) Keira knightly4) women 25+5) no6) paco rabanne 1 million

1.elegant, chic, editorial, monochrome, bag3.Lauren Conrad 4.maybe middle class, women more interested in fashion and designers. those who are prepared to spend the money to indulge in these, not been particularly interested in this designer, although if i weren't a shit student i'd probably like a bag one day. 6.Miss dior cherie

1.elegance, expensive, snobby, girly and perfume2.perfume3.keira knightley 4.middle-upper class mums, or daughters who have middle-upper class mums5.no6.dior poison and dkny be delicious

1. Elegant, chic, classy, feminine, monochrome2. Clothing3. Keira Knightley4. Those who are prepared to spend a little bit more for something special, targeting those who can afford to treat themselves (middle/upper class)5. Yes, perfume and jewellery6. Jo Malone vanilla and anise

Pie Chart of the answers

 Mood boards
Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel'
 This board shows Chanel, how she looked, where she grew up, where she lived, it shows me where her inspiration came from and how others use her as an inspiration.

Chanel and Celebrity Advertising
 The images above show a variety of advertisements, from the 1940's-50's to the current day. They aren't specific to Chanel No.5. I think this gives me a broader idea of Chanel and it shows me the aesthetic they use and what they want the brand to look like/ promote i.e. luxury.

The 'Classic' Chanel Look
This mood board is to remind me of the classic Chanel look, which is refined, natural but a bold lip, usually red. I think it is essential to the brand and represent an older era.

Chanel No.5
 The mood board above shows everything to do with Chanel No.5, there is a significant emphasis on the packaging.

Chanel Colour Scheme
 These are the colours I perceive to be Chanel's colour scheme. Black and White are the main colours, I would say that gold is the next significant colour. Beige, Red and Pink are sub colours. The colours are warm and subtle, elegant.

Chanel Fashion Shows
I found that Chanel seem to host extravagant fashion shows. They seem high end, expensive and very dramatic.  

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