CHANEL – Part 2

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy hypebeast.com

Four years later, Coco Chanel introduced her line of clothing, which was masculine in style, sporty and displayed clean, functional lines.  Her ability to foresee this ‘trend’ made her clothing an instant success.  In 1923, she launched the Chanel Suit, composed of a skirt and a short, masculine-looking jacket.  It has never gone out of style and is worn by millions of professional women throughout the world today.  So, too, is Chanel’s little black dress, a starkly simple, close-fitting one-piece garment.  This dress defined and illustrated haute couture.

Coco’s visionary designs changed not only the way women dressed, and the way they looked, but also the way they behaved.  The tight, binding chains of prim prudishness dissolved, to be replaced by flamboyant minimalism.  This change in female behavior, in turn, changed the attitudes of men.

Chanel No. 5, Chanel’s eponymous perfume, was devised by Ernie Beaux and built upon the scent of aldhehydes.  Its ingredients were all artificial, made in a laboratory.  A total break from the natural model of perfumes which prevailed up until this point.  The success of Chanel No. 5 is difficult to quantify.  The best way to put it into perspective is this:  one bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume is sold every thirty seconds.

Yet Coco Chanel

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Clive Christian’s No. 1 Perfume

By Christopher Zoukis

Perfume has been around a long time.  The oldest written record of perfume comes from Assyro-Babylonian texts of around 1800 BC.  The perfume was called qanu tabu.  Canaanite texts from Ugarit, circa 1400 BC, speak of a perfume designated smn mr – a liquid myrrh.  The Egyptian queen Hatshepsut had ‘white’ trees brought to Egypt around 1490 BC.  From these ‘white’ trees, her perfumers made frankincense, which was the “perfume that deifies.”  To the ancient Egyptians, perfume was the medium for wafting the soul to heaven and for putting demons and evil spirits to flight.  Image courtesy www.nathanbranch.com

In the 1880s, Crown Perfumery produced a delightful fragrance distinguished by the image of Queen Victoria’s crown on the bottle.  The crown was meant to convey British superiority. 

Perfume fit for a queen is still around.  Clive Christian has resurrected the concept of ‘divine essence.’  Just in case you don’t know who he is, Clive Christian is a British designer whose claim to fame resides in his designer kitchens and his perfume – called simply No. 1 – which is the world’s most expensive perfume.  According to British tabloids, Christian is a fan of the hit television show The Office, to which he is so devoted that he owns an exact replica of the green fisherman sweater from The Office episode ‘The Boat,’ where Andy buys a sweater from a red head on a boat. 

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