The Secret Of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume

Hardcover | November 9, 2010

byTilar J. Mazzeo

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The unauthorized biography of the world's most famous, seductive, and successful perfume

With its rich golden hue, art deco–inspired bottle, and timeless, musky scent, Chanel No. 5 is the world's bestselling perfume. Reverently known among industry insiders as le monstre—the monster—it is arguably the most coveted consumer luxury product of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Yet how did this pioneering celebrity fragrance, introduced in the early 1920s, eventually take on a life of its own, becoming a cultural monument celebrated by millions of devoted consumers?

The Secret of Chanel No. 5is Tilar J. Mazzeo's far-ranging and fascinating search beyond the stuff of legend to uncover the full story of No. 5's creation, iconic status, and extraordinary success. Mazzeo goes back through time and deep into the life of Coco Chanel, the brilliant, controversial, and steel-willed businesswoman at the heart of the fragrance. She takes readers to the rose plantations and celebrated jasmine fields where the perfume begins and then to the laboratories and boardrooms where scent and sex are forever intertwined. And she travels to the heart of the Chanel empire: 31 Rue Cambon, Coco Chanel's flagship boutique, where six decades ago American GIs stormed the counters to possess the magical elixir that captured the luxury and romance of Paris for their girls back home.

A blend of evocative history and thoughtful research, here is a glittering account of where art and sensuality mingle with dazzling entrepreneurship and desire: Chanel No. 5.

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The unauthorized biography of the world's most famous, seductive, and successful perfumeWith its rich golden hue, art deco–inspired bottle, and timeless, musky scent, Chanel No. 5 is the world's bestselling perfume. Reverently known among industry insiders as le monstre—the monster—it is arguably the most coveted consumer luxury produc...

Tilar J. Mazzeo is the author of numerous works of cultural history and biography, including theNew York TimesbestsellingThe Widow Clicquot,The Secret of Chanel No. 5, and nearly two dozen other books, articles, essays, and reviews on wine, travel, and the history of luxury. The Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby Co...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.01 inPublished:November 9, 2010Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061791016

ISBN - 13:9780061791017

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Editorial Reviews

“Anyone who’s ever dawdled in front of a perfume counter will love Tilar Mazzeo’s fascinating history of the perfume known simply as No. 5; her rich and witty account is as compelling as the fragrance itself. ”