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. 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 boyish, modern flapper that would speak to the liberated spirit of the 1920s. 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.
Contributions by Betempte, Racconish, and Animalic.