Grand Extrait

Reinventing Chanel No 5

Heike Söns

"Grand Extrait" is the latest collector’s edition of the iconic Chanel No. 5. It is also the most expensive.


The iconic fragrance, Chanel No 5, has kept its classic image through the years. From the beautiful Carol Bouquet, the lovely Nicole Kidman to the adorable Audrey Tautou, the most stylish women in the world have worn the emblematic perfume. Decades after the seductive Marilyn Monroe turned it into a legend, declaring that it was all she wore to bed, this perfume remains a symbol of style, good taste and sophistication.

Chanel No 5

Without a doubt, Chanel No. 5 is still the most acclaimed fragrance in the world. This legendary product, feminine and glamorous, seems to reinvent itself, constantly. To keep it current, the brand has made a 360-degree turn in its advertising strategy, choosing for the first time a male speaker. With this purpose in mind, Chanel ventured to sign a multimillion-dollar contract with actor Brad Pitt for a campaign that caused a stir among critics and publicists, but charmed women worldwide.

However, that’s not the only way that Chanel injects freshness to its No 5. Recently, the company launched an exclusive collector’s edition of the perfume, encapsulated in a divine 30 oz. bottle. Although the formula is the same, the container of the new edition is certainly a very special piece. Built under the supervision of a craftsman glazier, the bottle is presented in a delicate handmade case.

Chanel No 5

Named Grand Extrait and priced at $4,200, this seductive edition of Chanel No 5 is shaping up as the most expensive perfume produced by the French label, displacing its previous 7 oz. version. It is rumored that a smaller version of Grand Extrait will soon be available for $2,100.

Chanel No 5 was the first fragrance from the legendary French designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Ernest Beaux invented the formula for this extraordinary fragrance, and Mademoiselle Chanel chose the name for rather superstitious reasons. It happened in 1920, when her parfumier presented her with various designer fragrances to name and market. History would demonstrate the correctness of her premonition: “I present my next fashion collection on May 5, the fifth month of the year so I want this fragrance to have the number 5 in its name. It will bring us good luck.”

For Coco Chanel, the simple, geometric design of the bottle for her No 5 perfume was the antidote to the overly ornate and exaggerated designs in vogue at the time, mostly produced by Lalique and Baccarat. Her flask, as she described it, would be “pure transparency, an invisible bottle.”

Although the original bottle design differs, somewhat, from the one we know today, there is no doubt that this is the perfect container, simple and elegant, the most appropriate form to enclose one of the greatest legends in the world of haute perfumery.


© | 2019