CHANEL N°5 – INPI Treasures

VERSION FRANÇAISE

The French Patent & Trademark Office (INPI) examines and issues industrial property titles (patents, trademarks, designs and models) in France. It supports all innovators so that they transform their projects into concrete achievements and participates in the development and implementation of public policies in its field, from support for innovation and the competitiveness of businesses to the fight against counterfeiting. The institute works closely with all industrial property offices around the world.

Created in 1951 under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, it is the heir of the institutions which have preceded it since the end of the 18th century. As such, the INPI is responsible for the management of these public archives and has thus become one of the memories of innovation in France. He watches over a rich heritage, made up of all patents since 1791, trademarks since 1857 and designs since 1910: nearly 7.5 million documents, or 145 linear kilometers preciously preserved. The fruit of generations of inventors, engineers, industrialists, creators and artists, these archives are of unique historical and documentary interest and represent an iconographic source that is still little known.

CHANEL N°5 – INPI Treasures

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE

It was by exploring INPI archives that we found traces of the creations of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume launched by French couturier Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1921. In 1921, Coco Chanel found the formula for the eternal feminine. Two series of samples are presented to her by its creator, the famous perfumer Ernest Beaux. Numbered from 1 to 5, and from 20 to 24.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
Tribute to CHANEL N5 by the Cartoonist Sem, 1921

The scent formula for the fragrance was compounded by French-Russian chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux. Traditionally, fragrances worn by women fell into two basic categories. “Respectable women” favored the essence of a single garden flower while sexually provocative indolic perfumes heavy with animal musk or jasmine were associated with women of the demi-monde, prostitutes, or courtesans. Chanel sought a new scent that would appeal to the flapper and celebrate the liberated feminine spirit of the 1920s – the first “woman scent”.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
Trademark Chanel N ° 5, filed on July 19, 1923 by Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel, 31 rue Cambon, Paris
(INPI Archives)

Coco Chanel choose sample 5. Coco Chanel told her master perfumer, Ernest Beaux, whom she had commissioned to develop a new fragrance, “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.” But number 5 had much more profound meaning for Coco Chanel.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
July 19, 1923, at 3 p.m., 9 other trademarks were also registered by Chanel: Amber, Gray amber, Pink or even Cyprus. And also N ° 7, N ° 14, N ° 20, N ° 21 and N ° 22 (INPI Archives – BOPI)

From her earliest days, the number 5 had had very special meaning for her. Coco Chanel grew up in orphanages under care of nuns in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of central France.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE

The paths that led Chanel to the cathedral for daily prayers were laid out in circular patterns repeating the number 5. And this meaning became even more profound for her, signifying the pure embodiment of a thing, its spirit, its mystic meaning.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
Drawing and model n ° 10447 – 003 for a perfume bottle n ° 3, Design and model of the three other perfume bottles deposited on July 6, 1923 by Miss CHANEL (G.) 31, rue Cambon, Paris (INPI Archives)

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 …an 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”.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL N5 advertisement published in Harper’s Bazaar in 1937. For the first time Gabrielle Chanel herself promoted her perfume. Photo: Francois Kollar, Ministere de la Culture – Mediatheque du Patrimoine, Dist. RMN

So Coco designed with minimalist lines a bottle. The cork, cut like a diamond reflected the geometry of Place Vendôme. This design and its packaging, were registered in INPI on July 6, 1923. In a 1924 marketing brochure “Parfums Chanel” described the bottle as “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.” This design of bottle has remained the same since 1924. The “pocket flacon”, designed to be carried in a purse, was introduced in 1934. The price and container size were reduced to appeal to a broader customer base.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI - Marilyn Monroe for CHANEL by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI – Marilyn Monroe for CHANEL by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
Marilyn Monroe on March 24, 1955 at the Ambassador Hotel in New York. Photo Michael Ochs.
LIFE Magazine Cover, April 7, 1952 – Copyright 1952, Time Inc. Photo Philippe Halsman / Magnum Photos.
Also used photos from unpublished photoshoot for Modern Screen by Bob Beerman / Redux

The bottle, over the 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-screened, Ads: Chanel.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI - Andy Warhol for CHANEL by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI – Andy Warhol for CHANEL by RUNWAY MAGAZINE

The perfume was launched on the day of the presentation of the Chanel collection, in the rue Cambon boutique in Paris, on May 5, 1921. Two years later trademark Chanel N ° 5 filed by Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel for registration on July 19, 1923, 31 rue Cambon, Paris (INPI Archives). On the same day, July 19, 1923, at 3 p.m., 9 other trademarks were also registered by Coco Chanel: Amber, Gray amber, Rose or even Cyprus. And also N ° 7, N ° 14, N ° 20, N ° 21 and N ° 22.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI - Catherine Deneuve for CHANEL by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI – Catherine Deneuve for CHANEL by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
Catherine Deneuve by Richard Avedon for CHANEL N5 campaign in 1972

Coco Chanel was the first face of the fragrance, appearing in the advertisement published by Harper’s Bazaar in 1937.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI - Jean-Paul Goude for CHANEL by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI – Jean-Paul Goude for CHANEL by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
Advertising campaign by Helmut Newton for CHANEL N5, 1971
Advertising campaign by Jean-Paul Goude for CHANEL N5, 1999

And since then the most elegant cinema stars were presenting this perfume over decades until today: Mailyn Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve, Nicole Kidman, Vanessa Paradis and many many others.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI - Nicole Kidman for CHANEL by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI – Nicole Kidman for CHANEL by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
Nicole Kidman by Baz Luhrmann for CHANEL N5 advertising campaign, 2005

Until today CHANEL N°5 is an ultimate “7th sense” of a woman, powering all freethinking women for almost 100 years.

CHANEL 5 perfume - Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE
CHANEL 5 perfume – Tresors INPI by RUNWAY MAGAZINE