This video is a segment from the CNN Style show
Once the favored bedroom attire of Marilyn Monroe, Chanel No. 5 is one of the world's most renowned fragrances. Launched in 1921, the pioneering scent (it was the first perfume ever created by a couturier) was meant to embody the new, modern woman Coco Chanel epitomized.
1/8 – Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent
Smell, like perhaps no other sense, manages to unlock our subconscious, excavating long-suppressed memories and invoking places and times to which we thought we could never return. Credit: © Kim Keever, Courtesy Waterhouse & Dodd
As the face of Chanel No. 5 L'Eau, a new iteration of the classic scent, model and actress Lily-Rose Depp is reflective on the nostalgia-conjuring aroma that her mother, French singer Vanessa Paradis, and grandmother used to wear.
"You put it on and you're instantly taken back to that time and that's what I think is so beautiful about the power of scent. Like music or something, it has the power to transport you so strongly," she told CNN Style host Derek Blasberg.
In the flower fields of Grasse in the French Riviera, dubbed the perfume capital of the world, Coco Chanel and Ernest Beaux, former perfumer to the Russian czars, developed their first fragrance. The result: a complex bouquet of approximately 80 ingredients, including the May rose, a rare flower that can only be harvested three weeks in the month of May.
"It's like wine. These are roses that you can cultivate in other parts of the world. They are grown in Morocco, for example, but they never have the same fragrance. The soil and the microclimate here give them something that can't be replicated elsewhere," field-owner Joseph Mul said.
The roses are carefully hand-picked by women who each collect around 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of flowers per day. A 30-mL bottle of Chanel No. 5 contains about 12 roses and 1,000 jasmine flowers, along with additional ingredients.
Watch the video above to find out more about the Grasse region and Chanel No. 5.