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The Glamorous Life of Chanel No. 5

A contribution to the theory of glamour

Written by Heidi Hautala

Paper category

Master Thesis


Business Administration>Communication & Media




Master Thesis: The story of Chanel No. 5 For most of a century, the fragrance of Chanel No. 5 has been a sultry whisper, indicating that we are in front of something rich and sensual. It was the quiet rustle of graceful self-indulgence, the fragrance of a gorgeous world. Moreover, at nearly US$400 per ounce, it is no wonder that Chanel No. 5 can imply anything more in our minds than the concept of luxury. It is with these words that Tierra J. Mazzeo, cultural historian, biographer and student wine, luxury goods and French culture, described Chanel No. 5, which is the iconic icon of Gabriel "Coco" Chanel fragrance. Her recent book "The Secrets of Chanel No. 5" (2010) deserves applause; despite trying to supplement Mazzeo's research, it is difficult to find a more comprehensive description of Chanel No. 5-she did discover and reveal this The "secret" of a famous and mysterious perfume. Chanel No. 5 has a history-a life! -Its own, this chapter is dedicated to telling its story, consistent with Mazzeo who has studied numerous archives. Mazzeo also contributed to this research by providing the main source materials. I hope that the following analysis in Chapter 4 can provide further insights into the brand image construction of Chanel No. 5. The story of Chanel No. 5 started quite tragically. Not many people can imagine Chanel, as one of the richest and most influential women of the 20th century, from a very humble and unpopular background. She is an orphan, she came to this world through many obstacles. We know her name is Coco, but perhaps few people know that she got this nickname when she was a showgirl. Her signature is the famous Offenbach tunes "Qui qu'a vu Coco" and "Ko Ko Ri Ko". As a public display of male entertainment, she belongs to a half-world social outcast, which makes her an unrespected woman-she wants to fight with. As a women's clothing designer, she will become the main force that liberates women from old fashion. Her iconic perfume Chanel No. 5 is a revolutionary perfume in many ways. Coco Chanel (Coco Chanel) broke into the perfume world with a wonderful opportunity and became one of the first women's designers to launch their own perfume. Whether she is aware of it or not, the 1920s and 1930s are still known as the golden age of modern perfumes. This perfume with Chanel's lucky number is the artistic creation of "nose" Ernest Beaux. He uses aldehyde, which is a powerful but unstable synthetic substance and is brand new in the perfume world. . 3.1 GLAMOURGlamour is an interesting concept; seductive and elusive. It is a floating signifier: when we talk about charm, what we are referring to is not stable but constantly changing, depending on our frame of reference. The idea of ​​what constitutes charm has changed over time, but there is still a clear continuity. Therefore, it is impossible to reduce it to a simple formula. In recent years, scholars from various fields have become more and more interested in this concept-the charm does not just appear on the glossy magazine covers. Before starting to study Chanel No. 5, I will lead the reader through the 20th century and outline the trajectory of charm and its different elements, as the film and television scholar Stephen Gundel said; Carol Dayhouse-Social History Historian; Joseph Rosa-design historian; and Valerie Steele-fashion historian. This chapter is based on different themes, which I think are the cornerstones of charm theory. 3.1.1 The origin of charm Gundle shows that charm as understood today appeared in a very specific historical period. According to him, Paris in the Belle Époque of the early twentieth century was "the center of a new civilization based on money and consumerism." (1999: 271) In the late 19th century, the aristocracy had been declining, and the industrial and financial revolutions made new elites who were eager and able to purchase and gain social prestige stand out. In this new type of society, appearance and appearance are the core, because mass entertainment culture and consumerism have taken shape. The upper class has become the visible elite, but the charm of luxury and wealth can only continue to the extent that it is considered that everyone can obtain it through drama. People are eager to be seen, paid attention to and talked about more than ever. Gundle (2000: 12) believes that charm is closely related to the expansion of propaganda and media. As the mass media develops and provides opportunities to display, represent, and create characters, events, and products, attractive images have become more and more important. The invention of the International Photo Agency presents the personality image of the tangible elite to readers for consumption, and promotes the image of the elite lifestyle to the aspiring rich or new rich through luxury magazines such as "Vogue" and "Vanity Fair", and cultivates the image of the rich And the curiosity of celebrity life (Gundle 1999:274). These publications spread a certain idea about fashion because their photographers and graphic artists provide ideal images of high life. Read Less