CHANEL N°5, better known as every fashionable woman’s favorite accessory, is formulated from a rich history of family and tradition. After wearing CHANEL N°5 for years, I loved recently learning about the new generation of this fragrance called, CHANEL N°5 L’EAU and the entire journey of a single flower and how it contributes to the end result. Here’s what you need to know about the fragrance that has been the ultimate beauty staple for decades:
Where the Flowers Grow
The story starts in Grasse, a town in the French Riviera, where CHANEL has sourced its flowers for close to a century, which has ensured perfect control over the process from flower to fragrance. For an even more streamlined process, in 1988, a plant was built right in the middle of the fields, where the fresh flowers are processed as soon as they are harvested.
How they Harvest
Early mornings in May are met with an expediency, as a race against time to harvest the roses commences. L’EAU still contains No. 5’s main flower — May rose. The harvesters work in pairs, filling their apron pouches with the newly blossomed flowers. 1kg of roses represents 350 flowers. Each gatherer picks 5kg of flowers per hour, and over 50,000 rosebushes are picked in a matter of three weeks. Once picked, the roses are carefully gathered into burlap bags, keeping the petals, intact.
“The May Rose starts to open in the evening and develops sweet, honeyed and spicy scents.” Olivier Polge, Perfume Creator for CHANEL
What Happens to the Flowers
Once the flowers have been weighed, they are poured into five stacked perforated trays. Then, the flowers are given three consecutive baths in solvent, gently stirred and then brought to a high temperature. The solvent absorbs the odorous components, giving a concrete form to the fragrance. Each extraction contains 250kg of flowers, which takes one person 50 hours to pick!
The Final Steps
At the request of the perfumer, the concrete (the wax obtained after floral extraction using these solvents) is transformed into an absolute, a liquid used in the formulas of the CHANEL N°5, including the L’EAU extracts. To give you an idea, 1kg of concrete yields 600g of rose absolute. Whew, that’s a lot of roses for one bottle of perfume!
The new CHANEL N°5 L’EAU is sensual, timeless, vibrant and fresh. This fragrance is the perfect modern reinvention of the classic, CHANEL N°5. Have you tried this fragrance yet? Let me know in the comments section below!
This post was in collaboration with CHANEL.