“We are privileged to be here for this centenary and we wanted to find an idea worthy of N°5,” starts Thomas Du Pré De Saint Maur, Chanel’s head of global creative resources fragrance and beauty. “Should we celebrate the history and rich heritage of this icon or the eternal youthfulness of the N°5 spirit? It is, of course, the second approach that we chose to explore.” Following a number of events marking the centennial of the world’s most famous perfume, ranging from the creation of a spectacular diamond high jewelry necklace to a virtual reality experience with Chanel herself, opening to the public today is the Chanel Factory 5. The two-week-long pop-up in the heart of Paris and other cities around the world presents a monochromatic space punctuated with Mondrian-inspired primary colors. To shop are a 17 everyday objects—a tube of paint, a tea tin, a sugar bag, a water bottle—all reinvented to carry iterations of Chanel N°5.
“Not only extremely rare, sparingly used things have value. The things we use the most, if they provide a luxurious experience, are also valuable,” states Du Pré De Saint Maur. “N°5 subverts everyday objects and demonstrates once again that luxury is also in the experience that we have of things. By giving these objects the N°5 identity, they become luxurious, iconic products, while keeping their own designs. By reusing these everyday objects, N°5 has subverted their functions, demonstrating once again that luxury is in the experience we have of things,” he says.
One recalls the Chanel Fall 2014 RTW show when the Paris Grand Palais was stocked with aisles of everyday grocery products. Following the show, guests ran to the aisles, grabbing what they could before dashing to the exit, which was positioned as a checkout, and where each person had to empty the contents of their bags. If it was a momentous moment underscoring the pull of the maison Chanel, for the editors in attendance, one could only chuckle afterwards at the sheer ravenous desire to own a dish soap labeled Chanel. Now, for the occasion of 100 Years of Celebrity, the tagline bestowed to celebrate 100 years since perfumer Ernest Beaux presented Gabrielle Chanel with an “artificial perfume” that carried the “scent of a woman,” the joy can be relived once again. Importantly, the desire can be satisfied, as one can stock their shelves to the top with everyday objects beholding the most iconic perfume ever made, Chanel N°5. Chanel Factory 5 pop-ups and on Chanel.com for a limited time