To mark the 100th anniversary of its Chanel No. 5 perfume, the French luxury house unveiled last week a 55.55-carat, octagonal, D-flawless diamond at the center of a commemorative necklace. The center diamond is framed by 104 round diamonds and 42 baguette diamonds, and when viewed from the side resembles the profile of the perfume bottle’s stopper.

Exactly 100 years ago, a 37-year-old Coco Chanel commissioned renowned Russian perfumer Ernest Beaux to create a special scent that she would gift to the regular clientele of her Paris-based fashion boutique. The perfume proved to be so popular with The House of Chanel’s customers that Coco decided to offer it for sale in 1922. Since then, Chanel No. 5 in its distinctive rectangular bottle has become the world’s bestselling perfume.

The center diamond in the commemorative piece was meticulously cut to weigh exactly 55.55-carats because the number 5 was very special to Coco Chanel.

When Beaux presented her with choices for a signature fragrance, they were numbered 1 through 5 and 20 through 24.

“Number five. Yes,” Chanel reportedly said. “That is what I was waiting for. A perfume like nothing else. A woman’s perfume, with the scent of a woman.”

She added, “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.”

Some believe that Beaux’s winning formula was actually the result of a laboratory mishap. Apparently, Beaux’s assistant mistakenly added to the concoction an unusually high dose of aldehyde (a chemical that mimics a soapy-lemony-floral scent).

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel became the face of the fragrance and was featured in magazine advertisements. The fashion icon passed away in 1971 at the age of 87. In 2020, the brand she created carried a valuation of $13.7 billion.

Credits: Diamond jewelry images by Chanel. Chanel No. 5 bottle image by arz, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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