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Smell like a woman, not a rose’: Chanel No. 5 100 years on, an iconic fragrance born from an orphanage

Gary Mortimer


When Marilyn Monroe was asked, “What do you wear to bed?”, she famously replied, “Just a few drops of No. 5″.

Monroe was perhaps the most famous 'care experienced' fan of the French perfume celebrating its 100th birthday next month. Since it was launched by Coco Chanel on May 5, 1921, Chanel No.5 has endured in popularity. Indeed, in 2019 an estimated 1.92 millon women purchased a bottle in Great Britain alone.

Chanel was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, on August 19, 1883 in Saumur, France. After her mother died, Chanel was sent at the age of 12 to the Abbey of Aubazine Orphanage in Corrèze.

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