Created by Gabrielle Chanel in 1921, the house’s N°5 perfume is as iconic as it gets. The first of its kind launched by a seamstress, the timeless fragrance continues to grace women’s bodies globally a century after its inception. That’s why, in honour of N°5’s 100 year anniversary, the brand is paying homage to it through its latest, most robust high jewellery collection—123 pieces crafted over two years of research and work—recently unveiled at Place Vendôme in Paris. Like the perfume, Collection N°5 jewellery is designed to tickle all the senses.
Collection N°5: Perfume and High Jewellery in Harmony
It’s quite breathtaking to learn how strong Collection N°5 links perfume and fine jewellery; not only are pieces intended to encapsulate the poetry, intimacy and distinct femininity that the fragrance encapsulates, but are also designed to exhibit a robust selection of its more literal components.
Some pieces evoke the geometry of Place Vendôme or the instantly recognizable lines of Chanel N° 5 bottle; N°5‘s bottle stopper shape is reworked in multiple ways in diamond and in rock crystal housing diamond stones, and its logo is subtly incorporated into styles.
Also, N°5‘s three most prevalent flowers (may rose, jasmine of Grasse and ylang- ylang) are referenced throughout the jewels. A particular brooch featuring delicate colored stones realistically embodies the may rose’s fragility.
Of course, the sillage (perfume trail) is anything but forgotten. One necklace’s precious stones recall drops of perfume, while the collection-at-large’s presentation of yellow sapphires, yellow diamonds, pink sapphires, spinels, morganites, beryls and more creates a visual feast on par with the memorable olfactory rush of catching a waft of N°5.
A Welding of Tradition & Modernity
Collection N°5 is decidedly intended for modern styling, but, in true Chanel tradition, remains an extension of the house’s rich heritage. Gabrielle Chanel’s deep love of diamonds is acknowledged by Collection N°5’s mix of diamond cuts, which includes brilliant, princess, wand and pear, along with jewels in the shape of the star, moon and sun (a tribute to her 1932 platinum and diamond collection). The cultured pearl with its feminine whiteness, believed by Gabrielle to be the height of chic, is also widely used in this collection alongside geometric shapes that evoke Chanel’s founder’s avant-garde and modern spirit.
Versatility is also a key component of Collection N°5: earrings may be worn asymmetrically and one necklace that quite literally drips in diamonds may be worn in five different ways.
The “Masterpieces” of the Chanel Collection N°5
With an exquisite center diamond weighing 55.55 carats, the collection’s spotlight piece—the same aforementioned necklace which can be worn five ways—features a rendering of N°5‘s bottle cap in the foreground. Don’t get too excited though: it’s not for sale and it will become part of the house’s heritage trove.