High jewellery inspired by Chanel No. 5

Fashion house's new range celebrates the perfume's 100th anniversary

Commemorating a hundred years of its most famous fragrance (above) this year, the House of Chanel has designed a 123-piece high jewellery collection to be unveiled today.
Commemorating a hundred years of its most famous fragrance (above) this year, the House of Chanel has designed a 123-piece high jewellery collection to be unveiled today.PHOTO: CHANEL
THE STOPPER: Highly geometric in design, one of the pieces, called the Crystal Stopper necklace.
THE STOPPER: Highly geometric in design, one of the pieces, called the Crystal Stopper necklace.PHOTO: CHANEL
THE BOTTLE: The No. 5 Signature Bottle brooch made with white gold, diamonds and yellow sapphires for Collection No. 5.
THE BOTTLE: The No. 5 Signature Bottle brooch made with white gold, diamonds and yellow sapphires for Collection No. 5.PHOTO: CHANEL
THE FLOWER: The Grasse Jasmine watch (above) can be worn as a bracelet or a sautoir.
THE FLOWER: The Grasse Jasmine watch (above) can be worn as a bracelet or a sautoir.PHOTO: CHANEL
THE SILLAGE: Sporting a radiating design with cascading gems of amber and gold tones is the Golden Burst necklace, comprising 54 imperial topazes set in yellow gold and platinum.
THE SILLAGE: Sporting a radiating design with cascading gems of amber and gold tones is the Golden Burst necklace, comprising 54 imperial topazes set in yellow gold and platinum.PHOTO: CHANEL
THE NUMERAL: A 10.03-carat diamond is the highlight of the $8.9 million Eternal No. 5 necklace (above).
THE NUMERAL: A 10.03-carat diamond is the highlight of the $8.9 million Eternal No. 5 necklace (above). PHOTOS: CHANEL

Commemorating a hundred years of its most famous fragrance this year, the House of Chanel has designed a 123-piece high jewellery collection to be unveiled today.

Called Collection No. 5, the range comprises 37 rings, 27 necklaces (including a 55.55-carat diamond necklace), 26 pairs of earrings, 19 bracelets, 10 brooches, three jewellery watches and a single object.

In 1921, founder Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel and perfumer Ernest Beaux created the Chanel No. 5 scent from more than 80 ingredients, breaking the mould of the more popular soliflore perfume of the time, derived from a single flower.

Its characteristic bouquet blends florals like ylang ylang, May rose and jasmine from Grasse, a town on the French Riviera, with warm and woody base notes of vanilla, vetiver and sandalwood.

The late Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe, singer Celine Dion and French actress Marion Cotillard are among the perfume's many famous fans.

Mr Patrice Leguereau, director of Chanel Fine Jewellery Creation Studio, says: "I wanted to rediscover that creative gesture with this collection, which has been conceived like a journey through the meanderings of the No. 5 perfume's soul, from the architecture of the bottle to the olfactive explosion of the fragrance."

Taking inspiration from the five major facets of the perfume - the stopper, bottle, flower, sillage and numeral five - Collection No. 5 interprets the essence of the scent with a multitude of scintillating precious stones.

•Collection No. 5 will be unveiled in phases from this month, following Chanel's plans to pay homage to the iconic fragrance throughout the year.


1. THE STOPPER

A selection of jewellery with emerald-cut gems is used to represent its octagonal shape. Its profile also resembles a bird's-eye view of Paris' Place Vendome - a tribute to the location of the maison's flagship store.

Highly geometric in design, one of the pieces, called the Crystal Stopper necklace, is crafted with white gold and decked with diamonds and rock crystals to echo the glass stopper's translucency.

2. THE BOTTLE

The minimalist square-cut glass flacon, immortalised in pop art by American artist Andy Warhol in the 1980s, is quintessentially Chanel No. 5.

Its delicate baudruche seal secured with a drop of wax bearing Chanel's insignia has also endured through the ages.

The pieces emulating this hallmark design include two white gold brooches embellished with yellow sapphires and diamonds.

Round diamonds mirror the seal and the gems that spill over the brooches' flask-like silhouettes reflect the droplets of the No. 5 perfume.

3. THE FLOWER

The New Yorker reported in 2018 that a 30ml bottle of Chanel No. 5 is made of 1,000 Grasse jasmine flowers and 12 May roses.

The jasmine flowers that make Chanel No. 5 dot a selection of earrings, rings, necklaces and a jewellery watch made with a strand of pearls. The Grasse Jasmine watch can be worn as a bracelet or a sautoir.

4. THE SILLAGE

The sillage - perhaps the most abstract component of them all - is said to wear differently from person to person, evoking florals on one to bright citrus scents on another.

It is embodied in the collection as a vibrant assortment of rubies, garnets and spinels. The gems' sunset hues reflect the golden amber colour of the perfume while the pieces' composition fan out in what is imagined as olfactory bursts.

Sporting a radiating design with cascading gems of amber and gold tones is the Golden Burst necklace, comprising 54 imperial topazes set in yellow gold and platinum. Its supple form drapes over the neckline to epitomise the sensuality of the fragrance.

5. THE NUMERAL

And finally, the numeral five that Chanel deems its lucky number is expressed in pieces with emerald-cut stones and pendants designed as the number itself.

A 10.03-carat diamond is the highlight of the $8.9 million Eternal No. 5 necklace. It can be worn in five ways - from choker to brooch - emphasising the significance of the numeral.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2021, with the headline 'High jewellery inspired by Chanel No. 5'. Subscribe