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The goal of this website is to show the present owners of the Chanel company how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back the perfume!

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mademoiselle Chanel No. 1 c1945

Mademoiselle Chanel No. 1: created in 1945. Created by an unknown perfumer.

Unhappy with the quality of the perfumes that the Wertheimers were selling in her name through their newly minted Chanel, Inc. company in the USA, in 1945, Gabrielle took matters into her own hands.

After finding a small perfumer in Switzerland to produce her new perfumes using the last of her raw materials, she started a new perfume line on her own and began making a line of competitive perfumes, based on the originals. She named them "Mademoiselle Chanel No.5", , “Mademoiselle Chanel 31 rue Cambon”. The perfumer also made new versions of Ernest Beaux’s creations and renamed them “Mademoiselle Chanel Bois des Iles” and “Mademoiselle Chanel Cuir de Russie.”

Gabrielle Chanel gave lawyer, Rene de Chambrun several tiny bottles to give to his wife. She then asked if it were possible that she could make these up from her own home, and Chambrun declared that she could, provided that she could only give them as “gifts”. Chambrun’s wife enjoyed the perfume and a Russian “nose” also agreed and they both deemed the perfume “exquisite”. A Swiss perfumer was instructed by Gabrielle to make up a hundred bottles of her various perfumes.

To get around the trademark for the bottle design, she used cylindrical bottles with sloping shoulder and topped with disk shaped, ground glass stoppers adorned with a red circular label bearing a large C for Chanel. These same bottles (sans Chanel labels) were also used by D’Orsay for several of their perfumes. To decorate the bottles Gabrielle used a eye catching red label with white lettering, in a simplistic font, true to her style of minimalism.

She then started selling the perfumes in her boutique. Chambrun mistakenly believed that she was permitted to do so in her contract with the Wertheimers. The Wertheimers disagreed and claimed she was counterfeiting their product of which they owned the trademark names. In 1946, a lawsuit between her and the Wertheimers ensued. They came to her boutique and seized all of her bottles labeled "Mademoiselle Chanel No. 5". A new settlement was reached and, she was allowed to sell perfumes under the name "Mademoiselle Chanel" but was not allowed to use the number 5 in conjunction with any of her perfumes.

Keeping her promise to Chambrun and Maitre Chresteil, president of the French Bar Association, she prefixed each perfume with “Mademoiselle Chanel” and sent them as gifts to her friends, Hollywood’s own Samuel Goldwyn and owners of the two most prolific department stores in New York Neiman Marcus and Bernard Gimbel.

She ceased the production of these perfumes in 1947. Who was the Swiss perfumer? No one knows. Gabrielle never revealed his name publicly.

So what did it smell like? In Chanel's own words, she claimed it was "the scent of Chanel No. 5, but even better."

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