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Some History and Background on Chanel

Born in 1883 and orphaned at a young age, Chanel was raised by her aunts in the province of Auvergne. Her nickname was “Coco” or “little pet.” Taught to sew by the aunts who raised her, she became a hat designer in 1908, opened two boutiques in 1914, and continued to design smart yet simple fashions in contrast to the frilly and ornate fashions of the day. Some say the shortage of fabrics in France through the two World Wars influenced her style. She is quoted as saying she only designed things she wanted to wear. 

She became associated with some of the most creative and visionary artists of her time; including Diaghilev, Picasso, Stravinsky and Cocteau. Like these artists, she was determined to break the mold and invent ways of expressing herself through the fashions she created. Cocteau once said of her "she has, by a kind of miracle, worked in fashion according to rules that would seem to have value only for painters, musicians, poets."

Chanel created such practical clothing as the tricot sailor dress, and turtleneck and pullover sweaters. Considered a bold move for her time, she introduced pants for women. 

The single element that most insured Chanel's fame was her most famous fragrance- --Chanel No. 5, in its 1923 Art Deco bottle. It was the first perfume to bear a designer's name. 

One could say perfume helped keep Chanel's pretty reputation throughout World War II. She responded to the war by shutting down her fashion business and hooking up with Hans Gunther von Dincklage, a Nazi officer whose favors included permission to reside in her beloved Ritz Hotel. Years later in the 1950’s, she had trouble making a comeback because her name still had "disgraced" attached to it. 

Her Chanel suit met phenomenal success. Karl Lagerfeld who designs Chanel today and who has turned the company into an even bigger, more profitable business than it was before, points out, "By the '50s she had the benefit of distance, and so could truly distill the Chanel look. Time and culture had caught up with her." In Europe, her return to fashion was deemed an utter flop at first, but Americans couldn't buy her suits fast enough. Her designs provided fashions for the famous women of her time including Jackie Kennedy. Her creations included one of history’s most famous fragrances, Chanel No.5 Perfume.

And Coco Chanel’s creations are available right here at They include:

Allure for Men was created by Chanel in 1998. Allure Aftershave by Chanel is a daytime fragrance blending citrus, spices, wood, bergamot, sandalwood, amber, cedar, and jasmine

Allure for Women was created by Chanel in 1996 and is recommended for daytime wear. Allure by Chanel is an oriental floral fragrance possessing the aroma of sweet spices, orange flowers, and notes of fresh citrus, melons, peaches and plums.

Chanel #19 for Women was created by Chanel in 1970. Chanel #19 Perfumed Soap by Chanel is a deep evening fragrance blending notes of bergamot, neroli, tuberose, vetiver, leather, and musk. 

Chanel #5 for Women was created by Chanel in 1921. Chanel #5 Perfumed Body Lotion by Chanel is a refined, soft, floral scent. 

Chanel #5 by Chanel Perfume. Chanel #5 for Women was created by Chanel in 1921. Chanel #5 Perfume by Chanel is a refined, soft, floral scent. Chanel #5 by Chanel.

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