To celebrate the 100th birthday of CHANEL’s iconic N° 5 fragrance, the brand created the Factory 5 Collection, a [super] limited edition group of 17 products, all housed in unexpected packaging. With a wink towards Andy Warhol’s famous “factory” and his artful immortalization of everyday objects (his Campbell’s Soup Can art instantly comes to mind), CHANEL adapted that concept with this collection, showing that N° 5 can transform even the ordinary.
A very small group of pop up installations have been selected to display the entire collection in an immersive way, basically bringing you “in” to the factory
My “pop art” creation, in homage to both Andy Warhol & N° 5
When the package with the Factory 5 pieces arrived, it inspired me to round up other 5’s I own, and made me realize a few things. To be perfectly honest, there was really 1 piece from this collection that I was keen on (the Body Oil that came in a can format), but unfortunately this was the only item not available online and from what I’m given to understand, it was also the first to sell out in store. For anyone who’s collected/puchased CHANEL for any length of time, you’ll have noticed that there was also a bit of price hike with these pieces (in comparison to the pricing for the same items that are already part of the regular lineup), and while I’m not thrilled about that increase, I also understand — even if I can’t justify it, that it’s because of the coveted packaging. So while anyone new to N° 5 has an opportunity to try the range in this unique format, in reality I feel this collection may be targeted more towards “collectors” and that’s fine too … we all need a hobby, am I right?
CHANEL N° 5 EAU DE PARFUM (CAN $190.00/100 ml) | First created in 1921 by Ernest Beaux at Gabrielle Chanel’s request, N° 5 not only sparked a new & unprecedented direction in fragrance by using synthetics (aldehydes), but has since been immortalized in both art (Andy Warhol’s numerous N° 5 paintings) and with celebrities alike; who hasn’t seen an image of Marilyn Monroe holding a bottle and/or being famously quoted as saying that N° 5 is all she sleeps in? What you may not know, is that the name came about because Gabrielle Chanel selected the 5th sample of the fragrance as the final cut, and she took things a step further by selecting the lab sample the bottle came in for the finished look, thus turning this everyday object into the iconic squared off bottle with matching stopper that’s gone on to become a true icon. Composition:
- Top notes: Aldehydes, Ylang-Ylng, Neroli, Bergamot, Lemon
- Heart notes: Iris, Jasmine, Rose, Orris Root, Lily-of-the-Valley
- Base notes: Civet, Amber, Sandalwood, Musk, Moss, Vetiver, Vanilla, Patchouli
From the time I was a little girl and first laid eyes on the cult-classic N° 5 bottle, I wanted to make it my signature scent, but up until recently, that wasn’t meant to be; something about the aldehydes in the formula just didn’t mesh well with my body’s chemistry. When CHANEL N° 5 L’Eau was released in 2016 (reviewed here), I was thrilled because here was a version I could finally wear — and still do … but I never lost sight of one day making the original work on me, and it seems like maybe that time has finally come. Of course wearing N° 5 is still rather tentative for me, and I definitely need to play with it a bit more to make sure, but even if it finally turns out that I can’t wear it, I will forever continue to display this iconic perfume on my vanity.
Tried my hand at creating a photographic “artsy” N° 5 montage, and I’m loving the result!
CHANEL N° 5 THE SHOWER GEL (CAN $63.00/5 x 20 ml ) | As someone who definitely prefers showers over a taking a bath (more out of convenience than any other reason), this box of shower gels sits right in my wheelhouse. Originally created to accentuate the “floral bouquet trail of N° 5“, that instantly recognizable signature is definitely present (I’m using a bottle of Shower Gel I have to confirm this as I haven’t cracked open any of these tubes), although the actual fragrance was created to come across as softer upon the skin. I actually love the retro-ish squeeze tube format shown and figure that these will also be great to travel with. That said, will I actually want to use or hoard them? The collector in me says “hoard” but my logical brain is saying “use them before they go rancid”. Time will tell which side wins.
CHANEL N° 5 L’EAU THE MYSTERY BOX (CAN $90.00) | When I was a girl, I vividly recall saving my allowance to spend it at the local variety store, and it would either be for a bag of candy (which cost a nickel, believe it or not) or more often I splurged on a “mystery” bag, a concept that inspired this “cone” (which shape it clearly has, not a box so I don’t get that part) and really brought that memory home to me. Inside are 4 items:
- a white nail file in a black felt sleeve
- a towel that unfolds upon contact with water (pretty cool)
- a black & white pouch
- a full sized N°5 L’Eau On Hand Cream (reviewed here)
Let’s be honest; the On Hand Cream is what saves this “mystery box” and to that end, I have to say that CHANEL’s hand creams are amazing and amongst my absolute faves. That said, if you were to buy just the hand cream, it would set you back CAN $70.00 (yeah, it’s not cheap — but worth every penny) so are the other add-ons worth the extra $20.00? My answer would have to be yes, because the nail file is a great size to keep in your makeup bag and how cool + cute, is that towel? And while I’m torn about opening it up (because once opened, forget about re-folding it into a little square again), it’s still a unique CHANEL keepsake.
Trust CHANEL to do the unexpected; you’d think that a 100th celebration of such an iconic product would be swathed in oodles of luxury, but what the brand did instead was actually rather genius; it payed homage to Gabrielle Chanel’s vision of taking something ordinary and giving it an offbeat twist, of “reinventing in order to preserve“. In providing the products a more common dressing, this serves to make N° 5 relevant to today’s time, while also displaying a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour. Even the whole “factory” theme is reminiscent of Andy Warhol and the influence N° 5 had on his art. The biggest downside, is that the very limited nature of these pieces, also means that tracking them down now might require some detective work … but if you’re a collector, then let the quest begin!
Available online and select pop up locations
Kindly provided by CHANEL for my unbiased consideration