The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume

The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume

by Tilar J Mazzeo

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Overview

“Who knew that such a tiny bottle housed so many secrets?” —Michael Tonello, author of Bringing Home the Birkin

Tilar J. Mazzeo, author of the New York Times bestseller The Widow Clicquot (an Amazon Best of the Month book in October 2008) returns with a captivating history of the world’s most famous, seductive, and popular perfume: Chanel No. 5. Mazzeo’s sweeping story of the iconic scent (known as “le monstre” in the fragrance industry) stretches from Coco Chanel’s early success to the rise of the seminal fragrance during the 1950s to the confirmation of its bestseller status in today’s crowded perfume market.

“Here is the life of one of the 20th century’s most interesting and deeply complicated women, a fascinating cultural history, and the story of an extraordinary perfume.” —Chandler Burr, New York Times scent critic and author of The Perfect Scent

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061791031
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 481,070
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Tilar J. Mazzeo is the author of numerous works of cultural history and biography, including the New York Times bestselling The Widow Clicquot, The Secret of Chanel No. 5, and nearly two dozen other books, articles, essays, and reviews on wine, travel, and the history of luxury. The Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College, she divides her time between coastal Maine, New York City, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

What People are Saying About This

Karen Karbo

“Anyone who’s ever dawdled in front of a perfume counter will love Tilar Mazzeo’s fascinating history of the perfume known simply as No. 5; her rich and witty account is as compelling as the fragrance itself. ”

Michael Tonello

“The true brilliance of The Secret of Chanel No. 5 is Tilar Mazzeo’s ability to take a subject one would never have thought possible to think very deeply about and then cover it so captivatingly. Who knew that such a tiny bottle housed so many secrets?”

Chandler Burr

“Mazzeo has written an account of the rarest of things-an international olfactory icon-that fairly rushes off the pages. Here is the life of one of the 20th century’s most interesting and deeply complicated women, a fascinating cultural history, and the story of an extraordinary perfume.”

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Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Sarjevane More than 1 year ago
Tilar Mazzeo has a rare talent to bring business history to life. She definitely goes through a thorough research for each of her books, and at the same time bring it to life in a novel like writing. This book is great for anyone who think they know about Chanel, luxury business, marketing, or simply love and relationship. You know more about the business, but also the person behind Chanel.
ldgregg More than 1 year ago
Well written historical view of perfume and culture around it. You have to be into fashion and cultural history to really get into this. I decided to read it after seeing a couple of the Chanel movies (if you liked 'Coco and Igor' you may like this, too).
PanchaBuenosAires More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Tilar Mazzeo since I read The Widow Clicquot. She has this magnificent skill of mixing history, business and romance. Once you start a Mazzeo book, it is hard to put it down. She also completes the package by always having great design on her books. Can-t wait till Ritz at War comes out. :))
BettieGirl More than 1 year ago
great read history for non academics.
birdsam0610 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was another of my $5 sale books. I don¿t wear this perfume (I prefer Bvlgari or Estee Lauder) nor am I a particular fan of Chanel cosmetics or fashion. Coco Chanel was an interesting character though and several beauty bloggers have read this book and enjoyed it, so I thought I should try it.The first thing that hit me when I started reading this was the excessive amount of descriptive language ¿ adjectives were dominating every page! I¿m not sure if this improved or I just got used to the style of the narrative. Perhaps it was because I become more and more engrossed in the story ¿ for behind that bottle, there¿s a lot of fighting and heartache. The book describes Chanel¿s early life and why some of the scents in No.5 had powerful memories for the young Coco. It then goes into the development of the perfume (but not too much technicalities) and the business war that ensued over decades as Coco sold her rights to No. 5 very early on. This caused No.5 to take over the market, being available everywhere and anywhere, from pharmacies to army stores. Coco fought very hard to retain control of her perfume post World War II.If you¿re a devotee of Chanel¿s other perfumes, there¿s not very much in this book for you ¿ other perfumes are mentioned but not in great detail. Similarly, there¿s not a lot about her fashion house. It is an interesting story though and will entertain history buffs and beauty fans alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unlike other books about Coco Chanel, this book is directed to the creation of Chanel No 5 and the art of perfumery. It reads like a novel/final paper, complete with numerous footnotes. I found it interesting, but suggest it as a complement/supplement for a reader who already has a knowledge of either Coco Chanel,Grasse or the crafting of perfume.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just wondering about the content here.