When it comes to fragrance, there's one name that almost everyone knows: Chanel No. 5. Since its 1921 debut, No. 5 has been a consistent best-seller — but, as a new exhibition in Paris demonstrates, its impact goes beyond the fragrance counter.
The exhibit, No. 5 Culture Chanel, is a brilliantly curated look at the history and legacy of this perfume. More than just a nostalgic review, the exhibition highlights how No. 5 has reflected culture over the decades. Though curator Jean-Louis Froment is careful to say that he doesn't view fragrance as art in itself, he notes that Coco Chanel was pushing boundaries along with her contemporaries in music, literature, and visual arts — many of whom she counted as friends. (The name Picasso might ring a bell.)
The just-opened exhibition runs at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris through June 5. Get a look at the exhibition here — along with a rare tour of Coco Chanel's apartment. And, don't be surprised if you develop a sudden urge to visit Paris.