The History of Coco Chanel Perfume

The creation and launch of ‘Coco Chanel’ was a historic moment for Chanel. Launched in 1984 it was the first perfume, marketing to women, created by the house since Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel’s death in 1971.

It was also the first perfume to be launched under Karl Lagerfeld who was made creative director of Chanel in 1983.

Created by Jacques Polge, Chanel’s chief perfumer, the scent is an oriental. Polge is quoted as saying that it was inspired by Coco Chanel’s apartment in Rue Cambon in Paris (the road on which Chanel’s flagship store still stands). Polge stated that he was surprised at how baroque Coco’s own apartment was rather than the stripped down minimal aesthetic of Chanel brand and the ‘abstract’ No 5.

Though we should also note that in 1977 Yves Saint Lauren launched Opium one of the worlds most popular perfumes of the time. A product that popularised ‘orientals’ in the late 1970’s and through the 1980’s.

A fashion is also an evolution of writing, today, sixteen years after its creation, Coco has evolved into Coco Mademoiselle. Fresher, more fruity and that we wear more during the day.

« Une mode, c’est aussi une évolution de l’écriture, aujourd’hui, seize ans après sa création, Coco a évolué vers Coco Mademoiselle. Plus frais, plus fruité et qu’on porte davantage le jour. »

Jacques Polge, le nez de Chanel Les echoes


Histoire d’un parfum mythique : Coco Chanel the Fragrance Foundation (in French, English Translation)

CoCo Marie Claire (in French, English translation)

Coco, le parfum emblématique de la maison Chanel Cosmopolitan (in French, English Translation)

Jacques Polge, le nez de Chanel Les Echoes (in French, English Translation)