Chanel is a name that alone is enough to make dreams come true in many countries around the world. It is one of the most famous brands in our French heritage. Also, if it has distinguished itself in many areas, perfumery is undoubtedly one of those that has earned it its letters of nobility.
Among Chanel’s greatest successes, the iconic N ° 5 is a true legend. However, it is to the perfumer Ernest Beaux that the latter owes its existence.
The beginnings of Ernest Beaux
Ernest Beaux was born in 1881 in Moscow. However, he is indeed from a French family. Moreover, his older brother ran the Rallet company, considered at the time to be one of the two largest Russian perfumeries of French origin. Following in his brother’s footsteps, Ernest Beaux joined this company in 1898 as a soap making laboratory technician. Then he decided to come to France to learn perfumery. Once his diploma in hand, it was not long in making himself known and his talent was quickly noticed. It was then in 1912 Ernest Beaux met his first success. It was a Cologne called Bouquet de Napoleon, quickly followed by its female counterpart, Bouquet de Catherine. However, he was then forced to put his career on hold to join, the following year, the French army during the First World War. Once the war was over, Ernest Beaux picked up exactly where he left off, settling in Paris for good and attempting countless experiments.
Ernest Beaux, an avant-garde chemist
Before becoming a perfumer, Ernest Beaux was particularly passionate about chemistry. Thus, he composed many perfumes based on synthetic essences. Moreover, he even confided to create more often based on chemical formulas rather than thanks to his nose. Like a composer who develops his works on a score before playing them, Ernest Beaux wrote his fragrant formulas before smelling them. However, this unconventional method did not prevent it from being the source of immense success. It was in 1920 that he joined the house of Chanel. Without knowing it, he would then develop what would become one of the greatest successes in the history of perfumery. We owe him the iconic Chanel N ° 5. What’s more, given the craze for this fragrance, Chanel again called on her talent to create many other essences. Such was the case with N ° 22 in 1922, Cuir de Russie in 1924, Gardenia in 1925, Bois des îles in 1926… And this until Mademoiselle Chanel N ° 1 in 1946.
Much more than a simple perfumer, Ernest Beaux is a true monument of our perfumery. He was able to make history thanks to his famous “woman’s perfume with a woman’s scent”. At the same time, he has also worked with other large companies in the perfume sector such as Bourgeois. On the strength of these experiments, he paved the way for many modern creations, always exploring a little more the possibilities offered by synthetic scents.
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