It's not just Monroe, the scent has been associated with women, from Catherine Deneuve to Nicole Kidman. It has even caught one or two gentlemen; it is said that Marlon Brando was a fan and Andy Warhol immortalized it in screen printing in 1985. Coco Chanel was on vacation in the south of France with her renowned lover, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich; cousin of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II, Pavlovich also knew Ernest Beaux, born in Moscow, the former perfume of the Martian tsars. Many of the most precious elements are grown in-house by Chanel in Grasse, the historic French capital of perfume. In 1921, Parisian fashion designer Gabrielle Coco Chanel asked Russian perfumer Ernest Beaux to create something that smelled like a woman, not a parterre.
A very complex blend of aldehydes and flowers including rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lily of the valley and iris on a warm, woody base of vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, amber and patchouli, this perfume satisfies Chanel's request that the No. Perfumer Ernest Beaux, while developing samples for Chanel's approval, created and used for the first time a synthetic component called aldehydes. At a time when perfumes captured the essence of a single flower, Gabrielle Chanel wanted to design something as complex as one of her dresses. In the early spring of 1921, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel approached perfumer Ernest Beaux, the house's first sense of smell, with her vision.
This modern version of the perfume differed markedly from the intense violet and rose scents that dominated fragrance trends in the early 20th century and, in 100 years, Chanel No.