The scent of Paris
Here's an interesting story about Paris, Coco Chanel and an iconic perfume bottle. Look closely at the picture of the French capital above, which has been altered slightly for artistic effect. The orange square is Place Vendome. It's also a bottle of Chanel No 5. Coincidence? Apparently not.
The photoshopped pictures certainly look convincing, but we've heard another story – that it's the bottle stopper that mimics the shape of the square, rather than the bottle itself.
Here are some pictures of the bottle design, showing its evolution through the years. The first two are from 1921, which suggest her original inspiration might not have been the Parisian square. In the third, which is from 1924, the bottle looks slightly octagonal, but the stopper is more so. The fourth, from 1950, is closer to today's shape, but still not quite the same shape as Place Vendome.
I was intrigued enough to contact the Chanel consumer relations department, who sent me this response: 'Chanel's legendary founder Gabrielle Coco Chanel was inspired by the Place Vendome and incorporated its design into the stopper of the N5 fragrance.' A fascinating piece of fashion history. RM