Ever since Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel released her No 5 perfume a hundred years ago, women (and men) have clamoured to wear the iconic scent.
No other fragrance in the world has maintained its desirability for as long as the No 5 has. To honour its unparalleled, century-long legacy, the house of Chanel has decided to immortalise its signature scent in a high jewellery collection called “Collection N°5”.
Designed by Patrice Leguéreau, director of Chanel’s Fine Jewellery Creation Studio, the collection is the first of its kind to be dedicated solely to a perfume. It comprises 123 jewellery pieces in all, each one inspired by the many different facets of the No 5. The pièce de résistance is the 55.55 necklace, an exquisite creation in diamonds and white gold that faithfully captures all the beloved features of the No 5.
At the heart of the necklace is an enormous, emerald-cut diamond, painstakingly cut to weigh 55.55 carats. The gemstone, which is of the highest grade in both colour and clarity, is set in an 18-carat white gold bezel, forming the necklace’s magnificent pendant. And that itself is framed by the remarkable silhouette of the Chanel No 5 perfume bottle, which ends in a cascade of pear-shaped diamonds.
The rest of the high jewellery necklace is equally mesmerising, with even more aspects of the perfume to be found. Just above the pendant, you’ll spot the perfume’s stopper, recreated in white gold and diamonds. The whole thing is clasped together with a fastener shaped like the number five — Coco’s lucky number — which is likewise embellished in diamonds.
In all, the piece boasts 104 round diamonds and 42 baguette diamonds, on top of the 55.55-carat stunner. The diamonds share another significance, too; they nod to Coco Chanel’s 1932 “Bijoux de Diamants” collection, which revolutionised the world of French high jewellery with its use of platinum and diamonds. In many ways, the necklace is a tribute to its founder’s most important creations.
If you’re dying for a chance to wear it, though, tough luck. The Maison has decided to keep the high jewellery treasure in its archive, the Patrimoine de Chanel, in Paris. That way, it will always remain a part of Chanel’s legacy, cementing the bond between the No 5 perfume and the hallowed Place Vendôme, where the luxury brand’s jewellery atelier stands.
Just like diamonds are forever, Chanel No 5 may just be the only fragrance to last long after its scent wears off.
Header photo credit: Chanel High Jewellery
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