How Chanel’s most iconic fragrance inspired an extravagant new line of high jewellery


The 123-piece Chanel collection offers a stunning 55.5-carat diamond necklace fashioned after the famous N°5 bottle

“I didn’t want this N°5 High Jewellery collection to be just a tribute,” says Patrice Leguéreau, director of Chanel’s Fine Jewellery Creation Studio, of the Parisian Maison’s first jewels designed with its iconic fragrance in mind. “I conceived it as an immersive experience,” he says, “a journey into what constitutes the very soul and the secrets of the N°5 perfume.” Pioneering fashion titan, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel created the fragrance in 1921 to offer an eau de parfum for the modern woman. It was the first of its kind by a couture house. It has remained a staple for women’s beauty cabinets around the world a century after its debut.

To capture the essence of the scent at its literal roots, Leguéreau toured the fields of flowers and plants in Grasse, home to Chanel’s fragrance headquarters, with the brand’s house perfumer, Olivier Polge. Those olfactory notes, along with key design elements such as the bottle, stopper and numeral, became reference points for the new line of ornate jewels.

The line’s N°5 bottle stopper crafted from emerald-cut diamonds with a matching ratio of Paris’s Place Vendôme

Some of these references in the 123-piece collection are quite direct, such as a 55.5-carat diamond necklace fashioned with the iconic bottle as its centrepiece and a pair of diamond chandelier earrings, one of which drops from a number five. Others offer a more nuanced approach. The Bubbly Stopper bracelet in white and yellow gold, seen here, is set with a 47.06-carat, emerald-cut imperial topaz – a colour that evokes the scent’s amber notes – punctuated with cultured pearls that mimic tiny droplets of liquid.

Chanel’s jewelry has more than a few visual cues with which to play; pearls, quilted bags, double C’s and tweed have all become synonymous with founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s elegant, cultivated style. But coming this year, on the centennial of Chanel No. 5, leaning into the brand’s signature scent for inspiration was, shall we say, right on the nose.


This story was first published on Robb Report USA