Warm morning sun through a bedroom window. The scent of a thousand jasmine flowers and a bouquet of may roses. Fresh crisp cotton sheets draped around bare arms, legs, and toes.
Reading “The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most famous Perfume” by Tilar J. Mazzeo inspired me to represent the intimate relationship we have with our favorite, personal scent of choice in a boudoir photo session. To direct the imagination to experience the fragrance, I kept the styling simple and restrained: no accessories, no props, no lingerie or clothes. Only crisp, white sheets carefully draped, the choice of her special scent, here classic Chanel No.5, and an artful flower design by Dandelion Ranch reflecting the rose and jasmine notes of the perfume, convey the special meaning and bond of a lady to her favorite and chosen scent.
Chanel No. 5 is truly iconic, beautiful, and supremely well suited for this and as inspiration as it conjures up personal memories as well as has a lasting historic and cultural significance. In her book, Mazzeo writes, “There was one souvenir of the city [Paris] they all wanted. An average G.I. only had to enter a perfumery and hold up five fingers, to buy Chanel’s classic.”
Chanel No. 5 has witnessed many a momentous days and scandalous nights worn by hundreds of thousands of women. It is said that “Young women wear it to feel rich and sophisticated. Rich and sophisticated women wear it to feel sexy. Sexy women know precisely why Marilyn Monroe made it her signature scent. Or perhaps they wear it for some other almost certainly personal [reason].”
What is it that can make a scent feel right, fitting, and personal to so many very different women throughout time? Je ne sais quoi.