Chanel No. 5 – level 3
Workers in Pegomas, France, are harvesting jasmine flowers, the key ingredient in Chanel’s iconic No. 5 perfume that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
France’s Grasse region became a flower and fragrance hub in the 17th century. Chanel struck a deal with a local farming family in the 1980s to keep its flower production in the region.
At that time, some local farmers had sold their land, and jasmine production moved to other countries. Olivier Polge, the head perfumer of Chanel, said that the company had to work hard to get enough of the ingredient at the same time it was under threat due to real estate pressure and the evolution of society in general. When Chanel joined with the local farming family the Muls, the quantity and continuation of quality of the jasmine flower continued.
Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume launched by French couturier Gabrielle ’Coco’ Chanel in 1921, and the scent formula for the fragrance was created by French-Russian chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux.
Difficult words: hub (the center of an activity), couturier (a fashion designer), scent formula (all the ingredients that blend together to form a fragrance).
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