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When Coco Chanel came up with the womens perfume Chanel No 5, little could she have realized that this small bottle of fragrant liquid gold would seal her position in fashions hall of fame. From rags to the Ritz Born in 1883 in Saumur, a small French village, Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel was orphaned at six years of age and spent her formative years either in an orphanage or in the care of relatives, who taught her to sew. In 1910 she opened a women's hat shop in Paris and from there moved into designing clothes .Her revolutionary concept for the time, was that a women should be able to feel comfortable in luxury and it was through the simplicity of her designs that this was achieved. For over 30 years she lived at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. It was in 1923 when she created the world's most famous fragrance, Chanel No. 5. with its Art Deco bottle. Legend has it that the name came from the multiple perfume samples that were mixed for her to choose from, each sample was labeled No.1, No.2, and so on and the perfume sample she chose was No.5, and the name stuck. It was the first perfume to bear a designers name. Initially the perfume was slow to take off. It wasn't until over 30 years later that Chanel received an endorsement for her perfume that didn't cost a cent but sales soared. Marilyn Monroe responded to the question as to what she wore in bed with the seductive answer : 'Just a couple of drops of Chanel No.5'. Coco Chanel kept working, designing clothes for the rich and famous women of the 50' and 60's - Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Anne Baxter. Finally, in 1971, Coco Chanel passed away in her apartment in Paris and is buried in Lausanne Switzerland. However, the Chanel legacy lives on and her three most influential creations areas popular today as ever - the classic Chanel suit, the little black dress and, of course, Chanel No.5 perfume.
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