Marilyn Monroe, our bombshell of the week, never formally advertised Chanel No5 but she is forever linked with the most iconic of all fragrances thanks to a comment she made in 1954, the year she broke into the bigtime.
In the course of an interview with a Japanese reporter, the young star of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How To Marry a Millionaire was asked: “What do you wear to bed?”.
Her answer – “Just a few drops of Chanel No5” -gave Coco Chanel’s signature perfume, which was launched in 1921, an unexpected publicity boost from which it still benefits today.
The fact that the hottest young Hollywood sex symbol was endorsing the ultra-chic Parisian fragrance, which had only begun to make its name among Stateside after the Second World War when GIs brought bottles home for their wives and girlfriends, meant that Americans could see that as well as being a sophisticated scent, Chanel No5 also had a voluptuous, extremely sensual side to it.
Marilyn was nothing if not a modern woman and we’re sure that if she were alive today, she would have two perfumes on her dressing table ready for bedtime: her beloved Chanel No5 (from £39; for stockists call 020-7493 3836 or visit www.chanel.com) and its baby sister scent Chanel No5 Eau Premiere (from £52), the contemporary twist on the classic No5 formula…
* A 40ml spray of Eau Premiere (£52) launches on February 26.