Saturday, January 22, 2011

THE SECRET OF CHANEL NO. 5: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY


GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE SECRET OF 
CHANEL NO. 5
THE INTIMATE HISTORY OF THE 
WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS PERFUME
BY TILAR J. MAZZEO

ABOUT THE BOOK: 
The unauthorized biography of the world's most famous, seductive, and successful perfume.
With its rich golden hue, art deco–inspired bottle, and timeless, musky scent, Chanel No. 5 is the world's bestselling perfume. Reverently known among industry insiders as le monstre—the monster—it is arguably the most coveted consumer luxury product of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Yet how did this pioneering celebrity fragrance, introduced in the early 1920s, eventually take on a life of its own, becoming a cultural monument celebrated by millions of devoted consumers?

The Secret of Chanel No. 5 is Tilar J. Mazzeo's far-ranging and fascinating search beyond the stuff of legend to uncover the full story of No. 5's creation, iconic status, and extraordinary success. Mazzeo goes back through time and deep into the life of Coco Chanel, the brilliant, controversial, and steel-willed businesswoman at the heart of the fragrance. She takes readers to the rose plantations and celebrated jasmine fields where the perfume begins and then to the laboratories and boardrooms where scent and sex are forever intertwined. And she travels to the heart of the Chanel empire: 31 Rue Cambon, Coco Chanel's flagship boutique, where six decades ago American GIs stormed the counters to possess the magical elixir that captured the luxury and romance of Paris for their girls back home.

A blend of evocative history and thoughtful research, here is a glittering account of where art and sensuality mingle with dazzling entrepreneurship and desire: Chanel No. 5.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After a fabulous time stomping through the fields of the Champagne, in search of the story behind "the" Widow—the Widow Clicquot, that is—I am now touring the fields of the south of France and visiting the Chanel archives in Paris for a new book on the secret of the world's most famous perfume, Chanel No. 5.

Tilar J. Mazzeo writes on the things she loves best: French culture, luxury goods, wine, food, and the good life. A professor of English at Colby College, she divides her time among the California wine country, coastal Maine, and New York City.

MY REVIEW:
THE SECRET OF CHANEL No. 5: The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume by Tilar Mazzeo is a book I was drawn to for one reason, at first. My mother always had a bottle of Chanel No. 5 on her dresser and I associate its lovely smell with her. I can remember saving my allowance and pooling it with my sister and Dad to buy Mom a new bottle each Christmas. (I am pretty sure my dad paid the majority of the cost as I look back on it now).  Little did I know, however in reading THE SECRET OF CHANEL No. 5, that I would find out far more than just how the perfume came about. I was thrilled to learn about Coco Chanel who has always had a certain air of mystery about her as far as I was concerned.

Mazzeo researched the life of Coco Chanel and Chanel No. 5 in great detail. Did you know that a bottle of Chanel No. 5 is sold every 30 seconds? The author explains how this celebrated perfume created a phenomenal dynasty basically around what amazingly might appear to be just a simple bottle of perfume! Mazzeo tells that going by all that is needed for a successful marketing campaign, this perfume should never have made it. Yet, with the connection to one fascinating Coco Chanel (real name I found out was Gabrielle), this perfume’s success was really not such a surprise. Coco’s fascinating life and her association with Chanel No. 5, took the world of perfume by storm!

If you don’t know much about Ms. Chanel, you will be surprised to find out things like the fact that after her mother died, her father put her into an orphanage. From there, you learn about her first “job” before she went into being a designer. You also will read about her legendary love life and how all this went into being a part of what made Chanel No. 5 what it was, and still is, today. Did you know that it used to be that a certain scent was associated with proper young ladies--scents of violets and roses, while the smell of musk and jasmine was associated with women who were more shall we say sexually experienced and usually were actresses at that time, or even women known as courtesans? In a small bottle of Chanel No. 5 there is the  extract of more than 1000 jasmine flowers and a large bouquet of a dozen roses in it!

This book is filled with facts and information on how the perfume came to be, how it was made, and about Coco Chanel herself. I think it did read a little slowly at times but there were so many interesting facts about the designer and the perfume, that it made it worth reading and being patient with the slower parts. If you don’t know Chanel No. 5, after reading this book, you are sure to at least be curious enough to go to the store and try it out. I wonder how many of you use it, or have Moms who might have like mine did? Enjoy this one…it literally encourages readers to “stop and smell the roses”…and the jasmine!



GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO MARK AND THE
GREAT FOLKS AT HARPER COLLINS,
I HAVE 3 COPIES OF THIS VERY
FASCINATING BOOK TO GIVE
 AWAY TO 3 WINNERS! 
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY:
COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ ABOVE THAT INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST AND MADE YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK.

+1 MORE ENTRY: VISIT HARPER COLLINS' WEBSITE HERE AND READ ABOUT "FUN STUFF" FOR TILAR J. MAZZEO, AND COMMENT ON SOME PART OF IT HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK AND LEAVE A LINK THAT I CAN FOLLOW

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE OTHER CURRENT GIVEAWAY OF MINE THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED. IF YOU HAVE ENTERED MORE THAN ONE OF MY GIVEAWAYS, YOU MAY COMMENT ON NO MORE THAN 5 OF THEM FOR EXTRA ENTRIES AND YOU MUST COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH ONE.


GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, FEBRUARY 12
GOOD LUCK!

103 comments:

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/28779128207450112

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Lisa R/alterlisa said...

I saw a movie, maybe on Lifetime , years ago on her life and wouldn't mind doing a little more in depth reading about her life.

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debbie said...

I had no idea the rich history behind this perfume. I think it would be in interesting story.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered the proper care and maintenace of friendship giveaway.
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Lisa R/alterlisa said...

Saw that her least favorite food was shrimp.

Unbelievable! because I just went to a restaurant buffet where they had shrimp fixed about 30 different ways and I tried about half of them. Yumo!


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debbie said...

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debbie said...

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Lisa R/alterlisa said...

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Lisa R/alterlisa said...

I ENTERED THE INCARCERON and SAPPHIQUE SET GIVEAWAY


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debbie said...

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Lisa R/alterlisa said...

I ENTERED THE GUARDIANS OF GA'HOOLE TRILOGY GIVEAWAY

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debbie said...

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Lisa R/alterlisa said...

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Lisa R/alterlisa said...

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catherine said...

you know how sometimes, when you smell something, it just brings you back, a little deja vu moment. chanel no 5 was the only fragrance that my mom wore. she passed away at 42, i was 20. after all these years, that fragrance immediately takes me....back. i love it. i know it sounds hearbreaking but,really, it's wonderful. i would love to read this book.
charlcr(at)aol(dot)com

Angie said...

I didn't realize Chanel No. 5 was still the world's best selling fragrance. It does make me wonder what the allure is. Sounds like an interesting book!

aksimmoatclearwiredotnet

holdenj said...

Have fond memories of this scent as well. Looks like a very interesting book--an orphanage?
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

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holdenj said...

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holdenj said...

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bermudaonion said...

I'd like to read this because I'd love to know more about Coco Chanel. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

I love that TILAR J. MAZZEO wears lime green mules! milou2ster(at)gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

I entered The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship giveaway. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Jessica said...

I would love to learn more about Coco Chanel who wouldn't but also Chanel No. 5 is my grandmothers fav perfume and shes so far away it's a way for me to have her close.
frellathon(at)gmail(dot)com

catherine said...

i am so curious as to how one actually becomes a perfumer.
charlcr(at)aol(dot)com

catherine said...

i also entered 'the proper care and maintenance of friendship'.
charlcr(at)aol(dot)com

petite said...

I am intrigued with this wonderful story. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

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petite said...

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petite said...

I entered Starlet. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Incarceron. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am captivated with this story which is fascinating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

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traveler said...

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traveler said...

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traveler said...

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Pamela Keener said...

I am interested in reading how Chanel # 5 came to be and facts about Coco the designer.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

Being an animal lover I was thrilled to see that Tilar's favorite animal is an Irish Wolfhound since they simply lope through life.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

MRWriter said...

Ms. Chanel's life sounds so interesting. I've always wondered what made this perfume so iconic.

AlexDean03(at)yahoo.com

MRWriter said...

My writing rituals include having sparkling mineral water and saltine crackers when she's writing in the mornings.

AlexDean03(at)yahoo.com

MRWriter said...

I entered The Starlet Giveaway.
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MRWriter said...

I entered The Wedding Girl Giveaway
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MRWriter said...

I entered the Cookbook Trilogy.
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rubynreba said...

I've always loved Chanel No. 5. I think it is interesting that in a small bottle there is the extract of 1000 jasmine flowers and a large bouquet of a dozen roses. I'd enjoy reading the book.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

Her favorite item of clothing is anything cashmere.
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Colleen Turner said...

I would love to read this book. My grandmother also always wore Chanel #5 so I have always associated it with love, comfort and a sense of mysticism (as I always thought my grandmother was very classy and fascinating). I also saw a movie about Coco Chanel and loved it, so I would love to read more about her life.
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I went to the website and loved that the author stated her favorite food is champagne and her favorite clothes is anything made of cashmere. With her tastes, she sounds like the perfect person to write a book about Chanel!
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

+5 swagbucks!
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Colleen Turner said...

+1 Facebook Fan Bonus for January.
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Colleen Turner said...

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moonsword said...

I'm intrigued by the fact that she was raised in an orphanage and I'd like to know more about how she overcame that challenge.

moonsword said...

Tilar says that fictional character Isabel Archer most resembles her. I'm curious to know how so...maybe I'll need to read "The Portrait of a Lady" or watch the film to find out.

moonsword said...

I also entered the Scarpetta Factor giveaway. Thank you!

moonsword said...

I also entered the Mystery Trilogy giveaway. Thank you!

moonsword said...

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Beachreader said...

My mom wore this perfume when I was a kid and I remember sneaking into her bedroom and putting it on.

jgoffice(aT)cox(Dot)net

Beachreader said...

I also entered the cookbook trilogy giveaway
jgoffice(at)cox(dot)net

Christa said...

This book sounds so interesting! I want to find out about how this perfume came about, who invented it, how it was marketed, everything. I think your review really makes me want to find out more about it because you went in reading it for one reason and ended up learning so much more and that is what I would hope to get from this book.

christauf4(at)gmail.com

Christa said...

I visited the Harper Collins website Fun Stuff section about Tilar J. Mazzeo. I found out that her favorite city is New York City! I've never been, but want to go really bad!

christauf4(at)gmail.com

Christa said...

Just tweeted about this giveaway!
http://twitter.com/#!/christauf4/status/29602158257119233

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Christa said...

I entered A Secret Kept giveaway!

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Christa said...

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Meredith said...

Wow....even a fragrance gets a biography! At first I thought it might have been just a cleverly titled novel.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

Mazzeo's favorite animal is the Irish wolfhound because of how they tend to lope through life.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

I entered the Chelsea Cain trilogy giveaway.

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Meredith said...

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Meredith said...

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LAMusing said...

Right off the bat - the title grabbed me. To read the background of one of the world's most famous perfumes sounds fun
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Jolee said...

Great title. Love to read more about Coco Chanel. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot} net

Jolee said...

Love the author's list of books on her website. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot} net

Jolee said...

Also entered the Chelsea Cain trilogy joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot} net

Jolee said...

entered Cake Boss too joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot} net

Jolee said...

entered Entice too joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot} net

Jolee said...

entered the Cookbook trilogy too joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot} net

Jolee said...

entered Secret kept too joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot} net

allisonsbj3 said...

I'd like to read this to learn more about the story behind the best selling perfume.

allisonsbj3(at)gmail(dot)com

Jessy said...

This is a biography! Unauthorized or not. I love biography's.

hootowl1978 at gmail dot com

hendy said...

I love biographies and memoirs, especially about strong women figures and she intrigues me.
hendymartin1 AT yahoo DOT com

hendy said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/#!/HendyMartin/status/34005577843605504
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hendy said...

Entered Bake-Off Cookbook giveaway
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Kitty said...

Thought it interesting that a bottle of Chanel No. 5 is sold every 30 seconds

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