On Friday and Saturday, the San Francisco streets were a bit more dressed up with the presence of a refurbished Chanel trolley car. Decked out in signature black and white, the Chanel Nº5 Trolley featured tweed seats and a six-window display detailing the history of Chanel Nº5.
The exhibit began with Chanel Nº5′s start as a creation of Gabrielle Chanel and perfumer Ernest Beaux and a 3D printed replica of 31 Rue Cambon.
Next, the evolution of the Chanel Nº5 bottles was displayed – also 3D printed replicas – along with the current Chanel Nº5 ad campaign featuring Brad Pitt.
As you walked through the Chanel Nº5 trolley you were invited to experience the scent of May Rose – one of the main ingredients of Chanel Nº5 – and the sweetest, loveliest rose scent I have ever experienced.
To experience each of the different interpretations of Chanel Nº5, Chanel had its patented, exclusive ceramic blotters. The use of ceramic blotters allows the user to experience the truest form of the scent without the need for spraying. While other perfume brands just water down the scent to create Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette, Chanel does not engage in this practice. Instead, adjustments are made to the basenotes of the fragrance for each interpretation.
Created in 1921, Chanel Nº5 Parfum is a blend of florals and aldehydes with May Rose and Jasmine, both from Grasse, France at the forefront. In 1924, the Chanel Nº5 Eau de Toilette was created with the Sandalwood scent enhanced creating a more woodsy scent. We don’t see a new development until 1986 with the creation of Eau de Parfum, by Chanel Master Perfumer Jacques Polge, which softened the Jasmine and Ylang-Ylang notes. There was a large time span between the creations of Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum because before the 197-s Eau de Parfums did not exist. Finally in 2008, Jacques Polge created Chanel Nº5 Eau Premiere, a modern, lighter interpretation of Chanel Nº5.
After experiencing each of these fragrances, I was surprised to learn that I had never actually smelled the original Chanel Nº5. I knew that the main ingredients were May Rose and Jasmine but I could never find them in the scent. That’s because the Chanel Nº5 that I was familiar with was the Chanel Nº5 Eau de Parfum and I didn’t know that each interpretation was a bit different. I’m so happy that I was able to experience the true essence of Chanel Nº5 in the Chanel Nº5 trolley!
After guests made their way through the trolley to view the exhibit, they were helped off the trolley by handsome models and given a ticket that was stamped – with a stamp in the shape of a Chanel Nº5 bottle.
Once you received a ticket you were invited to visit Macy’s to receive a free sample of Chanel Nº5 Eau de Parfum and Chanel Nº5 Eau Premiere.
Visiting the Chanel Nº5 was a wonderful experience – and a lovely way to start off a day of holiday shopping in Union Square, San Francisco. Attending a Chanel event lets you experience the brands exquisite attention to detail where absolutely nothing is overlooked. From the immaculate design of the trolley complete with interlocking C’s on the hubcaps and steering wheel, to the tweed on the seats, to the little Chanel Nº5 bottle stamp for the tickets. If you were in San Francisco I hope you had a chance to experience this for yourself. If not, I hope you enjoy the photos.