Last week Chanel opened the doors of Le Grand Numéro de Chanel, a one-month-only pop-up immersive exhibit in Paris celebrating the 100 years of Chanel fragrances. As the brand helps with a 40 million Euro renovation of their usual events home, the Palais Royale, Chanel erected a temporary venue just north of the Eiffel Tower to showcase the perfumes and their histories in a carnival-themed interactive experience harkening back to 1920’s Paris.
“Chanel perfumery has an existential aim,” explained Thomas du Pré de Saint Maur, Chanel’s Head of Global Creative Resources for Fragrance & Beauty, Fine Jewelry & Watches. “Le Grand Numéro de Chanel is an emotional journey, an opportunity to discover every facet of fragrance and the role it plays.”
The exhibition highlights No. 5, Bleu, Les Exclusifs, Mademoiselle Coco, and others in an odyssey of chic and social-media friendly salons. Dancers, bandleaders, a casino, a fragrance bar, Nicole Kidman’s gown from her No. 5 commercial, and even Andy Warhol’s portraits of Gabrielle Chanel are on display throughout the journey.
“Chance is a fundamental part of fragrance design, no matter what preconceived ideas one may have of certain raw materials and compositions,” said Chanel’s nose, Olivier Polge. “It’s not purely intellectual work, the sensual, organic component and one’s lived experiences are crucial.”
To celebrate the opening, friends of the house were invited to an exclusive evening preview. Marion Cotillard, Keira Knightley, Sadie Sink, Angéle, Ella Balinska, and Seo-Jun Park, were among many of the stylish onlookers who celebrated at dinner afterward. “The exhibition is visually rich, it’s magnificent!” Cotillard remarked.
Giveon made his own fragrance, while Camila Morrone — who along with mother, Lucila Solá — brought their Argentinian pride to the party, taking in the exhibit dutifully but proudly following along with the semi-final World Cup game on their iPhones. Thankfully, Argentina won.
The after-party brought guests to the Cabaret Room at Paris’s new Soho House, where the army of tweed-clad VIP’s danced late into the night.
The exhibit is now open to the public and closes shop on January 9th. With all this effort, can other cities look forward to the dazzling exhibit? One hopes, but no official confirmations from Chanel just yet.