The No.5 Man!

Cosmopolitan (India) - - BEAUTY -

Cather­ine Deneuve, Ni­cole Kid­man, Au­drey Tatou, and now Brad Pitt is the face of Chanel No.5. In a rad­i­cal move, Chanel re­cently an­nounced the hunky Mr Pitt as their iconic fra­grance’s new brand am­bas­sador—hav­ing a man be the face of a woman’s fra­grance is an in­dus­try first. The

black-and-white ad­vert, which has the bl­o­go­sphere in a blaze, stars Brad recit­ing a philo­soph­i­cal

mono­logue to the cam­era. has owned and run a par­tic­u­lar jas­mine field in Grasse. As part of Chanel’s mis­sion to en­sure the jas­mine sup­ply for No.5 stays in­tact, Joseph works in part­ner­ship with Chanel to pro­duce flow­ers ex­clu­sively for the brand. But what makes the jas­mine from Grasse so spe­cial? Its unique scent, says Joseph. Jas­mine from the fer­tile soil of Grasse is sweeter and softer than its con­tem­po­raries else­where. As Joseph puts it, “If you change the jas­mine in the for­mula, you change No.5!” pickers are ex­pertly pluck­ing and fill­ing their bas­kets with the white bloom, a task that must be com­pleted be­fore it gets too warm to pre­serve the del­i­cate flower. Once done, Mon­sieur Mul will have the flow­ers weighed, be­fore hav­ing them sent to a nearby fac­tory for pro­cess­ing. This is where the mul­ti­far­i­ous and sci­en­tific pro­cesses of per­fume ex­trac­tion be­gin. In the fac­tory, the jas­mine is placed in a gi­ant metal caul­dron, one layer at a

time, along with a sol­vent. Af­ter eight hours, the fra­grance has been ex­tracted from the flow­ers, and is now in the form of waxy sub­stance called Con­crete. This Con­crete is fur­ther treated to cre­ate the jas­mine per­fume, or Ab­so­lute, which is then sent to Paris to be used in the Chanel No.5 for­mula...not just the most suc­cess­ful, but also the most se­duc­tive for­mula in the world.

Jacques Polge, Cre­ator of Chanel Per­fumes (mid­dle) and Joseph Mul (right), dur­ing the jas­mine-weigh­ing process

Left: the jas­mine is placed in a gi­ant metal caul­dron, layer by layer. Above: eight hours later, the fra­grance has been ex­tracted from the flow­ers

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