The early 20th century saw the triumph of abstraction and cubism proposed a renewed vision of space. Picasso's Cubist collages and the 'galley proof' technique used by Marcel Proust at that time to correct his manuscripts, were quite similar from a visual art point of view. The first packaging of the CHANEL N°5 bottle was also a collage. It was a coarse-grained paper case, gummed and highlighted in black with a rigour that revealed an unusual sort of daring in the world of perfume.
Gabrielle Chanel made this very innovative perfume a manifesto by adorning it with the most modern thing that existed: a collage that was Cubist in spirit…
On the black wax seal of the neck of the 1921 bottle, Gabrielle Chanel placed a 'C', the first letter of her surname, a capital 'C' that she also wrote inside the cover of the books in her collection. This 'C', which she would turn into a monogram by doubling it and that would become her logo, recalls the rounded curves of the interlacing that was to be found in the stained glass windows of the collegiate church of Aubazine, a fundamental place in the aesthetics of CHANEL.
This remarkably simple monogram stood out like a sign of recognition. And it is hard not to compare the monogram of Catherine de' Medici, formed by a double 'C', to that chosen by Chanel. An interesting coincidence, this monogram undoubtedly reveals Gabrielle Chanel's fascination for this queen.