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【the ordinary】The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Int

2019-01-21  来源:考研政治  点击:

The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume

“Who knew that such a tiny bottle housed so many secrets?” —Michael Tonello, author of Bringing Home the Birkin

Tilar J. Mazzeo, author of the New York Times bestseller The Widow Clicquot (an Amazon Best of the Month book in October 2008) returns with a captivating history of the world’s most famous, seductive, and popular perfume: Chanel No. 5. Mazzeo’s sweeping story of the iconic scent (known as “le monstre” in the fragrance industry) stretches from Coco Chanel’s early success to the rise of the seminal fragrance during the 1950s to the confirmation of its bestseller status in today’s crowded perfume market.

“Here is the life of one of the 20th century’s most interesting and deeply complicated women, a fascinating cultural history, and the story of an extraordinary perfume.” —Chandler Burr, New York Times scent critic and author of The Perfect Scent

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“[Mazzeo] explores interconnections between designer and perfume, teasing out the relationship with delicacy.” (New York Times Book Review)

“[In] the skilled hands of cultural historian Mazzeo, [the perfume] becomes a magnificent window through which to understand [Coco Chanel] and her milieu... Impeccable research and crafting make a seemingly narrow topic feel infinitely important.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“This is one case where historical fact eclipses the legend and lore of the object itself—there’s much, much more than meets the nose to discover in these pages.” (Booklist)

“Engaging.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Mazzeo’s lush prose...never bogs down in the details—despite the extensive research showcased in the bibliography—and a smooth pacing keeps it moving along at a fast clip. This work is definitely recommended to lovers of 20th-century cultural history, Coco Chanel, and, of course, the world’s best-selling perfume.” (Library Journal)

“Mazzeo has written an account of the rarest of things-an international olfactory icon-that fairly rushes off the pages. Here is the life of one of the 20th century’s most interesting and deeply complicated women, a fascinating cultural history, and the story of an extraordinary perfume.” (Chandler Burr, New York Times scent critic and author of The Perfect Scent)

“The true brilliance of The Secret of Chanel No. 5 is Tilar Mazzeo’s ability to take a subject one would never have thought possible to think very deeply about and then cover it so captivatingly. Who knew that such a tiny bottle housed so many secrets?” (Michael Tonello, author of Bringing Home the Birkin)

“Anyone who’s ever dawdled in front of a perfume counter will love Tilar Mazzeo’s fascinating history of the perfume known simply as No. 5; her rich and witty account is as compelling as the fragrance itself. ” (Karen Karbo, author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel)

作者简介

Tilar J. Mazzeo is the author of numerous works of cultural history and biography, including the New York Times bestselling The Widow Clicquot, The Secret of Chanel No. 5, and nearly two dozen other books, articles, essays, and reviews on wine, travel, and the history of luxury. The Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College, she divides her time between coastal Maine, New York City, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

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I really wanted to love this book. I did learn about the stories behind Chanel No. 5 (and I say stories because much of this book remains speculative), my main issue with "The Secret of Chanel No. 5" is with the writing style.

Mazzeo has a tendency to repeat phrases. For example, between pages 12 and 15, she makes reference to the idea that Coco Chanel had "not yet thought of" becoming a fashion or fragrance designer no less than seven times over the course of three pages. While I get the reason for emphasizing these ideas, the technique is clumsy.

This repetition of phrases extends to repetition of whole ideas, paragraphs, sections of chapters. Each and every chapter was written as if the reader hadn"t read any of the previous chapters. So much of this already-slight book was spent summarizing, re-summarizing and re-re-summarizing. It"s the literary equivalent of the air in your bag of chips. I"m all for ensuring that a reader is oriented to the material, however, Mazzeo could have done it more sparingly.

Continuing on a theme, the author is unable to resist this tendency to re-summarize even after the book-proper ends. The tacked on afterword re-summarizes the entire book and offers no new insights. I wish she"d just let the writing stand (and end) as it was.

All in all, while the subject matter was interesting, the story might have been better suited (in depth and edited-length) to a Vanity Fair-style feature.

This book explains the history of Chanel No. 5, arguably the world"s most well-known perfume (it is said that a bottle is sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds!). The author seems to have done her research well. She examines how this perfume became so incredibly popular, despite the fact that the actual formula for Chanel No. 5 is not exactly a secret. It has been offered by other perfume manufacturers under different names, but without anything like the same success. Clearly it"s not just the scent itself that made it such a hit. Nor was it simply good marketing, since it really didn"t have any to speak of for many years.

It begins with Coco Chanel, and tells how events in her life came together in such a way that Chanel No. 5 was created. It then goes into how she ended up selling the rights to her fragrance, the effects of World War II on production, the falling out between Chanel and the new owners, and her subsequent attempts to regain control of the perfume that she gave her name to. The author has done a good job of showing all the different events and circumstances that occurred at the right place and time, which all contributed towards making Chanel No. 5 the icon that it is today. She stays with the story of the perfume alone, and doesn"t veer off into any other aspects of Chanel"s fashion empire, which is as it should be since their paths separated fairly early on.

While some of the writing seems to become rather redundant, especially towards the end, the book is still worth reading just because it is an interesting story, and the author writes well.

the first time I tried Chanel No. 5 I was 14 years old, and stole a drop from my mother"s perfume - did not like it, smelled old to me. 30 years later I red a book about Coco Chanel and how she created Chanel No. 5 (Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie). this made me "retry" Chanel No. 5 in a perfumery shop, and I fell in love - the first thought that came to my mind was "clean". I bought it, and use it not only on special occasions, I put it one on days that I know will be tough, or just want to feel good.

This experience got me into search about the Perfume and thus this book. I got the information that I wanted: history of the product, legends around the product and how it made it is way in the world. In addition I learned a lot about history of the world of perfumes and how are perfumes made. It also got me to check on Chanel No. 19 - and I am a happy owner of another perfume.

Recommend it to any one who wants to know more about Chanel No. 5 and the world of perfumes.

Not bad, fairly interesting for those who find the history of such matters important. I would give 3.5 stars if I could. For whatever reason, Chanel fragrances have always mystified me with the depth of their appeal. To me, they simply smell like" perfume", never a compliment. I think the success of No 5 was a question of the right product finding just the right niche in history. Serendipity, if you must. The book makes this rather clear.

I read through once and will give the paperback away to the local library.

The Secret of Chanel No. 5 was ok, and it was interesting, but it couldn"t compare to her book about the Ritz Hotel in Paris, that was really worth reading, and totally capitivating, when it first opened in the 1890"s, and during WW2. A lot of the chanel parts had already been covered in the Ritz book, so I felt as though I was simply re-reading her other book.

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