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

Extended Audio Sample The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the Worlds Most Famous Perfume Audiobook, by Tilar J. Mazzeo Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (313 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tilar J. Mazzeo Narrator: Liz de Nesnera Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2010 ISBN: 9780062007148
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“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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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Mazzeo] explores interconnections between designer and perfume, teasing out the relationship with delicacy.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Engaging.” 

    Wall Street Journal 

  • “Who knew that such a tiny bottle housed so many secrets?” 

    Michael Tonello, author of Bringing Home the Birkin 

  • “Impeccable research and crafting make a seemingly narrow topic feel infinitely important.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Cooley | 1/31/2014

    " Kind of repetitive, but good for a light read. A much better book about perfume is "The Perfect Scent" by Chandler Burr. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lexi | 1/12/2014

    " This book was surprisingly interesting. You would never believe the complicated history that has been weaved behind this perfume, and how much of an icon it has become in our culture today. I love learning about CoCo Chanel and her life and this book was just another interesting piece to the story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Milli | 1/9/2014

    " My mother has a bottle of No. 5, and she always has. My grandmother wore it. It's a very historical perfume, and I'm glad I read this book to truly understand the beauty and magic behind it. The facts and backstory were very interesting, but the author has a tendency to jump around between the years. The history of Chanel No. 5 is a complicated one, indeed, with all of the people, events, and inspiration surrounding it. Sometimes I got a little lost reading it. But overall an entertaining read. I must admit I had to spray some on myself while reading, just to appreciate it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 1/7/2014

    " The book was good. The Perfume, better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lily | 1/1/2014

    " Despite the sloppy and, at times, downright confusing writing, this book is still an interesting read. The author does a good job of exploring how Chanel No. 5 achieved iconic status. Just one thing--this book would best be read near a perfume shop so the reader can experience all of the scents described by the author. I kept wishing I had a bottle or, better yet, a sample of Chanel No. 5 on hand just so I could smell everything described on the page. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rochelle Stone | 12/12/2013

    " Coveted by women worldwide - an intimate look into Coco Chanel's life and her passion for creation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephenie | 11/18/2013

    " Very interesting history about not on her perfume, but a biography about Chanel as well. Knew a little about her early life, but this goes into much more detail, especially about her as a business woman. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly | 9/19/2013

    " A little repetitive and disorganized. Still, an interesting history of this iconic perfume. You learn everything from the perfume label's specific art deco font to F. Scott Fitzgerald's kind joke about the perfume's success in Tender is the Night. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trace | 2/15/2013

    " Peters out in the end with sweeping generalizations and grand statements. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 allison | 2/3/2013

    " Full of interesting details that didn't exactly cohere. The bits on the science behind the creation of the perfume itself were really fascinating to me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fran | 10/4/2012

    " I was more interested in Coco Chanel than the chemicals used in her perfume. I didn't like the author's style and will probably read a bio of Coco instead. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 7/6/2012

    " Interesting. Kind of repetitive, but informative. I didn't realize that Chanel was an Anti-Semite and the book did not shy away from saying that. Much more involved with the history of the perfume than with her personal life, but the perfume and Coco herself where very much intertwined. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 5/24/2012

    " This book is intriguing for those that love perfume, as well as those that love a good story. It paints a fascinating portrait of Madame Coco Chanel, as well as the history of perhaps the most iconic fragrance in the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kar Wai Ng | 4/25/2012

    " i am intelligently bimbotic now! i know the full 90 years history of chanel no 5! the thing is i have never smelled it. haha! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 11/14/2011

    " What a fun book to read! Another hit by Tillar Mazzeo who brought you the Widow Cliquot. Mazzeo delves into the perfume industry to reveal the secrets of Chanel No. 5. Sexy! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 judy | 9/28/2011

    " I hate it when authors of "non-fiction" make up the thoughts and motivation of characters in the complete absence documentation. Don't waste my time! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 4/23/2011

    " The book was good. The Perfume, better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly | 4/3/2011

    " A little repetitive and disorganized. Still, an interesting history of this iconic perfume. You learn everything from the perfume label's specific art deco font to F. Scott Fitzgerald's kind joke about the perfume's success in Tender is the Night. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 2/15/2011

    " I loved this book. I had no idea that fragrances are built from core floral scents, but distinguishing chanel no. 5 is the addition of aldehydes, a scent of cold fresh air. The marketing forays and the production of perfumes during WWII was fascinating.
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About the Author
Tilar J. Mazzeo is the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestselling author of books that include The Widow Clicquot, The Secret of Chanel No. 5, and Hotel on the Place Vendôme. She also writes on food and wine for the mainstream press, and her work has appeared in venues such as Food & Wine and in her Back-Lane Wineries guidebook series (Ten Speed Press). Her course on creative nonfiction (Great Courses), featured as in-flight viewing content on Virgin America airlines, is widely distributed and has made her a nationally prominent teacher of writing in nonfiction genres. The Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College, she divides her time among coastal Maine, New York City, and Saanichton, British Columbia, where she lives with her husband and stepchildren.