The story behind Chanel’s Camelia

The camellia has long been an emblem of the House of Chanel.

It has been engraved onto buttons, woven into embroideries, fashioned out of silk to adorn dresses, headwear and jacket lapels. Karl Lagerfeld has carried on the Chanel camellia tradition. The spring 2013 Chanel Fine Jewellery collection draw’s inspiration from the house’s iconic flower.

The camellia held a very special significance for Mademoiselle Chanel. It was the blossom offered to her by the love of her life Boy Capel and formed part of her private world, scattered on Coromandel screens, chandeliers and in bouquets with rock crystal. It became her emblem.

The magnificent chandelier that hangs in her Paris apartment – which she designed herself – is adorned with dozens of crystal orbs, stars, grapes and camellias.

Pure and white, with elegant roundness, Chanel’s japonica alba plena has no scent, because Mademoiselle did not want her flowers to interfere with her famous No°5 fragrance.

Recently Chanel scientists discovered the flower contained unique moisture retention properties which they’ve harnessed in Chanel’s Hydra Beauty skincare formulas to help keep skin well-hydrated and radiant.

In Asia the camellia symbolises purity and longevity. In Japan its name means “excellence without pretension”. So very Chanel.

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