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  1. #1

    Default Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    "Declassified archival documents unearthed by biographer Hal Vaughan reveal that the French Préfecture de Police had a document on Chanel in which she was described as "Couturier and perfumer. Pseudonym: Westminster. Agent reference: F 7124....Vaughan establishes that Chanel committed herself to the German cause as early as 1941 and worked for General Walter Schellenberg, chief of the German intelligence agency Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service) and the military intelligence spy network".

    Historically, this is fascinating. Obviously as a person, she's a POS. Of course, when this came to light in 2011, Chanel (the brand) tried to sweep it under the rug.

    Does this change your thoughts about any Chanel fragrances you may own?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    The story, both thrilling and dark, of the world's most famous perfume. In 1921, Coco Chanel's revolutionary perfume concept was as audacious as her outlandish designer clothing. At its launch, it was an instant hit. From the 1920s to the 1940s the Number 5 brand was at the centre of a war between the celebrated designer and her entrepreneurial business partners, the Wertheimer brothers. During WWII, with the help of her high-ranking Nazi lover, Coco Chanel attempted to oust her Jewish partners - who had fled German-occupied France and were operating the business from New Jersey - to take control of the highly lucrative business.


    BBC The No 5 War

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bh5v16


    And no it doesn't.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by tracerbullet View Post
    Historically, this is fascinating. Obviously as a person, she's a POS. Of course, when this came to light in 2011, Chanel (the brand) tried to sweep it under the rug.

    Does this change your thoughts about any Chanel fragrances you may own?
    Of course the brand will try to sweep it under the rug. They can't have their mythologised idol fall... And the fact that they choose to continue to perpetuate that mythology makes my stomach turn.

    It doesn't change my mind about the fragrances though. Most are a miss for me due to the aldehydes used, but BdI Parfum is Holy Grail material for me.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by tracerbullet View Post
    "
    Does this change your thoughts about any Chanel fragrances you may own?
    Not at all.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    She did not have control it was the brothers who actually ran the perfume side of the business.

    If you watch The No5 War it explains it all. The escaped to the US when the Nazis arrived in Paris and started making and selling No5 in the US. After the war, they actually gave her a percentage which after what she tried to do to them.

    And no makes no difference to me.

    Hugo Boss made clothes for the Brown Shirts and fully paid-up member of the Nazi party from 1932.
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Yikes! I didn't know that. I'm Jewish, but this isn't quite enough to stop me from wearing Sycomore.

    Que scay-je?

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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by tracerbullet View Post
    Does this change your thoughts about any Chanel fragrances you may own?
    Not in the least

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Yeah, knew about it. Many large brand organisations have dark histories.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Many people who have been POSs have done great things.

    The Duke of Windsor, probably THE men's style icon of the 20th century, was a Nazi sympathizer.
    Currently wearing: Legend by Montblanc

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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Just curious, what is "POS"?
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Her political affiliations have been known for some time. To me, they are in a separate category from the magnificent perfumes created in her name.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    Just curious, what is "POS"?
    Point of sale
    Perfumer of Sainsburys
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    Pearls of Sass
    Beauty needs no morality or righteousness.
    It, like nature, does not give a shit
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by epapsiou View Post
    Pearls of Sass
    EDT or EDP?

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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    Just curious, what is "POS"?
    Piece of sunshine, an endearing term referred to many heads of state and politicians.

    Someone also posted an article about her here a couple years ago.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    The dilemma about whether to patronize manufacturers or artists whose deeds or politics we abhor can be a tough one. Sometimes if the feelings about the issue are strong enough, nothing can make me buy their product, but other times, if I love the product enough, that resolve can be toppled. I noticed I can be very inconsistent in these choices and have to work them out on a one-by-one basis.

    In the case of Chanel, I buy their products and reason that by the time all this happened the company was already basically owned and run by the Wertheimers and out of the woods politically. If it weren't for the Wertheimers, we very possibly might not even have Chanel today.
    ​"It was foolish of her not to have bought a larger bottle."

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Not at all.
    Same
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    You might also want to rethink your appreciation of VW and Ford cars, Hugo Boss and NASA (https://listverse.com/2018/03/21/10-...vived-the-war/) amongst other things, and probably also many current companies, countries and political parties and so on, that have all kinds of shady business going on. Just how the world works, until the zombie apocalypse.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Do people decide not to purchase Japanese-made items because of Pearl Harbor?

    I hate CC's politics, but love the creations. Bad people can still do amazing things - and good people can do awful things.

  19. #19
    Basenotes Junkie grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Very aware and therefore I do not admire Chanel as a person, but this doesn't prevent me from wearing vintage Chanel perfumes. I credit the perfumers for these creations though.

    Given her history, I do think the brand could ease up a bit on the quasi-hagiographic treatment of Chanel in the marketing of recent perfume launches, which are said to be "inspired by the life" of Chanel. Here's Misia, named after her best friend (who was not very nice either, it seems). Here's La Pausa, named after her house. Here's Boy, named after her first love. Enough already.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    It doesn't phase me...


    There are quite a few actors whose political or religious views conflict with mine. It doesn't stop me from appreciating their works in film.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    Very aware and therefore I do not admire Chanel as a person, but this doesn't prevent me from wearing vintage Chanel perfumes. I credit the perfumers for these creations though.

    Given her history, I do think the brand could ease up a bit on the quasi-hagiographic treatment of Chanel in the marketing of recent perfume launches, which are said to be "inspired by the life" of Chanel. Here's Misia, named after her best friend (who was not very nice either, it seems). Here's La Pausa, named after her house. Here's Boy, named after her first love. Enough already.
    Totally agree. Naming the latest women's pillar 'Gabrielle' made me roll my eyes to the back of my head... Time to move on with the times methinks.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    Very aware and therefore I do not admire Chanel as a person, but this doesn't prevent me from wearing vintage Chanel perfumes. I credit the perfumers for these creations though.

    Given her history, I do think the brand could ease up a bit on the quasi-hagiographic treatment of Chanel in the marketing of recent perfume launches, which are said to be "inspired by the life" of Chanel. Here's Misia, named after her best friend (who was not very nice either, it seems). Here's La Pausa, named after her house. Here's Boy, named after her first love. Enough already.
    The marketing is cringe-worthy, IMO.

    The House of Chanel, however, knows what their doing by re-imagining a brilliant and flawed individual to the level of mythical status. I don't think that the majority of people who buy Chanel perfumes know about Coco's past, nor do they care.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Socialism had seduced her. Its always sad, but i tend to think many companys are founded and run by terrible people. LVMH corporate facelessness bothers me even more though.
    It’s tragic to think that heroic man’s great destiny is to become economic man, that men will be reduced to craven creatures who crawl across the globe competing for money, who spend their nights dreaming up new ways to swindle each other.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by notspendingamillion View Post
    Socialism had seduced her. Its always sad, but i tend to think many companys are founded and run by terrible people. LVMH corporate facelessness bothers me even more though.
    I think, from what I gather, she was a career opportunist. Also, a survivor at all costs.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Not sure if this is the right thread? But who knew Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy?

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    Just curious, what is "POS"?
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