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Jean-Louis Froment. Nº 5 culture Chanel. Paris: Abrams, 2013

“No ink! The book is totally embossed, totally white in a black box. NO INK! The ultimate book! NO PDF! The content comes from the world of Mlle. Chanel: poetry, mistery, noir et blanc, music, the modern, the invisible, simplicity, astrology, tarot cards, superstition, flowers, numerology, the ephemeral. Wish to create something almost nonexistent yeat very present. A multiple? An autonomous piece?”


Irma Boom: the architecture of the book. Eindhoven: Lecturis, 2013 (p. 262)

​“Released in conjunction with the N°5 Culture Chanel exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and created by renowned book-maker Irma Boom, Chanel features 600 pages embossed with Boom’s original designs. The monochromatic white pages provide the perfect backdrop for Boom to display her raised, braille-like patterns. Boom's embossing’s play with the senses, capturing the essence of the Chanel N°5 fragrance through touch. Only 1,000 numbered copies has been printed of this limited-edition collector’s item, packaged in an embossed cardboard clamshell box. The pages of the book are completely blind-embossed – there is absolutely no ink on any of the pages, which is intended to mimic the wearing of a fragrance or cologne. As Irma herself puts it, like a fragrance, “you don’t see it but it’s there.”
The result is a minimalist book that provides ‘readers’ with a more tactile experience than a visionary one. “It’s the ultimate book,” Ms. Boom said. “It only works in its physical form.” As a PDF, it would be just white pages. The book is the story of Chanel No.5 — which, as the first synthetic fragrance in a radically simple bottle, was considered avant-garde in its time. Because perfume is impossible to see once applied, Ms. Boom said, “I wanted to make a book with content not printed.” The text and images are embossed on soft paper; it is surprisingly readable.”


Rijksmuseum Research Library. Acquisitions highlights 2017 (April) [online]

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