Although I had of course seen Chanel no. 5, I have never bought it and had not really connected with the fact that there was a person called 'Coco' Chanel, with a background and life about as interesting as that of the product that gives the book its title. Well, the book makes a pretty good fist of combining the two in an interesting and well-written read. I have heard it said that the best known brand names are at least 50 years old - often nearer 100: Ford, Coca Cola, Kit Kat, IBM, Hoover, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis etc. - though maybe the march of technology has added Apple more recently. Similarly, when I peer into marketing text-books they seem more focussed on presentation, advertising, pricing etc., than good old product research and design: I always think that the term "marketing" encompasses more than packaging, selling and advertising - just as Tony Blair should have remembered than foreign policy involves more than the arts of spin (though the best thought out policy requires spin too: cf. Winston Churchill). Maybe this is rather a long preamble on a book about a perfume and its creator, but when my last Sunday papers arrived before Christmas 2011, they came wrapped in a whole-sheet advertising flier for ---- yes you've guessed it, Chanel Number 5. The book brings together the marketing history with that of an unusual and driven person.