Did you know that Chanel offers a Scent Matching Experience? Nor did I. But I recently had the opportunity to try this out at their new store in Battersea Power Station. It is available at any Chanel store worldwide where they stock the Les Excusifs range. It can be done as a walk-in, but booking is recommended.
I thought I should do some swotting up on the Chanel range beforehand. There are an astonishing number of fragrances. Yet how many can you name beyond No5, Coco and Allure? There are eighteen in the Les Exclusifs range alone. Each reflecting part of Coco Chanel’s life. Her birth sign was Leo, hence Le Lion, and the animal became her totem. From the notes and descriptions, I’d thought I’d picked out a fragrance ideal for me and was curious to see if the Scent Matching would pair me with this.
I sat down in the boutique with the lovely Sam. After some initial chat, she asked me if I had any notes I particularly liked, which I do, its always amber fragrances that work for me. Do I have any hobbies? I used to play a lot of sport, these days I am a keen spectator. Was I looking for something every day or a special occasion? I wear what I want, whatever the occasion. Sam then took a walk around the store and returned with three blotters.
The first was an instant hit. All the amber warmth I love cocooning and caressing the skin. Sensuous and rich.
The second was beautiful. It still had the amber voluptuousness, but it just wasn’t quite right for me – too bold maybe.
The third choice is always a wild card. I was instantly transported to playing fields – fresh, lush, green grass under my feet, a clear blue sky overhead with warm rays of bright sunlight shimmering down.
I could then choose one of the three. Being right-handed, Sam then massaged my right forearm and hand with Chanel body oil, sprayed both left and right wrists with my choice. The difference in tone and depth of the fragrance with the body oil is significant, boosting the silage and longevity.
What a wonderful way to spend an hour or so, nosing through perfumes picked to suit you. Which did I choose? The wild card, of course. Sam said it’s uncanny how many customers do – perhaps it is because the staff are all so knowledgeable on their products and pinpointing a perfume that can enhance aspects of a customer’s life. And what were those fragrances? Coromandel, Mademoiselle Intense and Les Exclusifs Eau de Cologne.
I left very happy with a new fragrance that I would not have selected on my own – and, no, none of these were the one I chose from the notes before I’d sniffed them. So do take advantage of this free service and find a Chanel fragrance perfect for you.
Written by Alison at the Perfume Society.