The Chanel Les Eaux de Chanel Le Voyage fragrance set is just the most desirable scent package to pack, for so-chic travellers who know they’ll need more than a couple of fragrant hits along the way.
Each of the fragrances evokes times and places that were precious to Chanel – snapshots of scent memories captured in olfactory form. Presented in a trio of travel-friendly 50ml bottles, the set includes three postcards to send to people you wish were there (perhaps you might wish to really want to rub their noses in the fact they aren’t!) and a darling little pouch to carry your chosen bottle around in for the day.
If you absolutely cannot wait to set sail with these scents (and who can blame you?) then take a moment to watch Chanel’s swoon-worthy short films to set the scented scene for each…
Paris-Venise: ‘1920. Gabrielle Chanel fell under the spell of Venice – the glimmer of the Byzantine mosaics and precious gems of St Marks Basilica inspired the design of her first jewellery collections. Between freshness and sensuality, PARIS-VENISE evokes this legendary city that marks the boundary between East and West.’
PARIS-VENISE is a composition of shadow and light, in which essence of neroli illuminates the warm tones of an oriental accord with notes of vanilla and tonka.
Paris-Biarritz: ‘1915. Gabrielle Chanel was taken with the sporty, fashionable atmosphere of Biarritz, where she opened her first couture house next to the casino, the luxury hotels and the beach. Inspired by the pure air of the Basque coast, PARIS-BIARRITZ captures the energy of this founding city in a fragrance full of lively freshness.’
Vibrant and delicate, Sicilian mandarin highlights the radiance of a lily-of-the-valley accord. A lively fragrance that’s as refreshing as a splash of sea spray.
Paris-Deauville: ‘1913. Gabrielle Chanel opened her very first fashion boutique in Deauville. The marinière striped shirt, tweed, and jersey: Deauville marked the beginning of a simple, bold style that has become iconic. Inspired by the bucolic landscapes along the Normandy coast, PARIS-DEAUVILLE is a fragrance inspired by the fresh air.’
Teaming the aromatic green facets of basil with the sparkling top notes of Sicilian orange, PARIS-DEAUVILLE unleashes a lively, naturally radiant freshness.
Altogether, we think this trio form what are quite possibly this season’s most covetable jet-set selection, and the only question remains: which will you use most often, whenever you feel the need to escape with fragrance this summer (and beyond)…?
Chanel Les Eaux de Chanel Le Voyage £195 for 3 x 50ml eau de toilette
If you were a CHANEL perfume, which would you be, and what would it reveal about your personality? For fragrance lovers, the perfumes we wear inevitably become part of our personalities – invisible messages that may give passers-by clues to your character, inviting intrigue; or they may serve as a scented cloak, beneath which you can protect yourself from the world’s gaze. For CHANEL, ‘…fragrance is considered and composed as an invisible item of clothing.’
Gabrielle Chanel’s vision and perfumer Olivier Polge’s contemporary interpretation of it are woven through each of what they rather wonderfully call ‘olfactory garments’ – adhering to Chanel’s vision that went beyond fashion and trends. We love that CHANEL is exploring this theme of asserting your presence, expressing your personality and creating your style with the scent you choose to wear that day. We certainly find that’s how we wear perfume – do you want to magnify the mood you’re in or change it completely? Do you ‘match’ your scent to your outfit and your plans for the day, or use it to give a hint at what lies beneath…?
The new campaign uses deliciously dreamy imagery – bodies dressed in shadows or bathed in sunlight, interwoven with archive clips of skilled artisans at the atelier, of vintage fashion shows, and the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe insouciantly entangled in white sheets, all with Vanessa Paradis lending her voice as narrator. And even if you don’t undertstand the French commentary, goodness it just sounds divine! We’re delighted to share the film with you, below, so dive in to the glamour…
The first chapter in this narrative is named “I am an idea”, presented as a scented ‘manifesto’, and laying the foundation for CHANEL fragrance creation, as they say in their own words…
‘I AM AN IDEA
A CHANEL perfume is an idea Grasped, developed, expressed Like an item of clothing Imagined, assembled, tailored.
A CHANEL perfume is a precious material A fabric woven from images, spun from landscapes.
A CHANEL perfume is a play of shadows and light Which reveals nudity and protects intimacy A set of jewelry and an abstraction A suit of armor and a construction. A CHANEL perfume is an invisible negligee, one that Marilyn chose to adorn her nights.
A CHANEL perfume is the scent of the self Reminiscence of childhood.
A CHANEL perfume is a style, an allure An elegance, a signature. An item of clothing.
A CHANEL perfume is a perfume that chose me For what I am, for what I want. A perfume that says “I.”
I AM A CHANEL PERFUME.’
So now, we wonder… which CHANEL perfume would you be…?
If anything can revive flagging spirits, it’s the sniff of a new CHANEL fragrance – this time the classic Chance fragrance getting reinvigorated with a new interpretation of Chance Eau Tendre in eau de parfum form.
One glimpse of the gloriously colourful advertising campaign, and we rather think you’ll be joining us in wanting to whirl around in a pretty sugared-almond coloured skirt, while performing joyful dance moves on a velvet chair! OK, given that it’s January and we’re all still easing our way back to reality, perhaps it’s better to enjoy watching it, below, instead…
So what can you expect from this new addition to CHANEL’s scented wardrobe? Well, each evocation of Chance takes on a special character of its own, while of course adhering to the spirit of the original. So, let’s think back to when Chance was first launched back in 2002 – the name, as always was no mere chance in itself: it was chosen because, as CHANEL remind us:
‘Chance is a way of being,’ said Gabrielle Chanel, who believed in her lucky star as much as she cultivated it. With confidence and determination, Mademoiselle seized this chance throughout her whole life. Attentive to all the signs that marked her path, a woman who loved chance encounters and the unexpected, she smiled at fortune and fortune smiled on her in return.
With four current versions of that original, it’s not simply about adding power to a perfume by increasing its strength, or adding freshness to what was already there – each transition marks a new fragrant chapter in the life of the fragrance.
CHANEL say: ‘With CHANCE EAU TENDRE Eau de Parfum, perfumer-creator Olivier Polge, in cooperation with the CHANEL Laboratory of Fragrance Creation and Development, reinterprets the floral-fruity signature. More intense, more enveloping, this version expresses a radiant and confident femininity. Its oral heart accentuates the fullness of exotic jasmine absolute, enriched with an essence of rose that shines a soft light at the center of the composition.
More feminine than ever, this oral equation is draped in just the right dose of smooth and creamy white musk notes to create a clean, cottony effect. Immediately illuminated by the tangy whirl of the grapefruit-quince accord, CHANCE EAU TENDRE Eau de Parfum brings a feeling of absolute tenderness. Delicate and profoundly poetic, this new composition evokes a woman whose joy and inner glow gives her instant charm.’
To visually express this new fragrant interpretation, the gold neck takes on a silvery hue for the eau de parfum, and in many ways, wearing it feels like a whole new fragrance. The notes are beautifully rounded, like layers of tulle or the petals of a flower, enveloping you in waves of deliciousness that seem to float around you in a fragrant cloud. A softly powdered elegance follows your every step, but that opening zing of the grapefuit and quince really adds energy and lifts the composition to above and beyond, and so it never feels heavy or too swaddling to wear all day.
Really, it’s just the thing for this time of year – characterful, of course, and with a depth that feels comforting, but with enough get up and go to shake you from the doldrums. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get those pastel skirts on* and twirl to our heart’s content!
*[Though we might be adding something longer that a crop-top, while it’s still a bit chilly…]
This season, the iconic glass bottle of CHANEL N°5 donned a fiery cloak of red, and perfume lovers have been going wild collecting their favourite fragrance in this newly hued flacon.
CHANEL say: ‘A symbol of ultimate femininity and synonymous with this festive time of year, the emblematic colour evokes a dynamic sense of confidence, desire and indisputable opulence…’
Now, in celebration of this limited edition, CHANEL focus once again on Mademoiselle’s lucky number, ‘with five breathtaking red fragrance bottles lighting up locations around London in the lead up to Christmas.’ Definitely the most sophisticated take on Christmas lights we’ve ever seen!
‘Beginning with its debut in Berkeley Square on the 14th of November, the five bottles will then intermittently appear on New Bond Street, in Spitalfields and Duke of York Square, before concluding the adventure in Covent Garden.
Designed in 1921 by Mademoiselle Chanel before subtly evolving over the 20th and 21st centuries, the simple, geometric lines of the bottle and facetted stopper are as distinctive as the scent it holds. A model of minimalism and modernity, N°5 stands up to the test of time, adding to its mystery and depth each year.’
They really do have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated – we certainly welcome this sophisticated take on Christmas lights (and, of course, they’re the perfect backdrop for an ultra-stylish seasonal selfie!)
Location dates 14th – 16th Nov: Berkeley Square 16th Nov – 3rd Jan: New Bond Street Boutique 26th Nov – 27th Dec: Spitalfields 3rd – 16th Dec: Duke of York Square 9th – 23rd Dec: Covent Garden
Olivier Polge has time-travelled through Coco Chanel‘s lifetime to create this new trio of fragrances. A jet-setter long before there were jets, the couturier liked to hang out with her friends in some very beautiful and inspiring places – and it is these Olivier revisits, in this completely new collection: Biarritz, Deauville and Venice. (Each is linked back to Paris – her true home – in its name.)
As Olivier told us in London during a visit to launch the fragrances, he began with the idea of ‘creating a very fresh scent – in fact, a collection of fresh scents. I began with the idea of an Eau de Cologne, but developed from there – so these are eaux de toilette, created with the idea of Eau de Cologne in mind. Les Eaux de Chanel have a much longer sillage than a Cologne.’
There is, of course, an incomparably rich heritage for Olivier – who works alongside his father Jacques Polge, and the other member of the perfume ‘triumvirate’, British perfumer Christopher Sheldrake – on Chanel fragrance creation and production. ‘We had the idea of linking to the destinations where the Chanel cruise collections are shown, and with which Chanel had links. We anchor our memories of scent through people and places – so it felt very natural.’ Having the unique history, he adds, ‘gives us a framework – more than simply history, we have a strong identity and a rich atmosphere. One of the great joys of being a perfumer at Chanel is that there are so many threads you can pull together.’
And now, about those fragrances – and the locations which inspired them…
As her biographer Edmonde Charles-Roux writes, ‘The pleasures of the Normandy coast in around 1913 were available only to the well-to-do.’ But there, Gabrielle Chanel invented a whole new style – for relaxation and outdoor living, using easy-to-wear fabrics like jersey (until then reserved for men’s underwear…) The up-and-coming designer chose the resort of Deauville to open her very first boutique, on Rue Gontaut-Biron, the town’s chicest – initially offering hats, then jumpers, jackets and the sailor-blouse that went on to become the wartime garment for all well-dressed women. She had become a woman-to-watch.
Chanel Paris-Deauville invites us the Normandy coast via a gust of green notes, with a tie of orange rind, petitgrain and basil leaf. As that ebbs, white flowers and roses drift in, before the signature Chypre character emerges via an undertow of patchouli.
Chanel first travelled to Biarritz, near the Spanish border, in 1915. She was whisked there from Paris, where she was based, by her lover Boy Capel, who had seen action in the French army. Away from the tanks and ‘the menace of the first warplanes’, as Chanel’s biographer Edmonde Charles-Roux put it, in Biarritz, ‘nothing had changed, couples danced every night, forgetting the bad times while doing the tango.’ Despite the threat of war, people craved beauty and luxury – and the affluent Capel advanced Chanel the money to open a maison de couture in Biarritz; soon, orders were flowing in from the Spanish court and from other wealthy clients in Spain, as well as France. She was so successful, she soon found herself able to reimburse Boy Capel – gaining her independence.
Chanel Paris-Biarritz is the most aquatic of the trio, beckoning us the Côte Basque with the testiness of mandarin and grapefruit, an aqueous breeze running through it, those citrus notes giving way to the incomparable beauty of lily of the valley, in a stunning floral accord.
Chanel developed a passion for Venice, returning time and again – most often with artist’s muse and patron extraordinaire, her BFF Misia ‘Jojo’ Sert, illustrator Christian Bérard and Ballets Russes impresario Sergei Diaghilev. Originally, Chanel went to Venice to get over a broken heart, after the death of her lover Arthur Capel. The city seems to have worked its legendary magic – because it emerges that Venice is also inextricably linked with so many the ‘signatures’ still worn by Chanel-loving fashionistas today: the lion emblem, the chunky Byzantine crosses she recreated as costume jewellery (inspired by the gold adorning Venice’s churches, especially St. Mark’s Basilica with its emerald and sapphire-studded screens).
Chanel Paris-Venise is the most ‘exotic’, sun-drenched of the trio, taking the sumptuousness of the Orient and enfolding that in a cottony warmth. Shards of light run through it, via citrus notes, with a subtle neroli alongside touches of red berry, Grasse geranium and soft iris. On the skin, we find this the longest-lasting, with a rich, sensual accord of amber and cedarwood.
Along with the trio of fragrances, a beautiful new flacon has been created – with tactile, sculpted edges, inspired by a hip-flask. It makes the process of spraying – and re-spraying – even more of a pleasure.
There are, Olivier Polge tells us, other Les Eaux de Chanel to come. Paris-Westminster, perhaps (marking the time she spent here with her lover the Duke of Westminster)? Paris-Scotland? (She loved to holiday on the moors there, with the Duke.) Or Paris-Côte d’Azur…? His lips are sealed, but we can’t wait.
Les Eaux de Chanel launch officially today (13th July). We recommend making your own journey, in Chanel’s footsteps, to check out the places she loved.
It’s rare for Chanel to release a new fragrance, so when we heard there was an intensified of Coco Mademoiselle launching, we were hoisting the flags. Ushered into their suave Bond Street showroom, we were taken through the fragrance journey and got ready to plunge into the deeper, darker and even more captivating version of the original…
Perfumer Oliver Polge has constructed his composition around a far higher proportion of patchouli leaves atop a richly resinous amber base, swirled through with toasty tonka bean and addictive vanilla in their absolute (strongest) form.
Lovers of the orginal need not fear – your dose of Sicilian orange and Calabrian bergamot is still there, as are the fullsome garlands of rose and jasmine in the heart. It’s a tribute to Polge’s mastery that each element can be identified, but the character is definitely more mysterious, wavering between the freshness and a mischeviously seductive trail that lingers all day.
While in the showroom – surrounded by balloons and a grand piano, no less! – we were honoured to be among the first to see the new advertising campaign, once again starring Keira Knightley (incredibly, the muse of the iconic perfume for more than a decade, now) who cavorts and pillow-fights her way through what looks like the best party ever. Embodying the spirit of Coco Mademoiselle Intense, the film shows Knightley effortlessly transitioning from sophisticated modernity to exuberantly playful – just as we feel while wearing it…
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Intense from £82 for 50ml eau de parfum
Reminding us of our beloved leather jacket, a stack of books or the wood-panelled, boozily infused surroundings of a members’ only club, leather fragrances are generally not for the scent-shy. Scintillatingly smoky, they evoke a particularly voracious and luxurious sensuality, favouring deep base notes that linger the whole day long.
Russian leather fragrances have a long heritage, recently enjoying something of a revival as we crave perfumes that are bigger, badder and bolder than before, and it’s the intense, relentless smokiness of birch that’s the vital scent ingredient giving Russian leather it’s characteristic smell.
In order to process birch for perfumery, the bark of the tree is peeled off in papery strips and soaked in a water/alcohol mixture until it forms a ‘liquor’, which is then evaporated to leave the oil behind. Perfumers can use any number of ingredients along with birch to compose a ‘leather accord’ – echoing the history of the leather trade and tanning process itself, when animal hides are treated with strong-smelling oils to mask their naturally foul odours.
Over time, the smell of ‘Russian leather’ became shorthand for luxury goods and an exoticism lusted over by wealthy travellers who wanted to waft forth their fortunes in scent form, too. And this eventually led to a piece of that history being present in practically every bathroom in the UK, including, perhaps, your own…?
The Russian soap-opera in your bathroom…
Cussons’ Imperial Leather soap has been a staple of British bathrooms since 1938, but you might well wonder where it gained the name. According to their heritage story, ‘In the 1700s Bayleys of Bond Street were challenged by Count Orlof to create a perfume which embodied the distinctive aroma of the Russian court, and as a result they developed the scent of Imperial Leather.’
In 1921 Bayleys was acquired by Cussons Sons & Co, and it wasn’t until 1938 that Cussons conceived the idea of launching a soap based on their archive scent, initially called ‘Imperiale Russian Leather’, but soon renamed to ‘Imperial Leather’.
During the 40s, soap was heavily rationed in Britain, so Imperial Leather was marketed as being the best choice because it lasted far longer than other brands, with the world’s tallest man apparently being a fan, presumably because, well, he got through a lot of soap!
In 1975 the Cussons Group was acquired by Paterson Zochonis, now renamed PZ Cussons – currently boasting an extraordinary range of fragranced body products (along with the ever-popular Imperial Leather), including soaps and shower gels scented like sherbet lemons and even cherry Bakewells, for perfume-lovers of a certain age, the name of Cussons will forever evoke the comforting smell of Imperial Leather.
Six Russian Leather scents we love:
We think winter is the perfect time to explore this fascinating fragrance family, and we’re certainly not short of recently released scents to try. Read on to see how the many moods of Russian leather can go from the masculine to feminine, from the softest caress to the sizzlingly opulent…
Curls of smoke swirl through a Siberian pine forest, leather-bound books infused with a campfire’s glowing ember scent.
Molton Brown Russian Leather £45 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at moltonbrown.co.uk
Butter-soft leather liberally dusted with baby powder, the comfort of warm skin embraced with an open heart.
‘Take a chance on me / that’s all I ask of you honey’ sang ABBA, and many millions of perfume lovers have fallen for the charms of Chanel’s Chance since it was first launched in 2003. Created by Jaques Polge, this ‘unexpected floral’ is distinctive from the iconic, chunky bottles of previous fragrances, the round bottle representing a wheel of fortune, for ‘…to be lucky, you have to take a Chance.’
But did you know there are four differing versions to choose your own Chance?
Chanel have now revealed the new Chance campaign for 2018: a series of four delightfully playful mini-films, offering an invitation to ‘take your chance’, each film starring a vibrantly contemporary woman – highlighting the four differing facets of the fragrance, depending which version you plump for.
‘4 fragrances, 4 colours, 4 states of mind represented by 4 women’ say Chanel. So now, the only question remains: which Chance will you take…?
WITH ANGELA YUEN TAKE YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE EAU TENDRE, a floral-fruity fragrance that blends the grapefruit-quince accord with the softness of jasmine and the smoothness of white musk notes, Angela Yuen is the epitome of delicateness. Originally from Hong Kong, the talented 23-year-old actress currently stars in the film The White Girl, directed by Jenny Suen.’
WITH SELAH MARLEY LIVE YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE, this floral fragrance that blends pink pepper, jasmine and ambery patchouli, Selah Marley shines with optimism. Daughter of singer Lauryn Hill, the 19-year-old American model is a frequent figure at CHANEL events and walked the runway for the Paris-Cosmopolite Collection.’
WITH BELEN CHAVANNE FOLLOW YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE EAU FRAÎCHE, this floral-sparkling fragrance that melds notes of citron, jasmine and teak wood, Belen Chavanne is bursting with freshness. The 28-year-old model and actress from Argentina is regularly seen at CHANEL events and is a loyal fan of the House.’
WITH LILY NEWMARK INVENT YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE EAU VIVE, this floral-zesty fragrance stirred by the vivifying notes of grapefruit and blood orange, Lily Newmark’s vitality is contagious. The 22-year-old Anglo-American film and television actress currently stars in the film Pin Cushion, which competed at the Cannes Film Festival and was directed by Deborah Haywood. She can also be seen in the 2018 film Born a King directed by Agustí Villaronga.’
Shot in the stunning Italian city of Venice, the films were directed by award-winning Canadian director Eva Michon, and there’s even a dedicated CHANCE CHANEL channel (try saying that quickly ten times!) set up on Instagram @chancechanel , where you can join in the celebrations by following #TAKEYOURCHANCE and #CHANCECHANEL
Can you imagine the smell of a cold knife? Of molten gold or hammered bronze? Not readily identifiable and posessing almost no scent of their own, yet we can easily conjure a metallic smell if we think about it hard enough.
Synthetic iris notes in a perfume or ambergris can be metal-like, in texture as well as the smell – providing a glinting sheen that cuts through a composition to render it otherworldly or luxuriously opulent, weirdly familiar or (depending how it’s handled) thrusting a literal backbone of steel in to the heart of a scent.
Metallic shine has reflected throughout beauty and fashion, and now the fragrance world has come to dip its fingers in the glistering pot. Always amazed at how perfumers can relay texture and temperature through intricate blends of ingredients, fragrances with metal notes may sound scary at first, here are six metallic scents that are beautifully worked and warming our cockles right now…
Inspired by the birthplace of classic chypre ingredients and copper sharing its etymology (kupros) with the island of Cyprus, it seems only natural to link the two. Shimmying beguilingly with bergamot and pink berries, the slippery liquidity of iris and resinous patchouli melt into the warmth of suede, extreme amber, ambroxan and addictively more-ish tonka bean absolute. Juliette Has a Gun Metal Chypre £220 for 75ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Harrods
Completing the trio of their precious metal inspired scents, the latest is pure sophistication with a haze of jasmine absolute, white musk and orchids – each petal seeming to unfurl with the heat of your skin. Gauzily gorgeous, you’ll certainly feel expensive, and expect to be enchanted for countless hours. Ormonde Jayne White Gold £375 for 120ml eau de parfum
Buy it at selfridges.com
Incredible how some ingredients absolutely smell of particular temperatures, and the warming gleam of precious gold has definitely been evoked here with sun-drenched mandarins and a cashmere soft woodiness that wafts elegantly the whole day through. We loved it when the weather matched and are enjoying even more, in nostalgia. Michael Kors 24K Brilliant Gold £42 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at House of Fraser
The French have an expression: ‘Qui a de la platine‘ (literally, he who has platinum) that describes a brilliant and eloquent man, From the classic lavender/rosemary freshness of a fougére pepped up with pettigrain to a striking clary sage and geranium accord at the heart, our interest peaks at the ambery dry down. To be worn by smooth-tongued silver foxes, we feel. Chanel Platinum Égoïste £52 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at chanel.com
Perfumer Alberto Morillas infuses Damask rose absolute and jasmin with billowingly soft white musk and tendrils of incense for the kind of opaquely resonant olfactory experience you’ll be wanting to wrap yourself in season ’round. Can a perfume smell both warm and gleamingly pink without being too girly? This one does so, effotlessly. Bulgari Rose Goldea £38.50 for 25ml eau de parfum
Buy it at johnlewis.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale
The phones are quiet. (Isn’t it bliss?)
And if you can’t take a two-minute ‘Chanel-break’ in anticipation of the launch of Chanel’s first major fragrance in 15 years – Gabrielle (after the designer’s real name) – you’re probably in deep trouble.
Of course we’ll be bringing you more about this hotly-anticipated scent (which, among other virtues, happens to have one of the most striking bottles we’ve yet seen – a true feat of glass engineering).
But now? Join us in a coffee with Gabrielle Chanel,– couturier, visionary, rule-breaker – as we hurtle through her quite extraordinary life.
Written by Jo Fairley
* This is No.21 in the Inside Chanelseries, which you can find hereon YouTube. That’s a lot of coffee breaks to look forward to.
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