"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future.” - Coco Chanel
A couple of weeks ago I visited the Chanel Beauty counter in Selfridges Manchester. Makeup artist Lorna whispered to me while she was applying my eyeshadow, “you’re a Chanel girl aren’t you, I can tell… do you want to come to an exclusive Chanel event in a couple of weeks time?” No-brainer!
The event was to launch Chanel’s newest scent for 15 years, Gabrielle Chanel. Hype has been building since the French fashion house revealed plans for a new fragrance earlier this year, with the scent itself being kept closely under wraps until now. A new Chanel perfume is a once in a decade event!
The eau de perfume captures the rebellious and unconventional spirit of the founder of Chanel, giving us a glimpse of the woman behind the ‘Coco’ persona.
The brand describes, “Before she founded her House, Coco Chanel was Gabrielle. A rebel at heart, passionate and free, she fought to become the woman she wanted to be.”
It was developed by Chanel’s in-house perfumer Olivier Polges, who also created one of my favourite all-time fragrances, Viktor and Rolf’s Flower Bomb. I had high expectations.
Upon arrival at the Selfridges VIP event last Thursday, I was whisked up a private lift into the personal shopping area. I was greeted by lovely Lorna who, along with some of the other makeup artists from the store, demonstrated the new autumn beauty collection before giving us a special preview of the perfume.
Champagne flowed freely and canapés circulated while we listened to Nora from the Chanel fashion boutique in Selfridges. She spoke us through the iconic pieces from Chanel’s history. The tweed jacket, the pearl necklace, the 2.55 handbag and finally the new Gabrielle Chanel scent.
“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to go shopping” - Coco Chanel
Housed in a square glass bottle, the perfume looks similar to the iconic No.5., however, fellow Chanel geeks will notice that the Gabrielle bottle is much cleaner and is without the neck ribbon from No. 5. It’s the thinest bottle to date and took the fashion house over 5 years to perfect.
We were allowed a quick spritz before the release on general sale the next day. The perfume smells as good as it looks. It’s pure floral, based on a bouquet of four white flowers: jasmine, ylang ylang, tuberose from grasse and orange blossom.
Much more feminine than No. 5, it isn’t overly heady so is perfect for daytime wear.
"'Where should one use perfume?' a young woman asked. 'Wherever one wants to be kissed,' I said.” - Coco Chanel
A promotional film featuring actress Kristen Stewart and Beyoncé was also released to coincide with the fragrance launch. It shows Stewart breaking free from what appears to be a cocoon and dancing her way into a wall of Gabrielle bottles.
Thank you very much to Lorna and the rest of the Selfridges Beauty team for inviting me along to such a special event.
You can purchase Gabrielle Chanel here.