Real talk: you’re either a CHANEL No.5 woman or you aren’t.
Women around the world feel fiercely passionate about their scented armour and CHANEL’s No.5 is the
King’s Queen’s shield. So, what should one expect when CHANEL launches its first “pillar” fragrance release since CHANEL Chance in 2002? To understand the scent, you have to understand the woman who bears its name.
Introducing, GABRIELLE CHANEL.
Before she was the designer Coco Chanel, she was Gabrielle. A rebel at heart and a renegade by example, Mademoiselle Gabrielle was a Leo whom couldn’t be tamed. What better place to get to know her and step into the world and creative mind of Gabrielle than in her home in Paris itself.
Occasionally, words fail me—and as I stand inside of 31 Rue Cambon, attempting to describe Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment, it is understandably one of those times. Putting words to the unmistakable and warm (not eerie) energy I feel upon walking in and only to find myself climbing those iconic stairs where Gabrielle once sat, taking in the house of Chanel’s first shows… Well, it’s a task that’s monumental, to say the least.
By now you can only imagine how it was nothing short of surreal to find myself (dressed in Chanel cream tweed no less), and lounging in all of the same spots Gabrielle did with the likes of Dali and Stravinsky some 90 years ago (oh, to be a fly on the wall…). The space abounds with signature Chanel—from the camellia flower (Gabrielle’s favourite), the glossy, lacquered black surfaces, to the dramatic suede furniture and extensive oriental influences of which I’m pleasantly surprised by. From the motley of ornate gold accessories and that famous chair Gabrielle was photographed in by Horst P. Horst, to the lush, cognac-hues and touches of scarlet red to the gold Venetian lions that felt almost inescapable (I’m told Gabrielle had a thing for pairs); the motifs that have made up countless collections led by Karl Lagerfeld suddenly made sense. After all, it was Gabrielle who once said, “An interior is a natural projection of the soul.”
Throughout the entire tour, my photographer and I somehow manage to restrain ourselves—even if her mahogany desk, etched with infinite scratch and pen marks, is ripe for scattering strands of Chanel pearls and Gabrielle handbags on. Reflecting on the Chinese screens that border the space, it’s clear the apartment has been immaculately preserved—a shop on the ground floor, a studio on the first and her apartment on the second. Being in Gabrielle Chanel’s home, it’s almost as if she never really left. And if the new GABRIELLE CHANEL fragrance is any indication, she hasn’t.
You see, Chanel’s major new fragrance is more than just a perfume. “It’s a genuine revolution,” says Olivier Polge, master perfumer. An abstract floral, Polge created the scent inspired by Gabrielle and focused on four white florals: creamy and heady exotic jasmine, shimmering green notes of ylang-ylang, sparkling orange blossom and tuberose (grown in Grasse – yes, there’s a difference!).
I should note that before I visit Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment, I purposefully wear GABRIELLE CHANEL intensely. Applied generously to skin and deliberately on the lining of clothing, it quickly becomes clear this scent isn’t for just a particular type of woman: young, mature, introverted or extroverted. It’s for every woman who believed she could. It’s for Gabrielle; it’s for me and it’s for you.
To shop GABRIELLE CHANEL Eau de Parfum, click here.
Gritty Pretty travelled to Paris with CHANEL to attend the global launch of GABRIELLE CHANEL.