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Over the coming weeks I’m going to be sharing my top five fragrances from some of my favourite perfume brands in a series I’m creatively calling “Top Five”…

CHANEL – just the word evokes luxury, simplicity, and abstraction. When I think of CHANEL I think of quality – beauty presented without fuss or gimmick. The fragrances have a purity to them – a clarity that is instantly recognisable as CHANEL. Remember, this is a brand that is responsible for launching the most famous fragrance in the world, a bottle of which sells every 30 seconds. Perfume and CHANEL are linked together in the same way that couture and CHANEL are. They are symbiotic and I tell you what, they have some utter crackers in their collection.

Here’s my top five CHANEL fragrances.

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I’m always crushing on something scented or other. My nose knows no limits. Candy Crush is where I showcase the beautifully scented things I’m crushing on right now so you can hopefully develop a crush too.

I hate using fake tan. Past attempts have left me looking like an alien hybrid of streaky bacon and tangerines – not good. What’s more I LOATHE the smell – that hot, biscuit smell that lasts for days. So yes, I’m not a massive fan of the fake tan, but therein lies my problem, because I don’t actually mind a bit of a healthy glow on the ole bod and anything sun-related leaves me either burned or incredibly pale (due to the amount of SPF I use) so achieving such a hue is almost impossible. Argh, how annoying.

Enter CHANEL with L’EAU TAN…

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Pack your bags because CHANEL is taking us on holiday. They’ve booked the most luxurious mode of transport – no, not the Orient Express or Emirates First Class, it’s something much more special than that for this is an olfactory odyssey that takes one on a historical trek though the life and times of their inimitable founder: Mademoiselle Coco Chanel. There are three stops on the journey, so prepare to explore the green countryside of Normandy, dip your toes into the Atlantic coastline, and take long, endless strolls through a Mediterranean city. Don’t worry about packing any perfumes because CHANEL have got you covered with their latest collection: LES EAUX DE CHANEL.

With LES EAUX DE CHANEL, CHANEL say that it is not the destination that matters, but the journey. It is the idea of escaping – of exploring, losing oneself and finding oneself. It’s about traversing unchartered territory and experiencing new things. For the collection, CHANEL has called upon their in-house perfumer to create three contemporary eau de cologne-style fragrances (which are actually Eau de Toilette concentration) inspired by locations of historical significance to the brand. Housed within a new, travel-flask inspired bottle (which takes inspiration from vintage alcohol canisters carried in one’s waistcoat), these three ‘eaus’ mark a new chapter in the olfactory story of CHANEL. So let’s embark on an exciting journey and explore LES EAUX DE CHANEL.

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I’m always crushing on something scented or other. My nose knows no limits. Candy Crush is where I showcase the beautifully scented things I’m crushing on right now so you can hopefully develop a crush too.

So these CHANEL Candy Crushes are becoming somewhat of a habit. Don’t blame me though, blame CHANEL – it’s them who keep releasing beautifully scented ancillary products based on some of their most iconic fragrances – I’m just a boy with a greedy nose who cannot resist their charms. What’s more, these two latest gems from CHANEL are scented with Nº5 L’EAU, which consequently is one of my favourite CHANEL fragrances, so I really couldn’t resist. You can’t keep doing this to me CHANEL. Who am I kidding – I’m not ready to quit the brand – keep ’em coming!

Nº5 L’EAU stands out because it manages to strike the perfect balance between the classic and the modern. It takes the inimitable structure of the most iconic fragrance in the world and creates a new, very current twist on it whilst remaining faithful to all that makes Nº5 good and great. To celebrate the popularity of Nº5 L’EAU, CHANEL has launched two new ‘essentials’ to the collection – an enveloping ALL-OVER BODY SPRAY and a tactile ON HAND CREAM. I am obsessed with both.

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Due to its undeniable popularity, I am often asked for my thoughts on BLEU DE CHANEL and those thoughts are as follows: I like it, I think it’s the typical, modern aromatic masculine but executed very well with top notch ingredients. Do I wear it? Yes, sometimes, but I prefer to smell it on my husband – it smells particularly handsome on him. Does it excite me? I wouldn’t go that far but I do think that as far as this style of fragrance goes, the big bad BLEU is the best of the bunch. So yes, I’m a fan (aren’t we all) and I can totally see why it is so popular – it’s good.

In June, CHANEL is extending the BLEU DE CHANEL family with BLEU DE CHANEL PARFUM – a fragrance that “unleashes the power of BLEU DE CHANEL”, presenting it in its purest and most concentrated form. This is CHANEL in-house perfumer Olivier Polge’s first tweaking of BLEU and much like his approach to Nº5 with L’EAU he has sought to remain faithful to the original, keeping what made it so iconic, but has reset the balance, this time specifically in relation to BLEU’S signature woods to make them more prominent, “to create a stronger and more intense energy”. So is this BLEU DE CHANEL on steroids or is it BLEU DE CHANEL in 4K ultra-high definition?

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I’m always crushing on something scented or other. My nose knows no limits. Candy Crush is where I showcase the beautifully scented things I’m crushing on right now so you can hopefully develop a crush too.

I should start this post by saying that, out of all of the CHANEL fragrances out there, CHANCE is the one that I have the least experience with, having only really sniffed it on others.  This also extends to the entire CHANCE family of flankers, which I’m sure I have encountered in the wild but am yet to really dedicate some time to.  So when these exciting body oils landed on my desk I must admit that I was most intrigued to try them, not only because I wanted to see how they worked as an ancillary product, but also as an introduction to a collection of fragrances I have had limited exposure to.

But before we get to how good these body oils are (which is very good – spoiler alert), let’s talk some context first.  CHANCE launched in 2002 and targeted a younger audience for the iconic Parisian brand.  CHANEL is famously known for its grand dames, the likes of Nº5, Nº19, COCO and even to some extent, CRISTALLE.  Sure, COCO MADEMOISELLE came one year before CHANCE, but COCO M has a much broader audience. In comparison, CHANCE is the young CHANEL placing emphasis on playfulness as well as the brand’s signature of femininity that doesn’t give a fuck. It works very well.

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Out of all of the modern CHANEL fragrances, Coco Mademoiselle is the most iconic. It is the Nº5 for the modern age and since its launch in 2001 it has been the fragrance of choice for an entire generation of women. It’s hard to top a perfume this successful and rather surprisingly, Coco Mademoiselle hasn’t been subjected to the flanker treatment in its almost 20 year life span (for contrast, Chance, which launched after Coco M, has three flankers) – that is until now. Enter Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense from stage right.

Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense is a good example of a perfume that does what it says on the bottle – it’s essentially a more intense version of the original. CHANEL calls it “naturally excessive” billing it as a “fragrance with no intention of being forgotten”. It’s a bold statement and to achieve this, CHANEL has amplified each of the key facets of the original – the juicy citrus, dark patchouli fraction, and the glowing amber – to paint a clearer picture of Coco Mademoiselle. Let’s see if it is as ‘Coco Mademoiselle’ and ‘Intense’ as it thinks it is!