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’m pretty much obsessed with CHANEL body products. Their Bleu de Chanelshaving products are some of the best I’ve used and I fell massively hard for their Nº5 Body Oil, like really hard. So when CHANEL launch a scented something for the body I want it on my body, and I want it on my body right now. This is exactly how I felt when the press release for the brand’s exciting new hand cream ‘La Crème Main‘ landed in my inbox – I needed to have it. So now I have it and I want to share with you just why it’s my latest Candy Crush.
So I’ve been a bit naff with posting regular vlogs…
I had originally intended to post a new vlog every week but I fear that this may have been a tad optimistic (what with this blog, Fume Chat podcast, Escentual columns and full-time job etc.). Instead of every week I’ve decided to commit to posting seasonal round-ups (like my ‘Six Scents for Summer‘) and reviews of big launches – i.e. the launches I think you want to know about.
With big launches in mind, my latest vlog is a review of Gabrielle by CHANEL. I wrote a full review of the scent at the beginning of the week (read that here) so it makes sense to end the week with the vlog. So if you want to hear me talk about Gabrielle a bit more then all you have to do is watch the video below the jump. Please feel free to leave a comment – oh and don’t forget to subscribe.
Gabrielle is the first feminine pillar fragrance from CHANEL since Chance in 2002. That’s a 15 year gap, which is somewhat unprecedented in an industry that is all about churn, churn, and more churn. But thankfully, CHANEL is a house that takes their time when it comes to fragrance. Of course, since 2002 CHANEL has launched fragrances, releasing a number of flankers of their existing perfumes, not to mention the launch of their Les Exclusifs collection as well. So Gabrielle isn’t the first new fragrance from CHANEL in 15 years, but it is the first entirely new pillar for women.
You may have guessed from the name, that Gabrielle takes inspiration from the brand’s founder Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. At CHANEL all roads lead back to Coco and a number of their fragrances have historically born the name of the founder (Coco, Coco Mademoiselle and Coco Noir), whilst others are named for dates that were important to her (Nº19 and Nº22), so Gabrielle is very much in this same vein. But for Gabrielle it is the rebellious and passionate spirit of Gabrielle Chanel that is celebrated, not just her name.
“I have chosen the person I want to be and am” said Gabrielle Chanel and Gabrielle the perfume, which has been composed by the brand’s in-house perfumer Olivier Polge, is described as being as “majestic, courageous, valiant, bold and passionately feminine” as Chanel herself. The fragrance is a floral, a “dream flower, an explosive corolla, a whirlwind of petals”, created to encapsulate the spirit of the founder. So how does this new addition to the CHANEL collection measure up to the brand’s other classics and was it worth the 15 year wait? There’s only one way to find out – let’s sniff!
We don’t know each other that well, you and I, but I wish to make amends. Hopefully by the end of this letter we will become better acquainted.
I know this may come out of the blue to you, dear Bleu, but I am an insufferable snob. It’s hard to believe, I know, but when it comes to perfume I demand the very best – something unusual just for me. I guess I just don’t want to smell like all the other guys, because I’m not like all of the other guys, you see, which has left you in the position of being unfairly overlooked.
You tell men that they should ‘be extraordinary’ (it’s right there in your tagline), but on the surface I felt that there was nothing particularly out of the ordinary about you, in fact ‘ordinary’ would have summed up my feelings about you quite succinctly. I don’t mean to be harsh or cutting, you understand, but my apology would not be meaningful if I didn’t explain, in full, how we got here.
A bottle of CHANEL Nº5 is sold every thirty seconds – just digest that fact for a second – that means by the end of this sentence, someone, somewhere around the world has bought themselves, or someone they love, a bottle of a fragrance that is as iconic as the Volkswagen Beetle, as timeless as Cartier diamonds and as beautiful as Paris at night. Nº5 has been a consistent bestseller since its launch in the 1920s putting it in the unique position of being the scent of many generations – it is our scent, the scent of our mothers and grandmothers – the smell of first dates, goodnight kisses and heart wrenching goodbyes. Nº5 is so much more than a perfume, it’s a friend that has accompanied us on life’s many journeys and it is someone we all know oh so very well.
Writing about CHANEL Nº5 is like photographing the Eiffel Tower – others have been there, done that and said all that can be said, snapped all that can be snapped, sniffed all that can be sniffed, even, but still there is a yearning to experience it for oneself and to speak of that experience. CHANEL Nº5 is a legend of the perfume world. Scrap that, Nº5 is the most famous perfume in the world and when most people think of perfume they think of Nº5. So it’s a daunting fragrance to approach as a writer because how could one ever do it justice? For me, Nº5 is the elephant in the room – it simply has to be written about. In this piece I’ll be celebrating CHANEL’s flagship fragrance by taking a look back at its history as well as sniffing its five incarnations, guiding you, Dear Reader, through the fabric of a perfume that can only be called a legend, and even then the description doesn’t quite do it justice. This is Nº5 to the power of five.
I didn’t originally have a post scheduled for today, but I simply had to tell you about something brand new and exciting from CHANEL. I mean, it would be rude of me not to spread some CHANEL-scented joy now, wouldn’t it? Indeed! Seeing as it’s nearly Christmas (only 71 more sleeps, people) and the holiday season is the domain of CHANEL Nº5, it makes sense that Paris’ biggest fashion house is treating us to a delightfully scented treat just in time for gifting season – a treat that is certainly getting me very excited: Nº5 Body Oil.
“Nº5 THE BODY OIL offers an exceptional moment of supreme refinement. The extremely gentle scented oil brings a promise of relaxation in the soothing atmosphere of Nº5. It subtly emits the iconic fragrance like a beckoning path to sensual delight. Bathed in a delicate scent, the skin is left soft, moisturised and dry to the touch.”
The district of Peckham in south-east London isn’t the first place that springs to mind when one thinks of the house CHANEL, but that’s exactly where the world’s most famous couturier decided to host a five-day pop-up scent installation inspired by their fragrances. The location was chosen because it is home to the studio of Es Devlin, the Stage Designer picked by CHANEL for their first collaboration with i-D under their ‘The Fifth Sense’ partnership.
Es Devlin creates “kinetic sculptures meshed with light” and is famous for piecing together elements of the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony, Béyonce’s Formation World Tour (having created a gigantic “monolith” of a video screen for the tour), Adele’s BRIT Awards performance of “When We Were Young”and pretty much all of Kanye West’s performances in recent years. With such an illustrious and frankly fascinating body of work, it’s no surprise that Es was the perfect artist to work with for CHANEL’s very first pop-up scent installation.
Entitled ‘Mirror Maze’ this installation takes themes of navigation, gravity and memory, and links them to fragrance. The physical aspect sees a mirrored maze reminiscent of Coco Chanel’s famous mirrored staircase intertwined with video installations and soundscapes. Fragrance comes into play in the form of a specially-created scent crafted by CHANEL in-house Perfumer, Olivier Polge – a fragrance that scents a special space within the installation. The fragrance and installation (which closed yesterday) will last for five days, after which they will only exist as memory.
“I began to think about scent as a means of finding my way and measuring myself – not in space but through time. I thought about the smells that take me back – burning street tar, Vicks inhaler, Christmas tree resin, freshly cleaned school corridors, printer ink, chlorine, sunscreen, baby milk, mosquito coils, Indian jasmine mixed with street cooking, diesel – and I began to see them as landmarks for who I was when I first and last smelled it.”