Fragrance is not something that I chat about a lot over here, and I’m not really sure why because I love my perfumes and own way too many. Each of them have really special memories attached to them; my wedding day, a wonderful holiday, the birth of my child, and so on, making them not only fragrances sitting on my dressing table, but rather sentimental keepsakes. When the new offering (as of 1 September) from CHANEL arrived at my door, I was giddy with excitement, and with good reason; Gabrielle CHANEL is absolutely sensational.
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of this post, I think it’s important to pay homage to the woman behind not only the fragrance, but the CHANEL brand as a whole; Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel.
Born in 1883, Gabrielle was headstrong, courageous and determined not to let society dictate what she could and could not achieve as a woman. At the age of 12 her mother died of tuberculosis and so her father, a street vendor, sent to her an orphanage and her brothers to be farm labourers. Although being an orphan was incredibly difficult, this is where she learnt how to sew, helping to shape her very bright future. Fast forward many years of hard work later and Gabrielle, or Coco Chanel as she is more commonly known, became the woman that we can thank for the little black dress, the gorgeous tweed twin set and making it acceptable for women to wear trousers. Gabrielle the woman deserves as much recognition as Coco the designer does and so after 15 years, CHANEL launched their brand new fragrance honouring Gabrielle and all that she was: a dreamer, a doer, a rebel.
As mentioned, it’s been over a decade since CHANEL brought out a new fragrance but Gabrielle was worth the wait. The square design of the bottle echos the previous CHANEL fragrances but it has a few key differences that took years to perfect. The very first is one that you will realise as soon as you cradle the bottle in your hands, it is incredibly lightweight. Now although a heavy bottle is usually associated with luxury, like Gabrielle, the house of CHANEL didn’t conform to society’s rules, making the bottle stand out from the rest. The second difference that you will notice is that the walls of the bottle are incredibly fine, giving the fragrance the ability to fully radiate. And the final and third difference is the marloquette (the bottom of a fragrance bottle that is typically heavy and curved), like the walls of the bottle is much finer than you would usually see on a fragrance bottle. The aesthetic of the bottle as a whole is simplistic and light.
Now onto the main event, the fragrance itself. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of the original CHANEL No. 5, and although Chance was a hit with most, it wasn’t at the top of my list. But Gabrielle, my oh my, I am obsessed with it! When you first spritz some one, it is quite overpowering but it immediately starts to settle down to a wonderful subtle scent that does last a decent amount of the day on me. Of course everyone is different and has different skins so what lasts on me, may not last on someone else.
Olivier Polge, the CHANEL perfumer used four white flowers for Gabrielle: leathery hued green tuberose, fresh orange blossom, sensual jasmine and fruity ylang ylang. The combination of these flowers gives Gabrielle a beautiful and unique scent that can easily be taken from day to night with just a simple change of outfit change. This floral fragrance with a difference is perfect for the woman who is a go getter but still wants to add a feminine touch to her ensamble.
Gabrielle CHANEL is available from CHANEL counters as well as select Woolworths stores for R2465 for 100ml Eau De Parfum