I was surprised to discover that there were still people that didn’t know that Coco Chanel’s name was actually Gabrielle when Chanel announced the name of their new fragrance; an entirely new release in 15 years that bears the birth name of its founder.
Chanel has created a pop up experience space called ESPACE GABRIELLE CHANEL located at 27 Old Bond Street dedicated to the fragrance, its ingredients and of course Coco Chanel herself.
The space is simple and clean and focuses on the ingredients, the bottle, the perfumer and of course Gabrielle Chanel’s ideals and motto. Coco Chanel was one of the first fashion designers whose purpose was to define and not confine female nature.
The perfumer is Olivier Polge who crafted this Eau de Parfum as an imaginary flower based on a bouquet of four white flowers: Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Orange Blossom & Tuberose.
There is a transparent wall with the flowers on Plexiglas panels that depending on the angle you look at them, they merge into a bouquet that is the heart of the perfume.
The glass tunnel leads you to a space where the Gabrielle commercial is playing non - stop while a couple of screens at the front, show images of Coco Chanel and the inspiration that led to the fragrance.
The most interesting aspect is the “wall of perfume notes” that has the images of the four main flowers used in the heart of the scent and by pushing a little button you get a waft of the flower note – very tempting!
Jasmine - Enveloping, creamy, exotic
Orange Blossom - Fresh and sparkling
Tuberose - Heady and leathery
YlangYlang - Green and fruity, vibrant notes
If you have booked an appointment you will be taken upstairs where you will have the opportunity to hear a short presentation of the inspiration, notes, details about the Gabrielle Chanel’s life, the bottle and try the individual notes blindfolded! If you haven’t tried anything similar I highly recommend it.
A lot of thought has gone into the bottle as it took 5 years to design. It’s crafted from ultra-thin glass, it’s very smooth to the touch, and it lets the light shine through. Hand polished and finished for an extra luxurious feel it also has a little secret; as soon as you spray the fragrance a couple of times the little tube becomes invisible, perfecting this way the polished look of the bottle.
The label mirrors the stopper in size and shape, with an indefinable lamé color, a delicate balance between gold and silver. To finish, the silhouette of the bottle is embossed on the protective case.
The fragrance itself is as described, a radiant and sparkling, purely feminine floral scent that sits beautifully on the skin and envelops you. If you are a Chanel perfume fan especially No.5 you will find it to be light and a bit "girly" even but I think it's spot on to what Chanel wanted to channel with it. Gabrielle is the young woman before Coco or Mademoiselle, who chose, wore and launched No. 5. she is fresh and youthful, playful and trying to find her place in the world.
You still have time to book a visit until the 24th of September if you are in London!