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La Chanelphile

December 19, 2010

12 Days of Christmas: Chanel Fragrances

Chanel is perhaps most well known the world over for fragrances – especially Chanel No. 5.  Still a best seller, Chanel No.5 makes a beautiful gift.  I especially love visiting department stores and Chanel.com because they have lovely fragrance gift sets that come with a fragrance (perfume or eau de toilette usually) along with body cream or gel.  In addition to Chanel No. 5, there’s a host of scents that are sexy and feminine including Coco, Coco Mademoiselle, Allure, Chance and No. 19.  I especially love Les Exclusifs de Chanel (only available online or in Chanel boutiques) or the Chanel No. 5 new purse sprays (available online) – a cute stocking stuffer!  All of the items pictured above can be purchased on Chanel.com.

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November 5, 2010

Chanel Limited Edition 2010 Fragrance Wardrobe

Each holiday season Chanel unveils its annual fragrance wardrobe – a limited edition set of 5 mini bottles of its most popular fragrances.  Every Christmas I would walk by the Chanel fragrance counter and eye the set and wish for it.  Last Christmas, my wish was granted when my little sister got my the 2009 fragrance wardrobe as a gift!

This year, the Chanel 2010 Fragrance Wardrobe is delicious as ever featuring five demi Parfums, 0.12 oz. each of N°5, Coco Mademoiselle, Coco, N°19 and Allure in a deluxe gift box.  This makes a wonderful gift for any Chanelphile and is a great way to get a taste of iconic Chanel fragrances without investing in large bottles.  The 2010 Fragrance Wardrobe can be purchased on Chanel.com.

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October 3, 2010

Les Exclusifs de Chanel Petits Flacons

One of my favorite Chanel scents (and the one that is my current daily scent) is Beige, part of Les Exclusifs de Chanel collection.  If you’ve seen this collection exclusively at Chanel Boutiques (hence the name) then you know the size of these bottle is no joke.  When I asked why the bottles were so big, the sales person noted that these scents were very light and made to be sprayed liberally – all over.

While the bottles are large enough to douse yourself lavishly with your favorite scent, they are not very practical to take with you on romantic getaways.  Well, the Chanel gods have answered my prayers!  Now four of Les Exclusifs – Beige, Sycamore, Eau de Cologne and Coromandel – are available in 2.5 fluid ounce petits flacons (the regular size is a whopping 6.8 fluid ounces).  The one catch is that you get less than half the scent for more than half the price.  It doesn’t make much economic sense but it is Chanel after all.  You can buy the petits flacons at Chanel boutiques and online at Chanel.com.

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September 7, 2010

Hint Magazine Interview with Jacques Polge

Jacques Polge, the infamous “nose” behind over thirty Chanel fragrances, sat down to talk with the folks at Hint Magazine on the eve of the 20th Anniversary of Egoïste. The fragrance was revolutionary at the time of its release in 1990 because of its “gender-bending” scent and was accompanied by a dramatic and elegant film ad.

Read the interview re-printed from Hint Magazine below:

Q&A with Legendary Chanel Perfumer Jacques Polge
by Stéphane Gaboué

There has been, perhaps, no better launch of a men’s cologne than Chanel’s landmark Egoïste in 1990. Not only were its gender-bending scent and provocative name immediately, and forever, etched in our collective memory (particularly in France), but who could forget Jean Paul Goude’s gorgeously camp TV commercial, with its over-the-top Prokoviev soundtrack and hysterical women shouting from balconies? Citing the 17th-century French playwright Pierre Corneille, this is what they so plaintively, melodramatically cried out (translated): “Egoïste, where are you? Stop hiding, selfish man! Watch my ire! I will be implacable! O anger! O despair! You betrayed my love. Have I lived simply to know this infamy? Show yourself! Egoïste!”

As the fragrance marks its 20th anniversary this year, we wanted to know more about its genesis and its genius creator, Jacques Polge, Chanel’s legendary in-house perfumer—or “nose”—for 32 years…

A Chanel executive once told me that of all the fragrances you’ve created at Chanel, Egoïste is your favorite. Is that true?
Yes, it’s true, it’s my favorite. It was so new and singular—and still is.

How did the adventure start?
What happened was, I found an old formula by Ernest Beaux [creator of N°5] of a women’s fragrance called Bois des Iles, which is exclusively sold in Chanel stores. There was a high content of sandalwood in it. We were used to such scents as fougères in men’s fragrances, but sandalwood had never been used as the main note in a male perfume. Egoïste is built around that. There is also some ambrette seed in it.

What about the name? Egoïste, which means selfish in English, is perhaps not the easiest way to market a fragrance.
In our industry, we always use code names while working on fragrances. For example, I have a bottle here named Carla. It has nothing to do with Mrs. Sarkozy. It is a new variety of lavender. So at the time, in the eighties, I was working on a men’s fragrance that we called Black Wood. Chanel’s then-CEO had said that if we were to launch a men’s fragrance, we should also launch a menswear line. Ultimately, they dropped the menswear idea, so he decided to cancel the fragrance. But some of us really liked it, so we said, “We’re still going to launch it. Only, it will be exclusively available in our flagship stores.” We called it Bois Noir.

It still wasn’t called Egoïste?
No. But when you put fragrances in stores, there is always a fan base. And people loved Bois Noir. There really was a buzz around this perfume. So we decided to launch it for a wider audience. The marketing people said Bois Noir wasn’t a good name, so they chose Egoïste instead. There was this beautiful photography magazine called Egoïste, which was done by Nicole Wisniak. We called her and bought the rights to use the name for the fragrance.

Then there was the fabulous commercial…
Yes. Jean Paul Goude made this very strong commercial, which played a major role in the fragrance’s fame. Yet, despite all the exposure, the fragrance didn’t sell that well, especially in America. We had expected more success with it. So we launched Egoïste Platinum in 1994, which was a more classic scent, and it was a much bigger hit. But I am still very glad we did Egoïste. I think it’s important for a brand to have a fragrance that shakes things up. You know, the men’s market is very particular. I know we went far with Egoïste, but I like it. It was good for Chanel. Brands today maybe don’t have the courage that they used to.

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August 30, 2010

Behind the Scenes: BLEU DE CHANEL Advertising Film Directed By Scorsese

Last week Chanel released the advertising film for Bleu de Chanel directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Gaspard Ulliel. The behind the scenes videos below are an interesting glimpse into the making of the short film and you get to see the genius of Scorsese at work. Chanel has done it again with another great advertising film. I’m looking forward to the next one!

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August 25, 2010

Chanel Unveils Scorsese-Directed BLEU DE CHANEL Advertising Film

Building on a tradition of partnerships with influential directors, CHANEL gave a free hand to Academy Award-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese to direct the highly anticipated short advertising film for its new men’s fragrance BLEU DE CHANEL.

Entitled Bleu de Chanel, the film features celebrated French actor and rising international star Gaspard Ulliel playing the role of a young actor whose artistic talent, rebelliousness and luck have recently catapulted him into the public eye, but who refuses to conform to the lifestyle and expectations his newly found fame has forced upon him. As he struggles with new pressures and demands, he encounters his first love who for years supplied him with the passion and turmoil that fueled his work. Faced with a choice, he pushes aside convention to embody the bold character of BLEU DE CHANEL by daring to be unexpected.

A reflection of his deep history with the Rolling Stones, Scorsese chose the song She Said Yeah, a 1965 release from their album December’s Children (And Everybody’s), as the soundtrack for the film.

“Martin Scorsese is a director whom I’ve admired for a long time,” says Gaspard Ulliel. “I see him as one of the great masters of contemporary filmmaking. Throughout the five days of work, he overflowed with energy and enthusiasm and achieved something that truly stands out from other fragrance commercials.”

Created by CHANEL Master Perfumer Jacques Polge, BLEU DE CHANEL is a woody aromatic fragrance for today’s modern man. The provocative fragrance features notes of grapefruit, dry cedar and labdanum.

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Fragrance,Chanel Media — Tags: , , , — La Chanelphile @ 10:07 am

July 30, 2010

Bleu de Chanel Fragrance for Men

Chanel is introducing a new fragrance for men this fall called Bleu, a scent created by Chanel’s “nose” Jacques Polge. Chanel describes the scent as:

The provocative fragrance opens with an intriguing wave of citrus fruits, mingled with the airy scent of a deep blue sea. Next, the zest of Grapefruit punctuates, followed by the tang of Peppermint, Pink Pepper and Nutmeg. Finally, in this initial impression, a touch of Ginger heightens the sharpness of the citrus.

As you may recall, earlier in the year we let you know that Martin Scorcese had directed an advertising film starring French actor Gaspard Ulliel – it was for this fragrance.  The advertising film Bleu de Chanel will be released later in August and Bleu will hit shelves this Fall.

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July 7, 2010

Chanel N˚5 Wins “Best Classic Fragrance”

Each year Allure Magazine hosts a Reader’s Choice Award and this year, Chanel N˚5 won Best Classic Fragrance. This should come as no surprise as Chanel N˚5 has been making waves since it debuted on May 5, 1921. Perhaps the most famous fragrance in the world, a bottle of Chanel N˚5 is sold every 55 seconds. (Stephen Brook, Guardian.co.uk).  No other perfume has gained the iconic status of Chanel N˚5 and it’s easy to see why it would win the Best Classic Fragrance award.

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Filed under: Chanel Fragrance — Tags: , , , , , — La Chanelphile @ 7:19 pm

June 10, 2010

Chanel N˚5 Wins Fragrance Foundation FiFi Award

The winners of the Fragrance Foundation’s FiFi Awards were announced and Chanel N˚5′s “No.5: Train de nuit” won the award for Best Media Campaign.  As you may recall, the campaign for Chanel N˚5 feautured French ingénue Audrey Tautou and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who directed her in her breakthrough film, “Amélie.”

The campaign certainly deserves this honor as it was the best media campaign I have seen for a fragrance. Not only was the film beautiful, but all of the correlative marketing materials – from the website to print ads – were gorgeous and evocative of the classic Chanel N˚5 scent.

You can view Chanel’s “No.5: Train de nuit” below:

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April 12, 2010

Nylon TV – Factory Girl Visits the Chanel Perfume Lab

Coco Chanel is a fashion icon but what launched her into fashion cult status is the worldwide popularity of her signature scent, Chanel No.5.  The house of Chanel has released countless fragrances – one more compelling than the next.  I personally love Coco Mademoiselle, Allure, Chanel No.5 Sensual Elixir and my current favorite Beige.

Nylon TV‘s Factory Girl paid a visit to the famed Chanel Perfume Lab where “all the magic happens” to sit down and chat with famed “nose” (i.e., perfumer) Jacques Polge.  So jealous! I want her job! Watch the video below …

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