La Chanelphile

May 25, 2011

Chanel Introduces New Fragrances for Fall 2011

Chanel No.19 Poudré

Chanel is introducing two new fragrances: Chanel No. 19 Poudré, a re-imagining of Chanel No. 19 with the addition of Iris notes and Jersey, an addition to the Les Exclusifs range.  I love Les Exclusifs because the scents are so light and they are named after places and things important to the history of the house of Chanel.  Jersey was one of Chanel’s favorite fabrics and was the first fabric she designed apparel with when she made the transition from milliner to couturier.  Chanel No. 19 Poudré and Les Exclusifs Jersey will be out this Fall.

Interview with Jacques Polge, famed “nose” of Chanel that has created over thirty fragrances, republished from WWD:

jacques polge chanel nose

How have you seen the business evolve since you joined Chanel in 1978?
Unfortunately, I’d say perfumes have become trivialized today. There are too many! It’s become so easy, everyone is launching one. But they’re also trivialized where they’re sold, or when you open a magazine now, it’s full of perfumes. We try to fight against that here, but we’re also directed by the waves of the market. That’s just how it is. Also, now we only speak of global perfumes. There used to be an American perfumery that had different criteria than in France. Traditionally in France, good taste meant having some discretion. In America, and I’m speaking in broad strokes here, the idea was more that perfume was something expensive, and so you should really smell it. Today, brands have replaced national traditions, and brands do their fragrances for the whole world.

Has your creative process changed a lot?
I’m not sure it’s changed, but I know more now about Chanel and where I think we’re going than when I joined. It’s something I feel much better about than I used to. Our creative strategy is always to look within the roots of the company, and when I started, the only fragrance we were really selling was No.5. Now we have Coco and Coco Mademoiselle and others, too, so that’s great. But here, every new fragrance has to be different, and occupy a space where there is no fragrance. So the process is always new. And we’re constantly trying to find better and newer raw materials, ones that only we have.

What was the last new ingredient that blew your mind?
We’ve found some new musks that are very interesting, and we are working a lot at the moment on iris, which is a very important ingredient in No.19 Poudré. We have our plantations in Grasse, with rose and jasmine, and we’re trying to find new qualities in those. But we’re also trying to reproduce what was done 40 years ago, that nobody does anymore. Iris, for instance, is a very special product. It has a long processing time. You plant it. Then you remove the roots and dry them for three years to augment the irone, or the scent principle. Then you put it through some other processes so that only the purest part remains. No one does that anymore, because no one has the time. Sourcing iris is also difficult. So much of it comes from China now and it has a different scent. In this way, it’s not that we’re always doing totally new things, we’re also maintaining the artisanal side, and doing what no one does anymore. That combination gives us a result that no one else has.

And with your lab, you have greater control. You are somewhat unique in that, no?
Though Monsieur Beaux created No.5 in 1921, the company has had a fragrance arm since 1925. Since then, Chanel has always created its own products. In that sense it’s unique. There are other companies now that have their own labs, like Dior, and Hermès. Then there are others who closed theirs, like Lanvin. Guerlain has their own, but they haven’t made every single scent there. We buy products from firms like IFF and Firmenich, too, of course. There are lots of ways of working. But I can say we’re the only company that has both had its own lab and made all its own scents since the beginning.

What’s a perfumery trend you don’t love?
Those fragrances they call “marine scents.” I’ve never liked those. They discover two ingredients that people say smell like the sea, but to me, the sea never smelled like that! “Trend” is a difficult word. We don’t want to follow trends as much as create them, but it’s true that perfumes are very allied to fashion and fashion dictates trends. We had minimalist fashion at the same time that perfume started to return to very pure florals like L’Eau d’Issey and Estée Lauder’s Pleasures. Perfumes do follow fashion.

Even if they’re supposed to stay relevant for much longer?
Absolutely. The complicated part for us is we have so much to choose from. Monsieur Lagerfeld does six collections a year and we create a totally new perfume, not a variation, maybe once every 10 years.

Speaking of trends, you have avoided unisex entirely.
I find unisex interesting, but it’s true, it’s not a direction that we have taken. That said, there’s been a considerable evolution of what we call feminine scents and masculine scents. None of that is as simple as it used to be. How much masculinity do we put in a feminine fragrance, and vice versa? That changes. Sycomore, one of the Les Exclusifs, has lots of vetiver, and vetiver has usually been considered a masculine scent. Though it was conceived as a women’s fragrance, a lot of men are wearing it, too. If I had wanted to make it for men, I’d have done it slightly differently, but I’m pleased as long as people like it!

Do you believe in mentors?
When I was young, there were older perfumers and professors who impressed me a lot, but I wonder if it’s possible to have a mentor, really, in this métier. There’s no nose that resembles another. I’d say we have affinities for each other. It’s a small world. Then again, my son now works for IFF, developing fragrances for other fashion houses, and I have helped others start, as well. If I find someone I think seems intelligent, I’ll push them to do fragrance. Someone who works well, works well. I don’t want to make a comparison that sounds pretentious, but Pablo Picasso would have been a success at whatever he did. He could surely have been a great banker.

How do you know when a scent is finally finished and ready to be released?

It’s never finished. Sure, at one point you have to stop, but if they let me…let’s just say I can easily imagine a perfumer working on the same fragrance his whole life, like the painter Pierre Bonnard, whom they caught at the museum trying to retouch his canvasses. In another sense, perfume is never done because we manufacture our catalogue constantly, and we use a lot of natural ingredients, so we also have to control a lot for consistency. And then if we find a new raw material that complements something we already have, maybe we’ll do a variation. In that sense, a finished perfume isn’t ever really “finished” either. We had Coco and then 10 years later, Coco Mademoiselle.

What’s your favorite fragrance not created by you?
I will never denigrate my confreres, but I’m not going to advertise them, either! That said, we all love the first perfumes made by the great houses, like Guerlain or Coty, because that’s the beginning of it all. There’s a type of conversation that happens in perfumery. When Coty did Chypre de Coty, Guerlain did Mitsouko. If we try to name all the fragrances with a relation to Shalimar, we’d be in the hundreds. I will say there’s a perfume by Schiaparelli that’s now gone called Shocking. I worked for the company that made it before I was at Chanel and it still interests me. It has a lot of patchouli and every time I work with patchouli, I think of it.

What about favorites among your own?
I’d say Allure for women, because it’s very simple and when I smell it on a woman it’s very pleasant. It has great potential, though unfortunately, I’m not criticizing, but the company doesn’t push it compared to others. You can’t push them all. I’m also very fond of Égoïste. It’s a perfume for men like no other because of that accord between spice and sandalwood. It was derived from Chanel’s Bois des Îles, a women’s scent, and it wasn’t a big success, but I think people remember it.

Do you have to protect your nose? If you have a cold, do you not show up for work?
No, I’m here! I take no precautions. When we’re sick, of course, we’re handicapped, but oddly there are some things you smell then that you don’t when you’re well. With a little experience, a perfume formula is something you can read, too, like a musician can read music. Also, I don’t take precautions because though I might propose perfumes, it’s everyone else who judges them and makes them a success. You have to guard against becoming too specialized.

You studied poetry. Do you see a connection in that to what you do now?
Perfume is a poetic form. It’s a language that uses neither words nor images, and yet it’s one everyone can speak in their own way. [Jean] Cocteau said, “I sculpt the invisible,” and that’s an idea that works for me, too.

What do you do to relax?
Nothing at all! Relaxing is important.

How do you work within the pressure of a massive enterprise and stay creatively free?
You’d better stay free! You know for me, ultimately I don’t see an opposition between commercial and noncommercial. Good perfumes are perfumes that sell. I have no problem with that. But at the same time, you have to start with a perfume you love. Even if no one else does, at least you do!

What’s something a perfumer should never be?
Sure of himself.

Being sure of yourself and doing creative work is a fatal combination. You always have to doubt.


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

Chanel Links: May 25, 2011

chanel links
Lots of interesting Chanel news going on lately – when it rains, it pours! Click, click for more reading…

chanel no. 5 chanel coco mademoiselle bleu de chanel

In a new rating of 2010 Best Fragrances, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle ranked #1 for and Chanel No. 5 ranked as #4 for women’s fragrances and Bleu de Chanel ranked as #3 for men’s fragrances, via WWD.

jen brill chanel the coveteurChanel ambassador Jen Brill played in the Chanel archives for a shoot for The Coveteur – so jalouse! The Coveteur

Uniqlo has teamed up with Vogue Nippon and GQ Nippon and various artists including Karl Lagerfeld to produce Save Japan tees. Her World

A Question Of has produced a tee with Karl Lagerfeld’s likeness called “Conscious Karl” – you can purchase the tee on their online shop.

Bergdorf Goodman unveiled a new Chanel boutique that looks like a “luxuriously appointed residence mirroring the brand’s styles and fabrics.” WWD.

The Chambre Syndicale is hosting a very fancy couture bash at Versaille on July 7th “to inaugurate an exhibition charting the influence of 18th-century France on contemporary fashions” and of course, Chanel pieces will be in the exhibition, via WWD.

chanel fine jewelry chanel j12

“The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) on Tuesday announced that Chanel, a Member of the Council, has become certified against the ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards established by the RJC’s Member Certification System.”  IDEX

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Boutiques,Chanel Culture,Chanel Fragrance,Karl Lagerfeld — La Chanelphile @ 5:09 am

May 24, 2011

Estella Warren, Former Chanel No.5 Model Arrested

estella warren chanel no 5Former Chanel No.5 model Estella Warren was arrested on suspicion of DUI.  She allegedly crashed her Prius into three parked cars, assaulted a police officer and tried to escape arrest.  The actress and model’s friends have been concerned about her drinking and hopefully this incident, though unfortunate, will be a wake up call for her.  At least no one was hurt.  We wish her well.


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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Fragrance — La Chanelphile @ 11:13 pm

March 21, 2011

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle 2011 Ad Campaign – All Videos and Photos

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Ad CampaignI put up several posts on the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle ad campaign – feeding you little bits of info as I received it. Well, today, I received everything – the entire media package and I’m laying it all out here for you to enjoy.

On March 21, 2011, CHANEL will debut the highly anticipated short film titled, “Coco
Mademoiselle,” starring Oscar®-nominated actress Keira Knightley.

Three years after the first commercial film, Knightley reprises her role as COCO MADEMOISELLE, a modern
day Coco Chanel whose mystery, daring and rebelliousness are at the heart of her charm.

While the first film featured long evening gowns, the second takes on a more urban feel, with Knightley
appearing on the streets of Paris in a chic, beige motorcycle jumpsuit designed for her by Karl Lagerfeld.
Filmed in legendary locations across the City of Light – from Place Vendome to Place de la Concorde, the film
is a collaboration between Knightley and Joe Wright, a creative relationship that began with Wright’s
directorial debut, the Oscar®-nominated film Pride & Prejudice, and continued with the Oscar®-nominated

“For me, Gabrielle Chanel is an icon and there was an incredible power emanating from all the photos of her,”
states Knightley. “When I began to delve into her history more closely, I was obviously fascinated by her
immense talent as a designer, but more than that, by her singular background.”

The commercial film’s soundtrack, “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” by James Brown is performed by the
soulful voice of Grammy® award winner, Joss Stone and was published by Warner Chappell.
Coco Mademoiselle is a fresh oriental scent created by CHANEL master perfumer Jacques Polge in 2001.
The fragrance represents the ever-evolving spirit of Coco Chanel in this feminine, sexy, young and exciting

A national cable television flight of 30 and 60 second spots will debut March 22, 2011. A print advertisement
shot by Mario Testino will debut in April 2011.

In April 2006, Knightley joined the legendary league of women who have represented CHANEL in global
advertising campaigns. Her elegance, beauty and modernity are some of her qualities that parallel the iconic
faces featured in the CHANEL fragrance campaigns, including Nicole Kidman, Ali McGraw, Catherine
Deneuve and Audrey Tautou for N°5, Vanessa Paradis for Coco and Anna Mouglalis for Allure Sensuelle.

Source: Chanel

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Chanel Coco Mademoiselle – Le Film

It’s here!  We’ve seen the photos, the behind the scenes, the teaser and the trailer – now we can actually watch the full film.  Featuring Keira Knightley and Alberto Ammann, directed by Joe Wright and set to the tune of It’s a man’s man’s man’s world (James Brown, Betty Newsome), performed by Joss Stone. Keira Knightley looks gorgeous in this ad and it’s very steamy – see for yourself!

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March 19, 2011

Coco Mademoiselle Fragrance Campaign Trailer

There have been a bunch of images and videos leaked and now the Chanel website has been updated with a trailer for the new Coco Mademoiselle film featuring Keira Knightley and directed by Joe Wright.  The full ad should release tomorrow – can’t wait to see it!

See the behind the scenes images of the Coco Mademoiselle campaign, the first looks of the Coco Mademoiselle campaign and sneak peek of the Coco Mademoiselle film.

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March 10, 2011

Sneak Peek of Coco Mademoiselle Ad Featuring Keira Knightley

Oooh! First look at the new Coco Mademoiselle ad campaign featuring Keira Knightley directed by Joe Wright.  The two worked together on Pride & Prejudice.  So exciting.  It looks like it’s going to be good – it seems Keira is playing a “Chanel Superwoman.”  The ad rolls out on March 21st…

Source: Huffington Post

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March 8, 2011

Keira Knightly Coco Mademoiselle Ads – First Look

keira knightley coco mademoiselle

A few months ago we showed some sneak peeks of the new Coco Mademoiselle campaign featuring Keira Knightley again.  We’ve got a few more looks – we’ll have to wait until March 23rd to see the full campaign roll out.  From what I can see, Knightley looks beautiful in the ad.  I can’t wait to see the film that accompanies the photos!

keira knightley coco mademoisellekeira knightley coco mademoiselleImage Source: Catwalk Queen

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December 29, 2010

Chanel No.5 at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Starting January 6, the exterior of Paris’ Musée d’Orsay will be graced with the silhouette of the iconic Chanel No.5 bottle.  The image of the flacon measures 2,890 square feet and is covered with 1,200 handmade sequins.  Dazzling!

Source: WWD

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Culture,Chanel Fragrance — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 7:15 pm

December 24, 2010

A Chanel Merry Christmas

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a new year full of health, happiness and prosperity! I’ll be back in the New Year – I’m taking a much needed break to spend quality time with the family.


Image Source: Flickr Hagerstenguy

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