La Chanelphile

February 5, 2013

Les Exclusifs de Chanel 1932

*Guest Post written by Alexis Dayers*

chanel les exclusifs 1932

Chanel Master Perfumer Jacques Polge, the nose behind 95% of Chanel’s fragrances, introduced the latest scent from the Les Exclusifs collection – 1932. The scent was named after the year Gabrielle Chanel debuted her first high jewelry collection, Bijoux de Diamants, which featured a collection of brilliant stars, fringes, feathers, bows and striking comets.

coco chanel bijoux de diamants

The image above is a still from the original showcase at Mademoiselle Chanel’s apartment. She arranged the diamonds in a way that was unique and ahead of the time. The 2012 Comete piece below pays tribute to the 1932 original and it’s my favorite of the collection.

coco chanel 1932 star choker

As beautiful and striking as this collection was and is – I hardly think of showstopping diamonds when I smell the fragrance. As a matter of fact, I feel a calming comfort.

chanel spring 2013 couture forest


Top: aldehydes, neroli, bergamot

Middle: jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, carnation, lilac

Bottom: vetiver, orris root, incense, opoponax, courmarin, vanilla, ambrette, musk

Les Exclusifs de Chanel 1932 opens with a floral aldehyde, citrus and jasmine. At first whiff I’m not swept off my feet but it’s a Chanel and I’m prepared to ride out this fragrance journey. What I have learned since I became a fragrance enthusiast was to have patience. What you may not be wowed by in the first three minutes will turn into something great within ten to twenty minutes or vice-versa. What happens next is the rose note kicks in. The jasmine is still there but it’s lingering in the background, not to heady to give you a headache but just enough to linger like a good memory. There’s bits of spice from the carnation but it’s fleeting. My nose isn’t sensitive and trained enough to pick the ylang-ylang and lilac but it’s at this point where I am paying attention again.

I am pretty sure the people on the train wonder what is wrong with me again because I can’t stop smelling my wrist.

The drydown is what brings it home for me. The jasmine becomes faint but the rose is still going strong and now I get a bit of a honey, almond, sweet hay. The wood notes are almost creamy. The soft powdery musk hugs my skin. It’s feminine, warm and makes me feel downright beautiful. Close to an hour later, I’m enveloped in a deep resinous vanilla, powdery aldehydes, sweet musk and woods. I feel like I’m wrapped in cashmere, particularly the $1000 cashmere wrap I got to try on at the Chanel boutique and I almost cried when I had to give it back the sales associate, while wearing this scent.

The sillage is moderate and longevity is quite impressive – I can get almost five hours of wear time before I felt the need to reapply. Anything that lasts over three hours on me is a good thing.

This is offered in a 75ml bottle ($130/USD) and 200ml ($230/USD). Les Exclusifs de Chanel is an exclusive collection found at Chanel boutiques and some department stores (flagship Nordstrom store – Seattle, WA).

I only own one 75ml bottle (Bois des Iles) of an Exclusif and I am really considering saving up for a small bottle of 1932. Like I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t wowed initially but I will usually give a fragrance three tries before I give my sample or decant away. There’s a bit of familiarity – the bits of honey is reminiscent of another Les Exclusifs scent, Beige, which is a beautiful honeyed white floral. Rose and woods are favorite notes of mine so that help win my vote and I’m a sucker for a sweet, powdery clean musk drydown. It’s beautiful and perfect for the office, lunch with girlfriends and in my case, play dates at the playground. Added bonus – the simple square bottle design with the heavy magnetic cap can make even the most shoddy dressers look like a million bucks. It makes you feel feminine just like a great classic Chanel scent would.

chanel spring 2013 couture

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Fragrance — Tags: , — La Chanelphile @ 5:54 am

April 22, 2012

Les Exclusifs de Chanel: Gardénia

chanel gardeniaOne of my favorite scents from Les Exclusifs de Chanel is Gardénia.  I’ve been waiting for the right moment to get it and I think that the light, fresh scent is perfect for spring and summer.  I tend to stay away from heavier scents once the weather gets warmer and Gardénia’s light floral scent is lovely in the hotter months.  Created by Master Perfumer Ernest Beaux in 1925 (also the creator of Chanel N°5), Chanel Gardénia is an ode to the camellia, Mademoiselle Chanel’s favorite flower. Gardénia is definitely on my shopping list this spring.

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Fragrance — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 9:13 pm

September 27, 2011

Les Exclusifs de Chanel JERSEY Out Now

Les Exclusifs de Chanel JerseyEarlier this summer, Chanel announced that they would be introducing two new scents this fall:  Chanel N°19 Poudré and Jersey, a new addition to Les Exlcusifs de Chanel.  I love the Exclusifs de Chanel collection because the premise of the collection is highlighting rare fragrances created by the House of Chanel.  Some of the fragrances are old fragrances that have been revived, while others are new creations.  The new creations are named after places and things that had a large impact on Coco Chanel’s life or on her design such as Coromandel for her beloved laquered screens, Beige for one of her favorite colors and now Jersey.

Jersey is significant because it is the first fabric she worked with in her apparel designs.  Though many of us live in jersey today, back when Chanel began designing apparel (early 20th century – WWI) jersey was only used for men’s undergarments.  This was just one of the revolutionary changes that Chanel made to women’s fashion as jersey is comfortable, movable and doesn’t require corsets.  Chanel’s use of Jersey was the second step toward freeing of women from the shackles of fashion (the first being freeing their heads from enormous overly embellished hats!).

Here is how Chanel describes the scent:

As light and liberating as the modern fabric for which it was named — daringly appropriated from menswear by Coco Chanel for women’s fashions — JERSEY is the new fragrance masterpiece from Chanel Master Perfumer Jacques Polge. An inspired composition, JERSEY is evocative of a meadow lush with lavender — an essence previously worn only by men. A tender trail of Vanilla and Musk brings femininity to the forefront, and a rare, sophisticated new scent is born.

Les Exclusifs de Chanel are available only in Chanel boutiques online at Chanel.com.  I’m going to the San Francisco Chanel boutique this weekend to test out Jersey – I can’t wait to experience it.  Right now I’m favoring Beige as my daily scent but I’ve been considering adding Gardenia to the mix – and now maybe Jersey.

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Filed under: Chanel Fragrance — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 11:16 am

June 7, 2011

Les Exclusifs de Chanel Now in Parfum Form

les exclusifs de chanel parfum
Les Exclusifs de Chanel, the heritage fragrances named after pivotal icons and places in Mlle. Chanel’s life are now available in parfum form. The fragrances, which originally were only offered in hefty 6.8 ounce flacons were made in light concentrations and meant to be sprayed liberally. Last year smaller, travel-friendly 2.5 ounce petits flacons were introduced and Chanel recently announced the introduction of Jersey, a new addition to Les Exclusifs range.  Now, Chanel is releasing Les Exclusifs in parfum form:  The most luxurious, concentrated form of fragrance – the fullest expression of the perfumer’s art. The parfums will be released in groups and the first four scents available in parfum are GARDÉNIA, N°22, CUIR DE RUSSIE and BOIS DES ILES and are available online for $160.

Check out the video clip below from an Arthaus documentary where Mlle. Chanel herself speaks on the importance of fragrance…

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Filed under: Chanel — Tags: , — La Chanelphile @ 10:32 am

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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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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March 19, 2009

Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige


Les Exclusifs de Chanel is a collection of fragrances that recalls a place, moment or theme that played an important role to Mlle. Chanel’s life.  All of the fragrances are available in only one size and concentration, 200ml size of eau de toilette.  They are light fragrances that are meant to be spritzed liberally in a decadent fashion.  Existing fragrances include Gardenia, Coromandel, Bel Respiro, and 31, rue Cambon.  The newest scent in the Les Exclusifs de Chanel Collection is Beige, the neutral color that Chanel single-handedly made chic.  Chanel once said, I take refuge in beige because it’s natural.“   Created by legendary “nose” Jacques Polge, this fragrance is everything that Chanel loved about her favorite color: it’s natural, light, elegant and sexy all at once.

While visiting the Chanel Ultra-Luxe Boutique, Ruby the sales associate, told me about Beige and how it was the newest in the series.  She also told me that most stores and the website didn’t even have it yet.  Ruby didn’t know it, but I had been on the hunt for a new fragrance for some time.   I had been wearing the same perfume, Samsara by Guerlain, since I was 18.   I’ve worn some other fragrances here and there during the past 16 years, all of them Chanel including Allure, Coco Mademoiselle and No. 5 Elixir Sensuel.   All of those scents, including Samsara, can be a bit heavy at times so I was looking for something a bit fresher. One whiff of Beige and I instantly found my new scent.  Beige is light, with notes of “hawthorne, freesia, frangipani, honey, white petals and yellow gold.”  I bought it that day in February and I’ve been wearing it everyday since.  Beige is now available in Chanel boutiques and will debut soon on the Chanel website.  The 200ml size retails for $190.

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