From The Straits Times    |

Photo: Instagram / heyvale_dollxo

When it comes to classic perfumes, nobody does it quite like Chanel.

The French house’s perfumes always have a sense of grandeur about them – you can tell that the finest ingredients are used, and there’s also something traditional about the olfactory formulations giving them the sense of elegance and impressiveness. Think Chanel No.5, No.19, Coco Mademoiselle and even the new Gabrielle.

This is all well and good and the brand has countless fragrance fans already, but we are totally in awe at the mastery of its newest perfume collection, which is a surprising departure from that norm. Les Eaux De Chanel is a three scent lineup that is set to capture a different set of fragrance lovers, the ones who prefer niche scents, almost elusive, unusual notes, and unisex blends.

The collection is inspired by three of Gabrielle Chanel’s favourite places – Venice, Deauville and Biarritz – and the freedom, blitheness and transporting power of traveling, of getting away. And in that free-spirited vein, all the scents are light mists and you can spritz them on liberally without them ever being too overpowering. As the brand puts it they are “still composed with the noblest ingredients to be found in perfumery, but here they are stretched out, more supple and flowing.” To encourage this new, carefree method of perfuming more liberally, the bottles too are in more generous sizes of 125ml and the nozzle diffuses the perfume more so it dispenses as a super fine mist. You can even wear any of the fragrances from this collection layered with each other, or with your usual perfume.


Scent #1: Paris-Deuville

Photo: Instagram / faashionnista

Deuville is a seaside town on the Normandy coast where Coco Chanel launched her first fashion collection – nautical inspired featuring stripes in jersey fabrics – in her shop on rue Gontaut-Biron, a chic street in Deauville. This scent is almost shockingly fresh, with a touch of bitterness and sharp green notes to add character. It is wonderfully zesty with orange rind at first whiff, then the middle notes of basil leaf and rose essence come through and linger on the skin, mingled with base notes of patchouli. Wear this sharp, elegant scent when you want to feel energised yet focused, smell unique yet elegant.


Scent #2: Paris-Venise

Photo: Instagram / marlimar

It was said that after the death of her lover Boy Capel, it was Coco Chanel’s trips to Venice, the immersion in its art, parties, and sun-drenched beaches that helped her recover from her loss and eventually helped her further develop her fashion style. So this Venice-inspired scent is proportionally rich, oriental, and more ornate. It opens with citrusy-fruity neroli and red berry, moving quickly into a warmer heart of geranium and vanilla, blended seamlessly into the lightest hints of of cedar and amber in the base notes. Altogether, this blend is hands down the easiest-to-wear oriental accented fragrance that won’t ever smell cloying or too heavy.


Scent #3: Paris-Biarritz

Photo: Instagram / The Accords

Here in the coast resort town of Biarritz, Chanel opened another of her shops and also indulged in beach picnics, invigorating swims in the Atlantic Ocean, and endless parties with her friends. And so, this scent is utterly aquatic, a composition that’s thoroughly refreshing and bracing, as if “soaked with water”, as Chanel perfumer Olivier Polge puts it. Juicy grapefruit and mandarin sits at the top of the scent, merging into aqueous notes reminiscent of the ocean. A hint of lily centers the fragrance and rounds off into white musk and vetiver for a smooth, light trail. A cool, watery fragrance that’s contrastingly sophisticated at the same time, quite literally perfect for everyday wear in hot, humid Singapore.


Chanel Les Eaux De Chanel Eau De Toilette collection, $215 for 125 ml each, is available exclusively at Chanel Fragrance and Beauty Boutiques.