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One way trip: Les Eaux de Chanel

In Spring 2018, CHANEL invites us on a new olfactory adventure. A one-way trip to a land of brand-new sensations. A singular collection. Named LES EAUX DE CHANEL, this line of fragrances evokes the train we would love to board and the destination whose name, like a magic word, need only be uttered to savor the scent of faraway places on the skin. LES EAUX DE CHANEL plunge us into unfamiliar territory with remarkable, immediate and lasting freshness that makes us want to sail away. Here and now.
ODE TO THE UNEXPECTED

No need to go anywhere to get away from it all. LES EAUX DE CHANEL take us on a journey at high speed. In the end, it’s not the finish line that matters, but the idea of escape and the images it conjures up. And then there is that ecstatic sweetness written in the olfactory structure, firing up the imagination so that for a few, fleeting moments we can picture ourselves dropping everything and heading off to the coast or the countryside. Sounds, images, memories appear... LES EAUX DE CHANEL embody more than just a motionless journey. They are steeped in freedom. By carrying us away, they deliver an intimate experience and connect us with our own emotions.

UNCHARTED TERRITORY

Inspired by three of Gabrielle Chanel’s favorite places, LES EAUX DE CHANEL are the rewriting of a new sensorial olfactory structure. Created by perfumer Olivier Polge in cooperation with the CHANEL

Fragrance Creation and Development Laboratory, PARIS-DEAUVILLE, PARIS-BIARRITZ and PARIS- VENISE invite more generous application with a sleek, sensual bottle. And, while they are still composed with the noblest ingredients to be found in perfumery, here they are stretched out, more supple and flowing.

REMARKABLE FRESHNESS

LES EAUX DE CHANEL are not based on a fixed architecture. Their structure responds to a single desire: infinite freshness. The freshness you feel when you open the window of a train racing along the track. The freshness of the vapor that hovers over the waves as they break upon the shore. The freshness of the morning dew evaporating in the first rays of sun. Woven with Sicilian and Calabrian citrus, they form a light and airy trail of scent. A celebration of elegance and comfort for all ocasions...

FROM FLASK TO FRAGRANCE

Designed like an invitation to travel, the new bottle for the LES EAUX DE CHANEL collection stems from a desire for simplicity. That seemingly effortless grace of ballet dancers. While highly sophisticated in its design, this new bottle conveys all the lightness of Olivier Polge’s fragrances. Fragrances for occasions, great journeys, seasons or just a weekend away, LES EAUX DE CHANEL offer new olfactory possibilities without taking the place of your usual scent. Their accessible character can be seen in the shape of the bottle that recalls the flasks of alcohol people used to carry in their waistcoat. The thin, lighter-than- usual glass also makes the generous bottles easier to carry. True to the exacting standards of the House of CHANEL, each detail was carefully thought out to offer a genuine luxury experience. The cap of the bottle is a prime example. Made with a thermoset (formerly known as “Bakelite”), the black stopper produces a unique sound. A noble material that required the double C engraved on the top to be filled in white by syringe injection. The double C signature is found inside as well, a detail that recalls the importance CHANEL places on the flawless lining of its garments.

"More than the actual reality of the destination, I liked the idea urbanites make of it when they dream of a weekend away in the country. I wasn’t striving to capture the Normandy countryside as it stands today, but rather the promise of a stroll through the tall grasses. ” - OLIVIER POLGE
PARIS -DEAUVILLE
Gabrielle ChGabrielle Chanel and her aunt Adrienne in front of the CHANEL boutique in Deauville, 1913 © Private collection

LEGENDARY BEGINNINGS

This is where it all began. In the spring of 1912the Normandy coast caught the attention of the young milliner Gabrielle Chanel. Deauville was already the destination of choice for Parisians on the weekend. The ideal location to sell her first creations that broke with the stylistic codes of the time. In 1913, with the help and financial assistance of businessman and polo player Boy Capel, Gabrielle launched her first collection in her shop with a white awning that set off her name written in black capital letters: GABRIELLE CHANEL. A declaration of minimalism that would accompany the revolution she was about to start. While women’s bodies were still restricted in stifling corsets, she allowed herself to go horseback riding wearing an open- neck blouse, and infused her first designs with unprecedented comfort. Her shop on rue Gontaut-Biron, a chic street in Deauville, featured clothing that borrowed from sailors, stripes, beige and jersey fabric. A profusion of ideas that mapped the contours of what has become an iconic style. Keeping a step ahead of her time, Gabrielle Chanel imposed a natural, obvious simplicity. The shop closed in 1925, but Deauville remains enshrined in the heritage of the House.

PARIS -VENISE
1936 - Gabrielle Chanel on Roussy Sert's yatch in front of the Lido of Venice Photo V.H. Grandpierre © All Rights Reserved / Courtesy of Vogue Paris forbidden cropping and modification

A TASTE FOR THE BAROQUE AND BYZANTINE

In 1920, Mademoiselle was inconsolable. To erase the memory of Boy Capel who died tragically in a car accident in December 1919, Misia and the painter José Maria Sert invited her to Venice. Not only did Gabrielle Chanel light upon a city on the borders of European and Eastern culture, Venice also rekindled her desire to live. Her discovery of Venetian artists and the unforgettable parties thrown by cosmopolitan aristocrats who spent their days basking in the sun on the Lido beaches helped Gabrielle forge her inimitable style. That of a woman who dared to warm her face in the sun, wear pajamas in broad daylight and don sandals with a cork sole. With her friend Misia, she made the acquaintance of Paul Morand and Sergei Diaghilev, creator of the Ballets Russes. Venice is where she drank in the glimmer of the mosaics, the shining hammered gold and precious gems of St Mark’s Basilica, which inspired the design of her first jewelry collections. Venice was more than just a seasonal jaunt. For Gabrielle Chanel, Venice was a restorative, inspirational whirlwind that reignited her creative spark. A unique city that nourished her wonderment.

PARIS - BIARRITZ
The CHANEL Boutique in Biarritz, 1931 Photo Seeberger © Bibliothèque nationale de France

ATLANTIC SEASON

In 1915, only two years after the launch of her first clothing designs in Deauville, Gabrielle Chanel inaugurated a new space in Biarritz. The Basque coast resort town has been a High Society a holiday destination since the 19th century. Taking advantage of the society life and tourism draw of Biarritz, the visionary chose the Villa de Larralde as her store location, next to the Casino, the luxury hotels and the beach. Gabrielle brought her Parisian employees to work in her shop with all the ultra-modern comforts and garnered the attention of Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, who became a loyal customer of the boutique-villa. Biarritz became the ultimate sports vacation destination, just a stone’s throw from the golf courses of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, with picnics on the beach in the company of Boy Capel, invigorating swims in the Atlantic Ocean, and endless parties with her Russian friends exiled in France following the October Revolution of 1917. From 1921 to 1923, Gabrielle Chanel hosted Igor Stravinsky’s brother-in-law and she was regularly seen rubbing shoulders with Count Sergei Kutuzov and Misia Sert.

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