Chanel Gabrielle: The review
So Chanel launched Gabrielle - their first original perfume after 15 years. It was perhaps the most anticipated fragrance launch of the year. If you, like me, love perfume then you would’ve followed beauty editors around the world unveiling the art deco bottle, and talking about the imaginary flower that takes inspiration from all the floral notes used in Chanel fragrances. But while the perfume got extensive coverage in magazines around the world, reviews were not as stellar in websites such a Fragrantica where the perfume got 2.86 out of 5.
I did not like the perfume when I sprayed it on the first, second, or even the third time. But as the weather changed, I find myself enjoying this rather modern fragrance.
The nose behind Gabrielle is none other than the drop-dead gorgeous Olivier Polge, who’s first fragrance Misia, for Chanel’s Les Exclusifs Collection, will always be my favourite. After Misia, Polge created Chance Eau Vive, which is my least favourite out of all his creations. Then, in 2016, he crafted the Chanel No 5 L’Eau, a lighter, more radiant version of the iconic No 5 for the younger audience.
Over the years I can see that his style is light and more modern than his father Jacques Polge who created the original Coco, Allure, Chance and Egoïste for Chanel. And with Gabrielle, he has made a fragrance so effervescent and sparkling, that it’s difficult to discern the exact notes when you first spray it on. As the perfume dries down its smells very chypre-like - many bloggers have compared it to Coco Mademoiselle and I agree that it does smell quite like it. In the hot weather Gabrielle refused to last on my skin, but as winter approaches I find that it’s staying power has increased. In fact, I got many compliments on the fragrance, which never happened when I wore it before.
While the fragrance itself may not be too brave, or bold, I find that it’s beauty lies in the way it wears over 12 hours. I like to compare it’s wear to the life of Gabrielle Coco Chanel: Sparkling and radiant when it opens, a representation of her life in her 20s. Grown up, modern and sophisticated in the dry down - Chanel in mid life. And my favorite part is when towards the end, the morning after, when you wake up to find yourself enveloped in Gabrielle. That’s when it’s at it’s finest - sharp, heavy, rosy, and throughly mature.
Maybe its my active imagination, maybe it’s just that fragrances are an obsession for me. But if Polge has designed the fragrance to shift shape tracing Mademoiselle Chanel’s life, then by god it’s pure genius.