First look: Chanel releases Gabrielle, its first brand new fragrance in 15 years

First look: Chanel releases Gabrielle, its first brand new fragrance in 15 years

Scent of a woman

Text: Renée Batchelor

It's been 15 years since Chanel created a brand new fragrance. Take a sneak peek at Chanel Gabrielle

Chanel has introduced some iconic fragrances in its day, the most famous of which, No. 5, has had its share of updates and versions over the years, including the L'Eau in 2016. But in 2017, the brand finally unveils a completely new fragrance, Gabrielle, created by in-house perfumer Olivier Polge. Although Polge has worked on L'Eau and other fragrances since he joined the brand in 2013, this is reportedly the first fragrance he has created from scratch and is dedicated to the rebellious and passionate nature of brand founder Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel. 

Chanel is known for its celebration of white flowers in its fragrances. This time, Polge has created an imaginary flower for Gabrielle, a whirlwind of petals derived from ylang-ylang, jasmine, tuberose and orange blossom. Intensifying and altering these flower's various traits with other ingredients like white musk, milky sandalwood and even a burst of blackcurrant, the effect is of a luminous, floral halo.

At first glance, the bottle bears a striking resemblance to other classic Chanel scents like No. 5, but on closer inspection, there are small touches that modernise its design. The brand worked tirelessly to create an exceptionally, thin-walled glass bottle to highlight the radiance of the scent. The marloquette at the base of the flaçon — a slightly curved indentation found in every fragrance bottle — has been pushed out and polished for a more angular shape, while the walls of the bottle features facetting details. Even the stopper has been given a modern flourish — it's a soft, lamé colour that rests somewhere between gold and silver.

Chanel Gabrielle fragrance

The brand is known for working with a stable of famous names and this time, Kristen Stewart, a favourite of Karl Lagerfeld's, has been unveiled as the face behind the scent. Stewart last appeared in a fragrance campaign fronting Balenciaga's Florabotanica and Rosabotanica fragrance in 2012 and 2014 respectively.


Available from 19 August at Chanel boutiques