CHANEL have launched an exclusive Fragrance and Beauty Boutique at Selfridges, Manchester Exchange. The largest CHANEL space of its kind, 90 square metres is dedicated to offering customers the ultimate experience in fragrance and beauty. Tres Bon!Echoing the ‘House of CHANEL’ the new space is awash with their iconic beige and gold colours tand tweed textures, making the area both contempory and (as you would expect) stylish to the max.
One of the highlights has to be the Olfactive Bar developed by CHANEL Perfumer, Director of Research and Development, Christopher Sheldrake. The innovative, ceramic blotter system allows each fragrance to be experienced without the need for spraying, resulting in the surrounding air remaining neutral…so no more need to spray perfume on a piece of paper or yourself to let it settle.
There’s 51 fragrance concentrates in the bar encompassing the entire range of CHANEL perfumery, which should suit even the pickiest of people’s tastes. Plus, for those who need a bit more help there’s a team of specialised fragrance experts on hand to give advice, which is a lovely touch.
Manchester’s Finest managed to catch up with Fragrance Professor Joanna Norman on the CHANEL boutique launch day:
MF: How do you know what is your perfect fragrance?
Joanna: It speaks to you. You can’t touch it, you can’t see it, you just have to feel it. It triggers your emotions, it triggers your memory, it’s the only sense that goes straight to your limbic system which is your centre of memory and emotion, so, when you smell a fragrance it’s that gut reaction that speaks to you and you know instantly whether you like it or not. Having said that some perfumes can grow on you, as you grow older you have new experiences that evolve so perhaps something you may have not liked in your 20s or 30s would feel right for you in your 40s.
MF: Why has CHANEL perfume stood the test of time?
Joanna: Quality. CHANEL own most of the ingredients they put into their perfumes, for example they grow their own rose and jasmine on a farm – they have sandlewood in New Caladonia that is grown just for their own use so they know it’s available and can check the quality. Their latest fragrance Jersey has seen them grow lavender.
MF: What should we be choosing to buy, Perfume or Eau de Toilette?
Joanna: Perfume is richer, stronger and more concentrated but the joy of the CHANEL collections is there are subtle differences between the smell of the Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum as they are created slightly differently to match the intensity that goes with them.
For example, take the classic CHANEL No5 the actual perfume has rose, and jasmine but is heightened with a little more vanilla and is sweeter than the toilette version so its not the same fragrance. In this way the differences can actually help suit a person as you have the choice of a lighter fragrance in the toilette which might match your personality. The best thing to do is mix and match between the two for different occasions.
Look out for Les Exclusifs de CHANEL a collection of 13 exclusive fragrances, including the popular and most recent addition to this collection, JERSEY, which pays tribute to one of Mademoiselle Chanel’s favourite fabrics and smells divine.