Chanel launches Gabrielle. The Gen Y’ers finally have an ‘it’ perfume.

by Katie on September 18, 2017


It’s a HUGE thing when Chanel launch a newbie to the Chanel perfume fold, with billions banking on its success. Years in development (five) for the bottle ALONE and you get the picture.

Created by Olivier Polge, Chanel’s in-house perfumer and son of blockbuster ‘Chance’ creator, Jacques Polge, the creation of ‘Gabrielle’ is meant to embody the free spirit, innovation and rebelliousness of her namesake. Surprisingly and piquantly, it has  resulted in a sophisticated dazzling little beauty, very much in the Chanel house style with shimmering distinction.

Gabrielle radiates light and luminosity with a sheer veil of tingling mystery that whispers ‘how do I do that?’. It isn’t rebellious or confrontational to the norm (as I’d wrongly assumed) but instead sneaks up to surprise with its playful yet ladylike chutzpah even when you’re wearing it. This is an uber white bunch of ultra modern florals in an architectural sculptured form that’s bang on target for the Instagram genre.

I’d call it young womanly, but that is probably viewed as a negative rather than a compliment. Not quite as gutsy as the Gen X’ers Coco, but a more sedate yet classy number that grows and takes time to develop. Just like its social media savvy little consumers. A whole new realm of tamed-down expression and inspiration that’s quite different from the dark, sexy and in-your-face originality of Coco. Still, as a marketing tool and spearhead for the new generation of Chanel lovers and fronted by Kristen Stewart of Twilight saga fame, Gabrielle does it’s job well and may yet appeal to their aunts and mothers.

Gabrielle struck me like a younger sister to 1990’s ‘Allure’ when it launched with its squeaky clean, new-look Chanel, sparkling, lean and punchy. The fresh first burst of clean orange notes almost overwhelms the white florals of ylang-ylang and jasmine. There’s a touch of tuberose in there (somewhere) but the beauty of this perfume is its second hit – there’s a warm creamy embrace of sandalwood and musk that’s been added to coat the white florals in what seems like soft kid suede or cashmere if not velvet. This approach makes Gabrielle so much more sophisticated than its hype that you wish it had kinda’ kicked off like this.

And the surprise? That delicate, powdery, stem-green freshness that manages to combine an old school charm with a  contemporary twist. In terms of hold, Gabrielle keeps going  – a pleasant surprise for this wearer when complimented on the fragrance and had to think ‘what had I sprayed that morning? Ah! Gabrielle!’.

As big hitters go, I’m certain that Gabrielle with it’s beautifully designed, golden hued, square bottle and it’s equally beautifully designed contents will be a smash hit for Christmas and on the top of younger consumers gifts list. It may not be the new No.5 but will certainly give Chance a run for its  money.

Gabrielle by Chanel is available in both 50ml and 100ml EDP versions priced at £79 and £112 respectively. Available from Chanel stores and counters nationwide.

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