Discover Chanel’s Hidden Fragrance Gems

Our Beauty Editor SARAH HALLIWELL on one of the most MAGICAL THINGS she has ever owned …

Les-Exclusifs-CoffretSeveral years ago I received a press set of fragrances that remains one of the most magical things I’ve ever owned, containing miniature 4ml versions of the entire set of Chanel Les Exclusifs scents. While you’re bound to be familiar with No 5, No 19, Coco Mademoiselle and perhaps a few more Chanel perfumes, Les Exclusifs are the real gems. Created from 1922 onwards, these are the most rare and luxurious scents in Chanel’s armoury, ranging from florals to leathers and orientals. Each one is inspired by a key element, person or place in Coco Chanel’s life, from her Parisian apartment, 31 Rue Cambon, to her dearest friend, Misia. If you have never smelled Sycomore or Coromandel (inspired by the lacquered Chinese screens in Chanel’s apartment), the majestic leather Cuir de Russie or Eau de Cologne, Chanel-style, now is the time. The press set was never widely available – but it’s now being launched as a supremely collectable limited edition box containing 15 mini bottles (last year’s fabulous lavender-based Boy, inspired by the love of Chanel’s life, is not included, but is well worth trying out if you’re passing). Wear a different one each day according to your mood. It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite, but for me, Sycomore is up there, a smooth vetiver that’s irresistible on both men and women – in his brilliant perfume book Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, fragrance expert Luca Turin wrote: “If putting it on does not make you shiver with pleasure, see a doctor.” Which sums up pretty well all the scents in this most elegant line-up. If you are even remotely interested in fine fragrance, this is a madly exciting launch.
Chanel Les Exclusifs Discovery 4ml Set, €280. At Brown Thomas Dublin from February 3. 

SARAH HALLIWELL

Don’t miss our February issue, out Thursday February 2.

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