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In 2018, Chanel launched Les Eaux de Chanel. The eaux de toilette are an invitation to travel, with scents of citrus belonging to faraway places. The new collection of fragrances was created by Chanel’s in-house perfumer Olivier Polge and inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s favorite destinations. This month, a new location was added: Paris-Riviera.
Gabrielle Chanel loved the Mediterranean coast—enjoying a drive to Monte Carlo, an afternoon on the Duke of Westminster’s yacht, a stay at the Hôtel de Paris, and of course, a beach-side soirée. She even built her villa “La Pausa” on the heights of Roquebrune, where she was known to entertain artists like Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali.
Taking us to the summery Côte d’Azur of the 1920s, the bright new scent is full of soft florals like jasmine and orange blossoms, paired with benzoin balm and sandalwood. To learn more about the new Eaux de Chanel, Paris-Riviera, Whitewall spoke with Polge.
WHITEWALL: How did you come to want to compose a perfume about the French Riviera?
OLIVIER POLGE: It’s this fantasy period of the Côte d’Azur with the Carlton on the Croisette. The inspiration of the French Riviera not just a place, it’s an atmosphere, a warm light, and the sensation of summer. In this cologne the use of certain citrus fruit offers a sparkling side.
It is also about the moment when Gabrielle Chanel played a big role in the popularization of the French Riviera, inviting Parisian intellectuals to spend the summer at her house like Cocteau and Dali.
WW: Why did you select jasmine, neroli, orange blossom, and sandalwood to illustrate this time and place?
OP: By aesthetic association and these are raw materials that seemed to illustrate technically the impressions that I wanted to give. Citrus fruits bring this freshness which I used against the weight of scents that are denser. It’s a balance that I try to maintain.
WW: What does this perfume represent to you?
OP: A perfume represents a time. But for me, the idea is not to transcribe the world of the 1920s and pretend we were there, but to be inspired by it, and create a perfume of today that is also an invitation to create. Paris-Riviera is the interpretation that we have today of the time of Gabrielle Chanel on the French Riviera.
Les Eaux de Chanel, Paris – Riviera Eau de Toilette Spray ($130.00, 4.2 oz.) is available now on chanel.com