Oh my! Could it be true? Chanel launched a new fragrance, Gabrielle, for the first time in 15 years and the pre-release judging panel rated it an overall score of 4.2/10.
The panel included nine judges, thought to be some of the best in the fragrance industry. Some of these included Michael Edwards, the author of Fragrances of the World and Perfume Legends, Victoria Frolova, a fragrance industry analyst and the editor of Bois de Jasmin, Nathalie Pichard, the owner of the training and evaluation agency known as Topnotes, Chantal Roos, the CEO of Yves Saint Laurent Beaute, and lastly, Yves de Chiris, the industry expert and developer of the Angel by Thierry Mugler fragrance.
The perfume is meant to be a kind of ode to Chanel No. 5, yet seemed to do less than impress the judges.
The panel of blind folded experts were given vials of the perfume which remained unidentified to them. Then each judge gave a score of 1 to 10, 1 being forgettable and 10 being unforgettable. Then after each judge had scored, the numbers were tallied and a final number was given.
Photo credit: Chanel
While one judge said, “It smells of money in the quality of raw materials,” meaning it still holds a luxurious blend of ingredients, they went on to say, “The juice is overwhelming and the perfume is not balanced, it’s much like a floral soup.”
In fact, most seemed to find it utterly boring, making comments such as, “It’s a boring, fruity floral like so many since the nineties,” or, “When you spray the perfume, you have an immediate feeling of a very rich fragrance, but then it becomes too heavy. There is a lack of clarity and distinction.”
Chanel kept the scent of the fragrance a secret until the launch, disclosing nothing to the public. Though now release, Chanel say the perfume is, “A radiant and sparkling, purely feminine Chanel blossom based on a bouquet of four while flowers: a rich, enveloping heart of exotic Jasmine shimmers with the fruity green notes of Ylang-Ylang, while fresh and sparkling Orange Blossom shines through, offering a glimpse of Grasse Tuberose captured at its finest.
Photo credit: fabscentng
Apparently Chanel put a considerable amount of finance behind the perfume, being the most anticipated launch in the fragrance world this year. They were hoping for a winner and well, up until now, when has Chanel ever lost?
Look at Chanel No. 5 for instance, this classic perfume was the first creation by the brand in 1921 and has sat as the number one best selling fragrance worldwide ever since, while Allure sits a little further down the list of the top 10 best sellers.
Prior to the release, Christine Dagousset, the Executive Vice President of the Fragrance and Beauty Divison of Chanel said, “Our goal is to put it into the top 10, so it’s not a niche fragrance.” While she didn’t discuss numbers, industry sources estimate that a fragrance needs to make between $100-$250 million a year to rank in the top 10.
Whether the scent will reach its goal after such reviews from the worlds best and brightest in fragrance is still a mystery, but we’re all sitting on the edge of our seats in anticipation to see how it does this Christmas period when fragrance sales are at their peak. Will the Chanel customers switch over to Gabrielle to try something new or will they stick to their original favourites such as No. 5, and Coco Mademoiselle?
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By Maddison Mathot.