For European fragrance lovers it’s been a long time since brand and name of Gabrielle Chanel became an epitome of timeless beauty, style & sophistication. At some point in history Chanel tried to pave her way in the USA. And Americans fell in love with her fashion style, her fragrances. New offering in Les Exclusifs range, 1957, is an homage to the year of Coco’s great success across the Atlantic Ocean. At the same time this date hides within a day of her birth (19.08.1883) and a number of recently reopened Chanel biggest flagship boutique in US, located at 57th street in New York.
Chanel 1957 gets very intimate right from the very beginning, enveloping your arms, wrists, waist and neck with a sensual embrace of what is probably the most complex and beautiful white musk accord you can imagine. It’s intricate, multifaceted nature brings to your attention different aspects at different moments. Iridescent like mirror particles in a kaleidoscope – the picture you see through the lense is never the same, and nor is this perfume. What you smell constantly changes. Aldehydes give a lift up, breath of freshness and airiness to the composition but there’s so much more to it.
To me new Les Exclusif has a laminar structure. First of all there are different textures. One moment a musky impression of 1957 is more like a cotton but after a couple of minutes it would be more reminiscent of a linen sheet. In that way layers are formed. Some are made from a thinner, others from thicker kind of fabric that has been woven in a more ‘dense’ way. Aldehydic notes spread a feeling of something fresh & clean, of something white. That vibe is reflected through an almost detergent-like citric aroma that ocasionally entwines with a ghost smell of powdery lavender.
1957 by Chanel is a perfume that feels warm on the skin. Through the combination of 8 different musk oils an incredible complexity is formed and at times it even feels kind of steamy, like bed lining fresh from the laundry, ironed with a hot metal surface. Hints of pink pepper and coriander are both well incorporated into that feeling of something clean yet sensual and enveloping. Then orange blossom comes like a first drizzle of the spring. Cool at first to contrast with musky warmth, only to melt together with the radiant aura of the perfume & become a fine mist that would scent your bed.
Gentle fragrance of white flowers with an orange, citrusy nuances in the background, blending together with all those musky tones. There is something innocent about it but at the same time carnal, you know. Then a powdery iris emerges from the depths of 1957. Its slightly cosmetic fragrance has a very pampering feeling to it and in my imagination it’s like an invitation inside one’s bedroom. Very important role in this Chanel perfume is played by honey. A golden liquid that spreads its sweet, oriental scent – it adds sparkle and a touch of pure luxury to everything.
Luminosity of honey in Chanel 1957 is like glitter sprinkled on top of your skin and your bed. It glams up seemingly simple musks. The perfume lingers for many hours and is like an invisible kiss. At the late stage of development it gains more depth from a woody note of cedar. The latter one is delicately scented with vanilla for that final touch of elegant sweetness. Since 1957 is a skin scent without big volume you may need to pay more attention to notice jasmine or bergamot. Cashmeran is more pronounced through the fluffiness that appears after a couple of hours. Incredibly soft & refined.
We all know that white musk is a curse of modern perfumery that is despised by so many of those who are more than average consumers. 1957 from Les Exclusifs is like an attempt of Olivier Polge, in-house perfumer at Chanel, to jinx back this unfortunate note. I admit that what he did is a beautiful piece of work but it’ll probably take more than just this one fragrance to change people’s opinion about white musk. But intention is good. This new fragrance is a limited edition and will be available as eau de parfum in 75 ml and 200 ml flacons. The longevity is wonderful and its sillage is intimate.