Magic, Card Games, and More

You can odor fragrance, however you’ll be able to’t see it—or are you able to? Chanel’s latest perfume exhibition in Paris, Le Grand Numéro de Chanel, lets you do each. The exhibition encompasses a collection of experiences that may tickle the guts of any fragrance lover or fragrance explorer by a mixture of cabaret, dwell music, artwork installations, trend shows from the archives, and digital actuality immersions. (We have a sense Emily in Paris would undoubtedly be first in line to go to).In actual life, celebrities corresponding to Sadie Sink, Keira Knightley, and Marion Cotillard visited the exhibition. Sink advised me, “In right now’s world, you’ll be able to go into a giant magnificence retailer and odor 60 completely different fragrances to attempt. In this exhibit, you decelerate and get to raised admire each single little element.” Case in level: Inside the primary room, yow will discover interpretative dancers twisting and turning with bottles of Chanel N°5 (and even magicians). Head to the smaller break-out rooms, every headlined by a serious Chanel perfume, and you’ll expertise card video games, live-action chess video games, and perfume psychoanalysts who can match you with scents primarily based in your character. The visuals are all so very TikTok-friendly. ELLE talked to Chanel’s home perfumer Olivier Polge to study extra in regards to the secrets and techniques of Chanel N°5, in addition to the surprises to be discovered within the exhibition. You can go to the exhibit in Paris beginning now by January 9; make a reservation right here. Courtesy of brand name.What would you say is the easiest way for somebody to expertise the exhibition?Don’t have very preconceived concepts. Just be your self and come together with your historical past and character. Hopefully, you’ll uncover perfumes in a different way. There are sometimes fragrance exhibitions with industrial posters or empty bottles. As we manufacture our perfumes ourselves, we actually wished to have, apart from all these visible facets, an actual expertise of scents. In getting ready for the exhibition, we tried to determine which perfumes and which substances to point out, if any. But we discovered that the easiest way to odor perfumes was to not be overexposed to them. We odor higher if it’s the correct quantity of perfumes. It’s at all times harmful to perfume the entire room.What’s the “correct quantity” of fragrance?Would you be capable to odor 70 perfumes, or higher to point out about 10 that you’ll keep in mind nicely?Did something shock you in regards to the exhibition?What surprises me essentially the most, and I noticed the exhibition for the primary time yesterday, was the area and how large it’s. I can not wait to see the feedback from everybody who will go to. People are sometimes very unconscious about all of the scents that encompass them. It’s typically been stated that you simply’re writing a biography of Chanel by way of perfume. How do you assume the exhibition contributes to telling that story?Perfume and trend have been two completely different worlds, and [Gabrielle] Chanel was the primary one to provide you with a fragrance along with her personal title. She noticed it as a special strategy to specific herself—her character and her fashion. My intention isn’t to inform, or to go an excessive amount of into the historical past. Gabrielle’s historical past has been translated into her fashion. Often, when folks ask me, “Where do you discover your inspiration?” I say, “This is extra a manner of being. When you might be artistic, every part conjures up you.” This is why I favor to talk about fashion and historical past, nevertheless it’s perhaps a bit of bit the identical. When you concentrate on new scents, it’s essential that it is sensible and that it resonates in some way to the others. It can be a pity to disregard that.We got here up with a line, Les Eaux de Chanel, and I favored it very a lot, as a result of when you concentrate on scents, you at all times image somebody with a scent, or locations. Those are issues that anchor scents into your thoughts. As I used to be fascinated about the scents, I noticed that every one these locations evoked photographs and began to construct one thing in Chanel’s fashion. For instance, Chanel went to Venice within the Nineteen Twenties, and that is in all probability the place she developed a style for the Venetian artwork that you simply see typically in sure items of jewellery. Courtesy of brand name.You’ve additionally stated that perfumes are a language. Do you provide you with phrases or phrases if you’re creating scents?The reverse. I’ve nothing to say. It’s troublesome to talk about perfumes. Yes, the language of a fragrance is scents. They specific issues. They make a mark on your self that phrases won’t do. I’m not saying it’s higher. I feel it’s fascinating to say, as a result of these are issues we can not clarify.What do you assume the exhibition would say, if it might discuss?If the exhibition might discuss, I might hope that it could let you know one thing you didn’t know.You’ve labored with Karl Lagerfeld earlier than, and now with Virginie Viard. How would you describe the distinction in the way in which that the 2 strategy perfume or take into consideration perfume?They are so completely different that it’s troublesome to see overlaps. Karl was fairly obsessed with perfumes. The final time I noticed him, I used to be afraid he would communicate to me a couple of fragrance I didn’t know. He knew each fragrance out available on the market for the previous 50 years. I’m exaggerating a bit, however in his adolescence, he had labored with or for [Jean] Patou when he was very younger, and Patou got here up with many, many perfumes. He knew about perfumes that don’t exist anymore, so he was fairly an professional.What would you say are the primary components that give Chanel N°5 its timelessness?First of all, it’s an important fragrance, with an id that you simply arrange immediately. Gabrielle Chanel has stated that with N°5, she wished a synthetic fragrance—which means one which doesn’t characterize precisely the scent of jasmine or a rose, however that’s extra summary [and] in all probability extra mysterious. There is one thing about Chanel N°5 that you simply can not grasp. I feel it’s past the uncooked supplies. We protect N°5 with its unique uncooked supplies. We even purchased sure jasmine fields to make it possible for we’d have the portions on the high quality we’d like. On the one facet, we’re at all times very cautious to protect N°5 in its unique iteration, but in addition work repeatedly with new interpretations, to attempt to convey one thing new inside No°5 as nicely. We continuously keep N°5 as if it was a brand new fragrance, and that helps.I additionally prefer to keep in mind that Gabrielle Chanel herself was the primary face of N°5. There was an image of her within the first industrial. Then, within the Fifties, Marilyn Monroe stated that every one she would put on at evening can be a number of drops of N°5. All these issues transcend our planning. Courtesy of brand name.Would you describe different perfumes at Chanel as being synthetic?Yes. When I say synthetic, I imply summary—we don’t attempt to do Rose by Chanel or Vetiver by Chanel. We at all times attempt to specific one thing else. I might say that about all our perfumes to a sure extent. That is a signature of Chanel perfume. And the opposite essential factor is that this composed facet—synthetic—however that goes all the way in which to uncooked supplies which can be chosen or remodeled, in the way in which we extract them. We twist the id of nature. We are by no means attempting to breed nature.This interview has been flippantly edited and condensed for readability.Kathleen Hou is the wonder director at Elle Magazine.

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