Chanel plans a year of new products, launches and initiatives to celebrate its founder, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel – find out more…

Chanel, it seems, is going back to its roots. First, it was with the ‘Gabrielle’ bag (see story) which made it’s runway debut in spring/summer ’17 and now with the announcement that the house will dedicate a brand new scent, simply called ‘Gabrielle Chanel’, to their founder.

The Gabrielle Chanel eau de parfum, described as an “abstract floral,” is scheduled to premiere in Chanel’s boutique network and on its web site in June before a broader rollout, eventually reaching the firm’s more than 10,000 fragrance doors around the world – the good news for travellers is that duty-free is often the first market to see new global fragrances from the major houses.

Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel fashion, and Christine Dagousset, global president of fragrance and beauty at Chanel, disclosed the flurry of developments exclusively to WWD.

“This year will be unique because we are boosting at the same time fragrance and bags, which are the two most important categories in our business,” said Pavlovsky, interviewed jointly with Dagousset at Chanel’s plush, black-and-cream offices on 57th Street here. “We believe it makes a lot of sense to highlight Gabrielle in 2017 because in each of our businesses we have a lot to say and also we want to seduce a new clientele.

“We are emphasizing the DNA, the roots of the brand. I think that more than ever this is something that is very important to us,” he added.

The house’s watch and jewellery division also plans to roll out Gabrielle-themed collections this year.

Chanel is betting that the Gabrielle scent will catapult its global fragrance franchise. “Our goal is to put it into the top 10, so it’s not a niche fragrance,” said Dagousset. She declined to discuss numbers, but industry sources estimate that a fragrance needs to generate $100 million in annual net sales to rank 10th in the world and nearly $250 million to hit number one.

The positioning of the new scent offers a sharp contrast to Chanel’s 96-year-old fragrance business.

Dagousset described the young Gabrielle as a free spirit: “She was a Leo actually, so she couldn’t be tamed.” She declined to break down the composition of the scent, saying only that it was created by Chanel’s fragrance creator Olivier Polge.

With the new fragrance pillar, “we were exploring this whole moment of before Coco — who she really was at the core and that’s what we wanted to express in this new fragrance,” she said.

In the meantime, Chanel shoppers can enjoy the new Gabrielle bag collection:

Source: WWD / Chanel

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