Gabrielle Channel was created in 2017 by the perfumer Olivier Polge who described the fragrance as an ‘’Abstract floral’’. This new glowing, fresh, and brilliant white floral fragrance was inspired by Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel, herself and brings us a more classic, endless, and delicate scent with a hint of freshness that’s easy to wear in both the evening and the day.
In her fourth year as the Channel ambassador, the actress Kristen Steward is the face of the fragrance. In the minute-long clip overseen by commercial director Ringan Ledwidge, Kristib Stewart breaks out of a gauzy canister—a cocoon, the brand explained in a statement—and then runs, trails of gauze rippling behind her, full-steam into a wall of Chanel Gabrielle perfume bottles. All the while, Beyoncé’s somewhat under-appreciated 2009 ballad “Runnin'” plays.
The scent opens with a transitory citrus top accord using grapefruit as the focal point. The flowers begin to arrive straight away. Neroli and ylang-ylang come first as they pick up on the sunny quality of the citrus transforming it to a floral version. There is a faux-aldehydic sparkle to this. The heart is all white flowers, orange blossom, tuberose, and jasmine. The base is sandalwood and a few white musks which provides a linen-like closing accord.
- Top notes: mandarin, grapefruit, black currant
- Heart: tuberose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, orange blossom
- Base Notes: sandalwood, musk
I’d say Gabrielle stands out with a light, clean floral scent. It’s definitely not overpowering and not as deep and dark as No.5. It’s a lot gentler and lighter fragrance, but still rich in white floral notes.
Who should try Gabrielle? Anyone who likes Coco Mademoiselle but found it too brash. Those who enjoy light floral notes but want a bit more depth. Lovers of citrusy florals who would like something easy for daytime. It lasts quite well and has a moderate sillage, but it would be a good office perfume. And finally, die-hard fans of Chanel who collect bottles. Gabrielle’s is quite fetching.
The bottle and packaging took five years to be made. Sylvie Legastelois, head of the packaging and graphic design creation wanted to create a bottle as a jewel, yet simple and in line with the classic bottles of the house. The bottle is colored in a soft golden as a symbol of the light, the sunny character of the fragrance. The cap closes with a snap that would have been nicer with a magnet soft close but at least it feels secure. The box includes a shaped insert to stabilize the bottle inside.
I find the fragrance a great contrast to the person it was inspired by. Coco is known as a strong, empowering business woman but her fragrance inspiration is much more about being a delicate, feminine scent. A transparent veil of scent that’s sheer, barely there yet playfully beckons those around her. Gabrielle is not as aggressive and pushy as Chanel No 5 or Mademoiselle that’s for sure. The fragrance is available as 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum.