These Lesser-Known Chanel Fragrances Are Fashion-Girl Favourites

Ask anyone who knows me, and they'll confirm that I very much plan my life around scent. And no, I’m not just talking about a penchant for lighting candles. I surround myself with great fragrances. I like all of my skincare to be scented (to the horror of other beauty editors), I have fresh flowers stationed on my desk at all times, I buy special fabric softener in a bid to amplify my daily scent, and I rely on perfumes throughout the day to keep me going. It sounds dramatic, I know, but scent and fragrance are without a doubt one of the most important things for my general well-being.

It goes without saying, therefore, that perfume is one of my favourite things in life. I own an obscene number of fragrances, each one evoking a different emotion and feeling. I reach for fragrance in the same way that I imagine other people select their outfits in the morning and ask myself similar questions: What is the weather like? How am I feeling? What is important to me today? While some might tell me my perfume collection is excessive, to me, it's almost essential. Having said that, a couple of months back, I decided it was time to give my perfume wardrobe a clear-out and part ways with the fragrances that were either gone or no longer serving me. I found the process cathartic and surprisingly easy except when it came to one particular category: Chanel. 

Chanel Les Eaux Fragrances: Jessica Skye

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@_JESSICASKYE

As a beauty editor who specialises in things that smell great, I can say with confidence that Chanel fragrances are without a doubt the most special, beautiful, and unique around. Chanel perfumes are, to put it plainly, works of art. And it's likely we all have a memory of one of Chanel's classic scents—perhaps Coco Mademoiselle was the scent that defined your early 20s, maybe Chance was your go-to holiday perfume, or it could even be that one whiff of No5 takes you straight back to your childhood. There's no arguing Chanel fragrances are iconic.

If you're the sort of person who likes your perfumes to smell unique, you'd be forgiven for thinking Chanel was not the fragrance brand for you. After all, Chanel perfumes are amongst the best-selling across the globe. But what if I told you there's a whole bunch of Chanel fragrances that probably are for you, and you've likely seen them all over Instagram?

Chanel Les Eaux Fragrances: Paris Riviera

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@THEINDIAEDIT

If there's one thing you should know about beauty and fashion insiders, it's that they don't like smelling like everyone else. It's a silly thing to have to admit, but when you work in the industry, you become precious and possessive over your fragrance choice—you want to feel as though it was created especially for you. It's of no surprise, therefore, that Chanel's lesser-known fragrance collections are fashion-girl favourites. In fact, I can barely scroll through my Instagram feed without seeing a chic bottle of Chanel on someone's shelf.

The fashion set's go-to, it seems, is Les Eaux de Chanel—a collection of six fragrances inspired by destinations beloved by Gabrielle Chanel herself. They're seasonal, fresh, and almost impossibly easy to wear. Besides that, though, they possess that certain je ne sais quoi that all Chanel fragrances possess. They have a richness to them that you won't find elsewhere, are long-lasting, have people asking after your perfume all day long and, importantly, look great on the shelf.

They're like escapism in a bottle, and I challenge you to pick up any Les Eaux de Chanel bottle and not fall head over heels straight away. Oh, and unlike Chanel's other more niche fragrance lines, they're eau de toilettes, meaning that if you don't like the typical headiness of perfumes, you'll be pleased. They make for the perfect lightweight spritz (just with the iconic longevity of Chanel). 

Chanel Les Eaux Fragrances: Les Exclusifs Le Lion

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If you do want something a little stronger and more powerful, though, the Les Exclusifs de Chanel fragrance collection proves another hit amongst the fashion-and-beauty pack. More intense fragrances that are blended with true craftsmanship, the price point on Les Excluxifs scents is noticeably higher, which naturally means you don't come across them quite so often on strangers on the street or at dinner parties. If you make a Les Eaux de Chanel or Les Exclusifs de Chanel perfume your signature scent, I feel safe in saying you're very unlikely to run into anyone else wearing the same fragrance as you. And in my opinion, that's what sets a nice fragrance apart from a great fragrance.

Shop Les Eaux de Chanel Fragrances

The latest addition to Chanel's fragrance collection is Les Eaux de Chanel Paris-Paris. At first, it's rosy, but then the zingy freshness of lemon, mandarin and pink peppercorn hits you. Imagine you're strolling through a Parisian market on a crisp spring day. There are baskets of fresh fruit and flowers. You stock up and climb onto your bike, ready to enjoy a sunny ride through the city. Bottle that feeling, and you've got Paris-Paris.

Sweet, fizzy and absolutely divine, Paris-Deauville is quite frankly one of the most delicious summer perfumes I have ever smelled. Upon first sniff, it's like a fizzing orange sherbet, and soon after, the fresh earthiness of basil comes through—like a cool breeze on a warm day at the beach.

Of all of the Chanel fragrances I have ever smelled, I would say this is the least Chanel-like. That's not to say it's not gorgeous, mind you. There's certainly citrus in there, with notes of neroli and orange, but most overwhelmingly, I'd describe this as a fruity floral. It's warm, radiant, fresh, sparkling, and wonderfully wearable.

I'll go ahead and say it: This is my favourite Les Eaux de Chanel fragrance. It's smoky and woody but inexplicably fresh. Take everything you know of woody scents and inject it with a hearty dose of crystal-clear water, vibrant green leaves and crisp berries. The perfume was inspired by the Scottish Highlands, and I totally get it.

Like joy in a bottle, Biarritz is inspired by the Basque coast, and this becomes very apparent from the moment you first sniff it. It's citrusy, yes, but sans the sticky sweetness you might get from other citrus scents. Instead, there's a depth to it thanks to lily of the valley and notes reminiscent of sea spray. It's the kind of scent that makes you want to nuzzle your face right into it. 

Like Paris-Édimbourg, Paris-Venise is quite unlike the other Les Eaux de Chanel fragrances. There's no super-zingy, sparkling citrus top. Instead, this perfume is a little deeper (although still beautifully light). With vanilla, amber, neroli and tonka, it's like being wrapped up by a hug of warm sunshine—exquisite.

 Shop Les Exclusifs de Chanel Fragrances

If I were an excellent perfumer tasked with creating a scent for Chanel, I like to think it would come out a little something like this. Le Lion de Chanel is powerful. With amber and leather, this deep, dark scent wants to be heard—much like a lion's roar.

If I could only own one Chanel perfume, I'd make it Beige. It's honeyed and floral but in a beautifully subtle way. Calming, head-levelling and smile-inducing, it's easy to get lost in Beige for hours.

The first time I ever smelled Sycomore, I think I almost shed a tear. No word of a lie. It is art. Picture yourself wrapped up in cashmere on the perfect, bright autumn day. There's vetiver, cedar and vanilla to scoop you up into one of the most nostalgic and comforting hugs you'll ever experience.

As a beauty editor, I pride myself on being able to personify scents without delving into the intricacies of notes. However, I'll admit that when it comes to Coromandel, I'm stumped. Personally, it evokes memories of my childhood summers spent in Southeast Asia. With Asian flowers and amber, its exotic depth makes perfect sense. It's powerful and deep but beautifully soft at the same time, if that's even possible.

I was introduced to this fragrance by a fellow beauty editor, and I'm very annoyed I didn't discover it for myself. If you don't like sweet, creamy scents, this won't be for you. It's vanilla-y, for sure, but most notable is the note of lavender, which shines through in a wonderfully powdered sort of way. I like to imagine that Chanel was given a pack of Parma violets and told to create something magical and expensive.

This is the scent of Chanel. It might not be the most well-known perfume out there, but if you're asking me, I'd say this bottle embodies the beauty of Chanel the best. Its name, 1932, signifies the year that Gabrielle Chanel created her first jewellery collection, and the fragrance reflects the inspiration of the collection—the brilliance and purity of diamonds. The scent is head-turning, woody and almost unbelievably expensive-smelling. When I think of some of the most iconic faces of Hollywood over the past 100 years, I imagine they smell like 1932. 

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