I felt like such a lucky girl to be given the opportunity to travel to Paris to see the inner workings of Chanel's perfume laboratory with my own eyes. The space was white, the staff wore lab coats and the tables were lined with bottles of essential oils and beakers. It was all the the things you would expect to see in a lab. But when Jacques Polge, who has been "The Nose" of Chanel since 1978, entered the room to greet us, I realized that this experience was anything but ordinary.
Mr. Polge has reached legendary status both within Chanel and the fragrance world. As I stood there listening to him (while taking diligent notes) I was most inspired by his passion for his work and the pride he takes in the luxury scents he has created. Here's what he had to say.
First, he explained that the ingredients in Chanel fragrances are all natural, meaning they come from plants. They are harvested during their peak months, then the formulas are mixed and recorded - and they never, ever change. The main ingredients in Chanel's fragrance range, which we all got to smell in a highly concentrated condition, are jasmine (Chanel has its own jasmine fields in Grasse), iris, vetiver, vanilla and patchouli.
To read about the second part of the perfumery tour and to find out my top-secret product release scoop,
Did you know that Chanel actually employs ten women to perform a process called baudruche all by hand? When translated, this term means rubber skin. The process seals the tops of the perfumes with a thin rubber coating, followed by a meticulous rope tie that is sealed with melted black wax and finally stamped with the Chanel logo.
This process guarantees the quality of the brand to the customer. If the seal is broken, you know your product has been tampered with. These women work hard for their money too. Get a load of this: 2,500 perfumes are produced a day.
After leaving the perfumery, it was no wonder anymore why Chanel perfumes are such indulgences. Meticulous thought, energy, time and care goes into each and every bottle. Also, I've got a little secret for you. Chanel is coming out with a brand new fragrance called Eau Premiere, a rendition of the famous N°5 scent. It is due out in October. Once I know more, you'll be the first to find out! To be the first to see the new Keira Knightley Chanel Coco Mademoiselle movie, be sure and come back again all week!