At last! Chanel’s new Fragrance Space opens

Imagine a large lacquered surface full of holes, each one with a cream-coloured ceramic stick sticking out of it – the kind of thing James Bond might have had in his apartment.

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This is what Chanel’s new olfactory counter – part of their new Fragrance Space opening in Selfridges on Monday – looks like. But it’s what it smells like that matters.

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For the first time, Chanel has brought all of its 48 fragrances together under one roof and this counter is home to the fragrance concentrates encompassing the entire range. The ceramic ‘sticks’ each host a sophisticated blotter on the end so you can experience Chanel’s elegant history one sniff at a time. From early Cristalle, £40 for 50ml, and No 5, £54 for 50ml, to the latest Exclusif Beige, £160, everything’s there. (And there’s even a coffee blotter for when your nose needs a break.)

What’s more, the fragrances are arranged according to notes, so you’ll also be able to determine – with a little expert guidance, of course – the sort of scent that’s most ‘you’, and select from the Chanel range accordingly.

Personally, I’m perpetually moved by the ‘Les Exclusifs’ range, created by Chanel’s Master Perfumer Jacques Polge, and till now only stocked in Chanel boutiques. Many minutes are spent in the ELLE offices discussing the relative merits of 31 Rue Cambon, £160, (described by one esteemed perfume critic as giving ‘an instantaneous impression of ravishing beauty’, and regularly borrowed from my desk), Coromandel, £160, (one of the sexiest, spiciest, most addictive fragrances I’ve ever encountered) and Bois des Iles, £160, (a sandalwood classic).

It’s lucky we don’t have all 16 Exclusifs here, otherwise I’m not sure we’d ever get any work done.

Decked out in beige, gold and tweed, the new Fragrance Space is as elegant and uplifting as anything you’d expect from Chanel. But apart from offering some elegant respite from the daily grind, it’s also going to play host to various fragrance events and guest speakers. Perfume lovers, watch this space.

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