Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel famously remarked “a women who doesn’t wear perfume has no future” and, later this month, the company which bears her name will release Coco Noir, an homage to her memory.
In addition to honoring the designer, the scent is also intended to examine the interplay between light and dark and the luminosity of black and Baroque elements, noted Christine Dagousset, executive vice president of fragrances and beauté at Chanel Inc., calling it “addictive.”
The scent is a “luminous, transparent oriental,” said Christopher Sheldrake, perfumer for Chanel.
The fragrance, which Chanel’s master perfumer, Jacques Polge, concocted, has top notes of grapefruit and Calabrian bergamot; a heart of rose absolute, rose essence, jasmine absolute, narcissus and rose geranium leaf, and a drydown of Brazilian tonka bean, Venezuelan tonka bean, Indonesia patchouli, New Caledonian sandalwood, bourbon vanilla and white musk frankincense. Sheldrake noted that bergamot adds freshness to the mix, while geranium leaf lends brightness and narcissus lends “animal sensuality.”
Noir’s bottle is in the classic Coco shape, executed in black with gold accents. “You can’t see the juice inside, which makes it more mysterious,” said Sheldrake.
Noir is the third in the brand’s Coco franchise; the original, Coco, bowed in 1984, while blockbuster Coco Mademoiselle was introduced in 2001. While all three are oriental scents, Noir is a luminous oriental, Coco a floral oriental and Mademoiselle a fresh oriental, said Sheldrake.
“Noir sits in its own space,” said Sheldrake. “We are careful not to launch a lot of fragrances — we choose to create scents that represent an era, not a passing fancy. ”
Dagousset concurred, saying adamantly that Noir will not cannibalize Chanel’s existing fragrance business. “This is more about bringing new choices to Chanel,” she said.
A 1.7-oz. Noir eau de parfum will retail for $98 in the U.S.; a 3.4-oz. size will sell for $130. Ancillaries are slated to join the collection within the next 12 months.
A prelaunch sampling program in a handful of upscale U.S. retailers began Aug. 1, “The intention was to create buzz,” said Dagousset. The scent will appear on counter Aug. 17 globally.
While Chanel’s total fragrance universe in the U.S. is comprised of 2,000 department and specialty stores, only about 700 of them will get Coco Noir at launch. Launch retailers in the U.S. include Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s. Although executives declined to break out sales projections, industry sources estimate that the new fragrance could generate as much as $20 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter, despite the limited distribution.
Print advertising, which will begin dropping in September fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, was shot by Guido Mocafico and features a hero shot of the bottle. A social media program is also planned, although Chanel declined to offer additional details.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast