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, read more