Les Exclusifs de CHANEL ($240 CAD for 200ml)

We’ve all heard of CHANEL’s Nº 5, Coco, Coco Mademoiselle, Allure, Chance… But have you heard of N°22, Gardénia, Bois Des Iles, Cuis De Russie, Eau De Cologne, 31 Rue Cambon, N°18, Coromandel, Bel Respiro, 28 La Pausa, Sycomore and Beige? If you have, congratulations: you are a true CHANEL scholar! But if you haven’t, that’s because they are from the Les Exclusifs range and available only in select CHANEL stores, now including the newly redesigned CHANEL beauty counters at Holt Renfrew’s Vancouver and Toronto stores.

CHANEL Espace Parfums at Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew

Welcome to the world of luxury fragrance. Les Exclusifs have taken up residence in Espace Parfums: a space with an interactive Olfactive Bar where you sit down on plush tweed chairs for a tête-à-tête with a CHANEL Fragrance Expert and begin a journey of discovering your ideal fragrance. There is no spray-and-sniff or those silly coffee beans, CHANEL’s fragrances are organized in a laboratory-like system of ceramic blotters — this is less tiring on the nose.

My nose got a healthy dose of CHANEL, experiencing over twenty fragrances in one sitting. I’ve always been a Nº 5 gal, but after getting a sniff of Les Exclusifs, my heart is set on Gardénia, a creamy floral scent created in 1925 by Mademoiselle Chanel and her master perfumier Ernest Beaux. Chanel loved having her home filled with white flowers and the Gardenia was her favourite (other than, of course, the Camellia, which has no scent). Les Exclusifs are the spirit of Chanel bottled up. I love hearing the stories behind each fragrance: they are a little peek into Chanel’s life, like a seductive storybook time for adults.

Visit CHANEL Espace Parfums at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver and Toronto.