Few brands, if any, have made a fragrance as iconic as Chanel No. 5. The brand’s signature perfume has been a global bestseller since its launch in 1921, and shows no signs of fading – unless you consider the fact that Chanel just introduced a new fragrance to the family.
The perfume, called “Gabrielle,” stands out because it’s the first scent created entirely from scratch in fifteen years. Even more noteworthy, it’s being dubbed the new No. 5.
While classic, powdery, often branded perfumes once dominated global preferences, shoppers are now drifting towards natural scents. Unlike fashion, fragrance remains one of the most intimate accoutrements of a consumer’s everyday routine, so the tendency to cling to one signature scent for years at a time is common, making it imperative for brands to get it right. One glance at Sephora’s review section shows that while many consumers adore Chanel’s classic No. 5 scent, more and more consider it to be a bit too over-the-top, even headache-inducing – hence the introduction of Gabrielle, the lighter, modern, and more feminine version of its predecessor.
While many fashion brands have looked to acquiring other brands in order to stay afloat, fragrance can be a low-lift way for brands to refresh their image. In addition to Chanel, Tiffany & Co. has latched on to this tactic, releasing its first fragrance in over a decade.
According to L2’s fragrance report, indie labels are increasingly gaining visibility, especially through the aid of gifted sample sets – a perk that never loses popularity with Sephora shoppers, among others. Fragrance brands that find themselves falling behind might consider creating a scent of their own to add to the sample sets, thus drumming up interest within an audience that is inherently difficult to market to, given the sensory nature of the industry.