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Brief Published: 13 Dec 2016

Fragrance Success Stories 2016

Vanessa Paradis for Chanel Coco Eau de Parfum, 1991, Lily Rose Depp for Chanel No 5 L'Eau, 2016

The British Society of Perfumers – in collaboration with independent fragrance expert Virginie Daniau, aka Parfum Parfait – recently presented its annual overview of the fine-fragrance landscape. In an oversaturated market, just a handful of new fragrances make a lasting impression, with even fewer becoming bestsellers. Stylus selects the key themes that unite the most successful launches of the year.

  • Reinventing the Classics: Chanel No 5 L’Eau – whose tagline is “You know me and you don’t” – is a fresher, “aldehydic” take on the iconic 1920s scent, while Tom Ford’s Orchid Soleil offers a lighter, powdery version of the heady Black Orchid. Thierry Mugler’s Angel Muse reinvents his cult 90s juice Angel with an unusual salty accord, while CK2 updates the ozonic CKOne for today’s genderless generation with unexpected "urban woody" notes of wet cobblestone and concrete.
  • Bridging Generations: The proverbial passing of the baton from veteran supermodels to their daughters has helped brands stay relevant with younger audiences. Lily Rose Depp is the face of Chanel No 5 L’Eau, 25 years after her mother Vanessa Paradis appeared in the first Coco film, while Georgia May Jagger fronts Angel Muse, following in the footsteps of Jerry Hall in Angel’s debut 1995 campaign.
  • Extraordinary Edibles: Gourmand scents are moving away from sweet notes like vanilla and caramel in favour of unusual ingredients that deliver “sensations”. Tart rhubarb is the central ingredient in Hermès’ Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate, hot wasabi features in CK2, refreshing vetiver and creamy hazelnut appear in Angel Muse, and warm chestnut makes up Orchid Soleil’s base.

For more on these themes, see Rewriting the Rules of Luxury Fragrance, Gender-Fluid Generation: Beauty Attitudes and Mac Shadescents: Leveraging Cult.