Neutral Reviews of Gabrielle 
Chanel (2017)

Average Rating:  10 User Reviews

Your ratings



Gabrielle by Chanel

Fragrance Overview Where to Buy Reviews Community Ownership

Add your review of Gabrielle

You need to be logged in to add a review.

Log in here, or register


Reviews of Gabrielle by Chanel

This has floral notes, but not distinctly discernible, and that’s fine. Sometimes frags have that quality about them because they’re blended as such. This is not that.

What it IS, is a delightful floral scent with LOTS of bright, tart lemon, a smidge of black currant leaf, a light dusting of powder, sunny, with plenty of charm. It’s a very strong like, as far as scent, itself, goes. It sits verrrry close to the skin and lasts about 2 hours before I have to sniff for it.

It was only a matter of time before something like this appeared again in the Chanel catalog, as every so many years they create a very nondescript fragrance from which a dozen flankers can spring, to keep the coffers full while they experiment with more daring perfumes, since the watershed success of something truly innovative like No. 5 (1921) was mostly accidental, and the market is too competitive some century later to allow for any "expensive mistakes" in trying to repeat it. You can always tell when something is focus group created because there are always at least three perfumers on it, and sometimes four if we're talking Calvin Klein, but Chanel doesn't work that way usually since they employ in-house perfumers and not the big chem firms to design their smellies for them. In this instance, the only way to really have such a focus group under Chanel's model is to bring in past and present perfumers alongside the creative director who himself is a perfumer, so this meant dragging former Chanel master perfumer Jacques Polge out of retirement (since 2015) to work alongside his son Olivier Polge (current master perfumer at Chanel) and Christopher Sheldrake to put three heads on what became Gabrielle Chanel (2017). Allure (1996) was the previous "one size fits all" concept released to the main Chanel line, being a fragrance built around facets rather than a traditional note pyramid. Gabrielle takes a similar approach to Allure with it's "imaginary flower" concept, merging four flowers together into a single amalgam accord upon which the perfume is based, but it does have a traditional structure otherwise. Gabrielle is supposed to be happy, sweet, care-free, and to evoke a similar golden tone like the venerable No. 5, but with a youthful bounce that landmark scent does not possess. I'm not entirely sold on the concept of Gabrielle, especially knowing what I know about the history of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel herself, but I see where this stuff is coming from, at the very least.

What I get in the opening of Gabrielle is a scent that tries to be Chanel No. 5 without the aldehydes in terms of the plush tone, just softer and sweeter per the taste predilections of the time in which it's made. Mandarin and grapefruit replace sharper citruses like bergamot, and a juicy blackcurrant which has become oh so trendy in the 2010's shows up to blend down any harshness the grapefruit may have. A nice yellow ochre tone is given forth once the floral power chord of the heart appears, which is the real star of Gabrielle. Tuberose, ylang-ylang, orange blossom, and jasmine are said to be of what this accord consists, but the blending is immaculate as is the normal form for Jacques Polge, so this part was probably his touch to the perfume. Warm, mirthful, radiant, but also a bit bubbly and giggly compared to the confidence of No.5's golden floral melange, with no rose putting its foot down in the heart of the accord like with No. 5, Gabrielle tries to be a tad too innocent. The edges of the florals are very nondescript like a blurry image from a broken camera, leading into trademark "Polge sandalwood" compound in all of its creamy warm goodness. There is a bit of powder in the finish, just enough to earn the trust of a more mature person seeking this out, but the yellow musk and amber tone keep this squarely in the sweet palette of 21st century taste by the time of the drydown's finish. The whole experience feels like an amplified skin cream to me, with that same undefined smooth floral sweetness and sunny disposition of a summer-themed hand lotion from Bath & Body Works, just with a higher cut of ingredients quality. The smell of Gabrielle feels painfully like a base for layering or a platform for future flankers more than a unique composition to be worn alone, and I can tell is going to be a new age "Mousse de Sax" for a decade's worth of Chanel perfume. Still, this is pleasant, if uninspiring, and a bottle multiple generations in a single home could share since it spreads like a spilled yellow paint across the olfactive landscape it inhabits. Wear time is long as this is an EdP, but sillage is expectedly tight, because again, this is an EdP. I'd say this is a summer scent, but it is truthfully warm enough for spring or early fall too, and can be worn by any gender, since the gilded sphere it casts doesn't really impart any sexuality to my nose whatsoever.

The father and son Polge team along with Mr. Sheldrake have set about creating a financially secure future for Les Parfums Chanel with what will probably be the No. 5 of its time, created in accordance with an outlook held within the slice of the perfume industry where Chanel sits at present, which is an altogether different slice than where it sat in 1921. The No. 5 of 2017 cannot be bold or daring, cannot be made from dozens of notes nor a large percentage of costly materials, and cannot challenge nor entice. The No. 5 of 2017 must be a cost-effective exercise in touching as many corners of taste within the largest pool of potential perfume wears as possible, while also avoiding just as many corners if not more where people might find fault in some aspect of the perfume's design; there can be no animalic, no bitter greens, no heady spice, no note separation denoting natural or high-quality synthetic materials which may become restricted or too expensive in time, and it must be impossible to over-apply so it doesn't offend. Gabrielle has padding around kid gloves with smiley face stickers applied to each knuckle carrying the double-C Chanel logo, and enough smearing of the big picture that anything can be painted over top of it, ensuring potential new flankers until the next big blob perfume comes along. I don't find much interest in this because it feels sort of like an intentionally-unfinished scent with a hastily-composed paint-by-numbers top that cuts to the chase so the hazy "imaginary flower" accord dominates, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see what they do with this line in the future. If this is Chanel's newest "temporary Guerlinade" then they could have done far worse in my opinion. Gabrielle Chanel is to me, nothing like the young iteration of the woman it is named after and certainly indicative of House Chanel's direction throughout the 2010's, but I don't hate it and rather they do this than continue to try reinventing No. 5 with flankers, so I'll rate neutral for fairness since it is clear a lot of work went into Gabrielle to at least make it pleasing to encounter.

Though composed of top-notch raw materiel, this floral/ woody/ musk fragrance is not substantially different from most of the Chanel line up. Excellent advertisement to go with it when it first came out, sleek - modern - soigne.
The juice unfortunately is a mild disappointment. It is not ground breaking, though it smells pretty. Opens with a bright zing from citrus and aldehydes, then segues into its heart of white florals, after which it rests, ever so gently on a base of sandalwood and musks.
But then again, so does the great No. 5!
If nothing else, I consider this new one a variant and iteration of the classic No. 5. Get that one instead!


I am not a fan of floral perfumes but my addiction led me to the Chanel counter. After spraying the card I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven.
The top notes were beautiful (whatever they are). The middle notes were nice (whatever they are). Then the dry down....... rather sickening sweet, musky nothing. I purchased a bottle but am now unhappy with this new addition to Chanel's family. If I could just layer something warmer and spicier or woodier for the finale I think I would love it. Today, after wearing for several hours I was going for the soap and water when I decided to try some Bois de Isles on top of the sweet nothing..... very nice but not my thing.

They mixed Eau Vive with No 5 L'Eau and called it Gabrielle. Finis.

Gabrielle opens with a modern, bracing, soapy aldehyde and sweet mandarine, not the vintage-smelling aldehyde in No.5, as if it's an effort to remind people that it's a Chanel fragrance but also to send the message: "Rest assured, this is not 'old-fashioned', at all".

The transition between the forcefully bright fruity aldehydic opening to the luminous, clean white floral heart is seamless. I can hardly discern any particular facets of these 4 flowers, "abstract floral" indeed. Slowly but surely, Gabrielle gets sweeter with time, and almost turns jammy and saccharine around the 3rd hour because of the cassis note. Thankfully, it then goes back to the "abstract floral" route and firmly remains in the "clean soapy fruity floral shampoo" territory till the end.

Gabrielle has a moderate sillage and a longevity of 8 hours on my skin.

I have to admit, the olfactory description employed in the press release is spot on. Gabrielle is indeed radiant, sparkling, luminous, feminine, and its treatment of flowers is very abstract. It's also predictable, inoffensive, pretty in the conventional way and attuned to the modern sensibility. Moreover, its jammy fruitiness is also clearly a sign that Gabrielle is engineered towards a young clientele of today, which totally makes sense for a major commercial launch from a business point of view.

However, from my personal point of view, I find Gabrielle derivative and uninspiring. While wearing Gabrielle for a few times, I was initially reminded of other abstract florals such as Dior J'Adore, Chanel Beige and Jour d'Hermès. But upon examining them more closely, the touted "abstract"quality of Gabrielle actually makes it appear more muddled and less refined, and ultimately the one with the least personality.

I would recommend Gabrielle to those who'd like a feminine, abstract, clean, modern aldehydic fruity floral from a widely-recognised brand, but I think there are other quality, similar-styled and more affordable choices out there, if one is not fixated on the Chanel brand.

Stardate 20170912:

Chanel does Sauvage. Or, perhaps more apt, Blue de Chanel Pour femme.
Inoffensive, safe and boring.

Gabrielle is a very safe, run-of-the-mill release by Chanel. There is a persistent grapefruit note, not too fresh or juicy, rather a little restrained and at times a little synthetic, that is infused with an accord of white florals. The tuberose is hardly prominent, and neither is the jasmine. Rather, it has a demure temperament, and it is not much abstract either (resolving to a 'standard' mixed white florals accord, rather than anything more intriguing). It is absolutely none of soapy or powdery, has the barest hint of a creamy attribute, and possesses a vague summery freshness. While the grapefruit-white floral accord is quite persistent (at over three or four hours), the fragrance doesn't have much further development, and seems to be missing something of a base component or a dry-down. I don't find it to be tenacious (it becomes imperceptible at around five hours), though sillage is not too low-key, but rather moderate.

Gabrielle, while bearing some Chanel references, appears to be of a notch below the quality of something like Coco Mademoiselle or No 5 L'eau. Stuff like No. 19 Poudre or No 5 Eau Premiere are definitely cut from much finer cloth. I find Gabrielle to be reasonably easy to like, but very easy to forget. Additionally, while decidedly modern, it lacks intelligence, emotion, abstraction and complexity - and is at times a little sophomoric (which might actually be the target audience). However, I find no reason to recommend this to young (or elderly) women (or men), when one can buy fresh(y) florals (white or otherwise) that are much more memorable, emotive, witty, or fun - or all of that, and at one-third the price.

2.5/5 (a weak neutral)

Another fruity-floral. Derivative, basic, fancy-shampoo smell. That being said, it's not terrible - the floral elements are "blended" so as to not smell of one particular flower - the fruits are not cheap or tropical.

Nice bottle, albeit a bit lighter and without the usual magnetic cap we see on most new releases.

Probably a good gift for someone you've never met.

Gabrielle is a delicate brand new Chanel's bouquet with a translucent "neo-Victorian" graciousness. Tuberose is the main element (creamy, soft, orangy, musky) immediately supported by earthy jasmine, sophisticated (soapy-cosmetical) synth ylang-ylang and by a final fairy (but vain and kind of fuzzy) balminess. An initial angular/hesperidic leafiness evolves by soon in to a soft musky-orangy twist of floral and soapy notes. Orange blossoms, ylang-ylang, tuberose, musk, namely a sort of hardly enchanting perfumed "remake". A gracious "baume", slightly dull and with a tad more than mediocre structural magistery. Nothing new under the sun.

Recently Viewed on this device

Whatever your taste in perfume, we've got you covered...

catalogue your collection, keep track of your perfume wish-list, log your daily fragrance wears, review your latest finds, seek out long-lost scented loves, keep track of the latest perfume news, find your new favourite fragrance, and discuss perfume with like-minded people from all over the world...