“It no longer exists,” he says wistfully. “The first stage of learning to be a perfumer was to memorise all the ingredients in the lab, and just across the street, there was the manufacturing factory processing all the raw ingredients, like vanilla beans – everything was happening in front of me. It was a very rich experience.” Olivier eventually moved on to a small firm in Geneva, and then to IFF in New York, where he crafted numerous fragrances for various fashion houses and beauty conglomerates. “You create based on a brief for a fragrance prepared by the brands,” he elaborates. With his unique talent for concocting successful scents, he strongly stood out among his peers. But now, with Chanel, he gets to add new chapters to the story. “I think there is no other house that does my work in such an integrated way. We are really creating and making the perfume from beginning to end. This company allows me a full grasp of my work. We even grow our own plants and flowers in Grasse.”
Olivier was first tasked with a Les Exclusifs de Chanel creation, Le Misia: “A good way to ease into these big shoes.” Bringing his signature touches of patchouli and leather, his second creation is Chance Eau Vive. This new addition to the Chance family gives warmth and depth to a fragrance range previously known to be light and fruity. How did he create such a luminous essence? “There were already three Chances, and they all have very different formulas, but the same spirit – that of optimism and joy. The idea for Eau Vive was to make a fragrance that allows the same spirit to live on, but is bursting with vitality.” As grapefruit was the star of the original Chance, Olivier found it natural to also include that in Eau Vive. However, he smiles, “this this is sharper,sh I would say.” He continues, “The main ingredient is grapefruit and it has givengive the fragrance an overall fruity and more vibrant aspect, but it also brings a little bitter facet to it as it dries down with vetiver and iris.” While the original ChanceChanc was “more amber and pepper”, Eau Vive pulsates with the zest of citrus fruits, underscoredun by lyrical jasmines and white musk. “In terms of identity, they are alla very different. The first Chance created by my father was a manifesto of optimism, but I think Eau Vive embodies energy and vitality.” Olivier himself is full of energy, more than ready to take on his behemoth task with Chanel, and Chance Eau Vive illustrates his journey
beautifully. “You have to take into consideration what has been done, and you have to create something new. Chance follows this colourful way of composing fragrance, and Chanel has a richness that allows me to express myself.” Available at Chanel Fragrance & Beauty Boutiques and counters at all major
departmental stores nationwide.
Chanel Chance Eau Vive EDT, RM282 (50ml) & RM400 (100ml)