In 2002, Halle Berry became the first African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. Britney and Justin (Timberlake, not Bieber) broke up, proving couples who dress together in fact do not stay together. Teenage pin-ups Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prince Jnr. got married, and we were spinning tunes like ‘Hot In Herre’ and ‘Can’t Fight The Moonlight’ on our 20GB Ipods. Chanel also released a fragrance called Chance. It was a beautiful curved bottle, soft at the edges, pale amber in colour, with a sturdy steel cap. It smelt like pink pepper and pineapple, like jasmine and iris, like amber and musk. It was simple, elegant, beautiful. In French, like in English, Chance means ‘luck’. And in Chanel, ‘luck’ was very important.
“Chance is a way of being,” said Gabrielle Chanel, who believed in luck wholeheartedly. She believed in her lucky star as much as cultivated it. She believed in it so much, she named her first ever fragrance, Chanel No° 5 after her lucky number. “I present my dress collections on the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year, and so we will let this sample number five keep the name it already has; it will bring good luck.” And as luck would have it, that it did, becoming the most successful perfume in the world.
Chance was almost Olivier Polge’s encounter with luck. A modern day play on chance and the Chanel story, it was his interpretation of what luck smelt like, which for the record, is no random matter in the Chanel universe. It’s a state of mind. A choice at every moment. An attitude. It’s not so much a matter of having a chance, but daring to take one when it presents itself. And with this, it was his olfactory expression of this way of being.
Today, Chanel and Polge reinvent fortune and fate with a new, tender iteration of its iconic fragrance. Chance Eau Tendre shows the softer side to its richer predecessor; rounded at both its heart and edges. Delicate and poetic, it taps the original jasmine heart but renders it in rose. Creamier in finish, a white musk rounds out the scent keeping it clean and cottony, while its juice has also had a sweet makeover; pale pink in colour.
It’s a scent of absolute tenderness. Soft to the touch. Feminine. Delicate. Chances are you’ll love it.
CHANCE EAU TENDRE EAU DE PARFUM, $234. shop now