Gabrielle Essence by Chanel 2019

Hi there Perfume Posse. One of the brands that seems to give perfumistas and regular people the excitements is CHANEL. From the controversial Coco herself, through the Lagerfeld years and all along the Wertheimers have kept the business going, coddled it, breathed new life into it when necessary and created an empire that is now into its third generation. Gabrielle Essence by Chanel  is the latest offering, a new addition to the 2017 released Gabrielle line.

Gabrielle Essence by Chanel 2019

Olivier Polge

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Citruses, Red fruits
Heart: Tuberose, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Tunisian orange blossom
Base: Sandalwood, Vanilla, White musk

Recently I was in the city and chatting with my mate who works as an SA for CHANEL in one of our national department stores, Myer. The newest creation from the nose of Olivier Polge had just been released in Australia and he was adamant I should try it. I’m sure some of you adore the original Gabrielle but it just lay flat and dead on my skin with no excitement or joy of any kind. This I explained to my buddy but he’d have none of it. “PLEASE, just try it. I know you will like it much better than the original.” How could I refuse such a heartfelt entreaty so I grabbed the bottle and did four big spritzes onto my forearm. It was the end of my day ion town and I thought I could spend the 40 minute train trip home cursing him and mocking this new horror put forth to inveigle the gullible masses of men who buy perfume for their wives/daughters/mistresses and colleagues at Christmas. As I kissed him goodbye he handed me a couple of carded samples to continue trying if I liked it (fat chance) or give away.

Yeah, I know you knew it. BAZINGA! A white floral that opens with an aldehydic fruity sparkle. Gabrielle Essence is so much more beautiful than its wan, lacklustre mother. It’s nothing new, doesn’t add anything to the annals of fragrance history or push any boundaries BUT it is absolutely lovely. It has the same created feel of CHANEL No 5; that utterly unreal, space age flowers feeling, as if they’re made from fibreglass.

Given a lightly tropical vibe through a sheer swirl of ylang and vanilla, there are moments in the heart and on the brink of dry down where Gabrielle Essence could be one of the Guerlain Aqua Allegorias. Not in the notes list but the peachy lactones of Mitsouko seem to be running along behind the modern, sand blasted white flowers and adding a gravitas that the leading notes miss utterly. There are even hints of J’Adore‘s brilliant heart hiding tucked away inside as well.

So here I am. Fragrantly smacked across the knuckles for prejudging. I know at least half a dozen of my mates who would be swooning with delight to get this baby as a gift and some that may even buy it for themselves.

I gave a sample to my girlfriend Anna-Maria and it lasted less than 20 minutes on her. Nice opening and then nothing. YMMV, test before buying.

Will I buy it. No. It would never get a spritz and sit unloved in its box till I gave it away. Will my samples get used? Well, one has gone already……..

So, what have you decided you’d hate and been proven wrong about?

Portia xx




Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies

  • Maya says:

    I love how all our perceptions and skin can make the same perfumes so different. I have an older bottle of Caron Montaigne edt and it’s so pretty. On me, it’s bright sunshine and yellow mimosa and not at all shy.

  • Musette says:

    Things I should not like (but do) : I have a thing for these rando generic galbanum-florals, like Caron’s Montaigne. It smells of nearly nothing and I cannot figure out why I’m so drawn to it- but I am. I think it’s maybe got a bit of Silences Light going on?

    I never could get with Gabrielle, though. It sat there, smelling like raw pie dough.


    • Portia says:

      Hey Musette,
      I didn’t know Montaigne was a Green Floral. Going to find my decant and get it on me.
      HA! Gabrielle is not really for perfumistas, I think.
      Portia xx

  • Kathleen says:

    I had the same experience as you did Portia. I purchased Gabrielle the original blind, because it was Chanel and it smells like plastic doll head on me. Gabrielle Essence is an improvement, I wish they had created first.
    I am forever the optimistic, always hopeful the next perfume will be a love!
    Except for:
    I thought I would hate anything Mugler because I detested Angel. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I sampled Alien, and now have three different bottles!

    • Portia says:

      Ahhhh! Alien is fantastic. So glad you’re loving it. It’s my favourite feminine from the brand, though I like a bunch of others.
      Portia xx

  • matty1649 says:

    Sounds fab. Hope they’ve got it in the dept store I’m going to today.

  • Maya says:

    Hey Portia,
    I just checked and it looks like Provisions is US only right now.. My sample was from Indigo in Ohio, but I checked and she only ships in the US. She added Maitri to my sample order or I never would have tried it! I suspect though that you will have enough samples on hand to keep you busy for a while.and that’s always nice.

    • Portia says:

      HA! Maya,
      You are 100% correct. There are enough samples and decants to last a village till 2200.
      Thanks for the heads up aboutProvisions.
      Portia xx

  • Maya says:

    I’m with the *think I’ll love it and am disappointed* camp. I couldn’t think of anything that really went the other way until duh, Provisions Maitri. I mentioned this one before. It’s a vetiver and I don’t like vetiver rich perfumes. This one not only works for me but I want a bottle. It’s a Yuck to Love.

  • Tara C says:

    I agree Essence is much nicer than the original, however it’s still not something I would reach for. Most mainstream scents I have very low expectations, but a few have pleasantly surprised me (Mon Guerlain, Prada Candy). Like Anna Leonora though, I far more often think I will love something and then don’t.

    • Portia says:

      Oh yeah TaraC,
      Mon Guerlain was a really good one. Also, though Aura by Mugler was polarising I thought it really good too.
      Have you tried 4711 Cologne Reloaded? If you like mandarin then it will blow your mind.
      Portia xx

  • March says:

    OK SOOOOOOLD I clearly have to run over …… somewhere (Saks maybe?) and try this ASAP. Thanks, honey!

  • Ermano says:

    Dear Portia,
    I am glad you liked the new embodiment of Gabrielle. I also tried it yesterday and found it nice, but also terribly reminded me of something in a sort of déjà vu… Bang! Suddenly it popped to my mind a beautiful niche fragrance that’s even a creamier, richer texture. Guess what?

  • Anna Leonora says:

    I have never been sure that I would not like a fragrance. My problem is how often I am sure I will like one and I am proven wrong. I have scores of fragrance samples that I thought would be love. And I didn’t.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Anna,
      Oh yes. 100%. the let downs are REAL and frequent. Maybe that’s how my expectations have become so low. If you knew how many samples and decants had been through this house……. Well of course you do. You’re a perfumista too.
      Portia xx