Pampering and self-care are integral to a life well-lived. If we are frazzled and running on empty, would it not be difficult to be of service in all the ways that life calls on us to be? So, what better way to pamper ourselves than to do it with a Chanel focused self-care session, the ultimate in luxury. Chanel Coco Noir Foaming Shower Gel and Chanel No. 5 The Bath Soap are not new on the scene but they’ve landed in my repertoire as I obsessively trawl my way through Chanel’s makeup, fragrances and skin care. Inside of Chanel’s cosmetics are the shining star products that are never short of attention, with the ultimate being Chanel No.5. According to the finely spun party line, supposedly, a bottle is sold every thirty seconds somewhere on the planet.
But first, the shower gel. In 2013, Chanel released Coco Noir, a sensuous fragrance inspired by the decadence of Venice. Coco Noir is third in line to the Coco throne, with Coco being the first, followed by Coco Mademoiselle. The components of Chanel Coco Noir Foaming Shower Gel include patchouli, bergamot, jasmine, grapefruit, tonka bean and geranium rose. Coco Noir is a solid oriental scent that makes for a heady, sensual, lush experience. As a shower gel, the texture is not quite typical. Upon contact with water on the skin, the gel turns white and becomes slightly milky. The vapors it releases into the bathroom are heaving, redolent of poshness yet rounded out by warm notes that are feminine but not girly. Even when not in use, the scent lingers in the bathroom like a pleasing undercurrent, reminding me of its presence each time I enter. Coco Noir Foaming Shower Gel is mesmerising, sparkling, and makes you feel like you’re showering with a perfume as opposed to a gel. It also does not dry out the skin but instead, leaves skin feeling balanced and smooth.
While Chanel Coco Noir Foaming Shower Gel doesn’t linger as long on the skin as the bath soap below, it is an excellent platform on which to layer other scents, even if those scents are not part of the Chanel dynasty. Packaged in a striking black bottle with gold lettering and the Chanel emblem at the top of the cap, this can be your special occasion go-to or your everyday, exquisite, private indulgence.
Now to one of the heirs to the original Chanel No. 5 perfume. When Chanel No.5 debuted in 1921, it punctuated an era in Chanel’s design history where the ‘flapper-style’ of dressing began to take shape. Gabrielle Chanel had a very specific vision for the way in which she felt women should dress and smell. Thus, her intention for No. 5, a number she reportedly regarded as a lucky one, was for a fragrance meant to be a departure from the single note, overly floral fragrances that were common at that time. Chanel wanted a concoction featuring a blend of florals and deeper notes. She collaborated with Ernest Beaux, a perfumer and laboratory owner from Grasse, France. And so, together they developed a formula informed by the accidental unearthing of an old manuscript linked to a Florentine cologne creator.
With such an illustrious beginning, it is only fitting the subsequent products created to embody Chanel No. 5 should be superb. Chanel No. 5 Bath Soap is made in France, while Chanel Coco Noir Foaming Shower Gel is made in the US. Unlike a typical soap bar, the No.5 bath soap is hard milled. When it meets water, the soap transforms into a thick cream that is pleasingly low on bubbles. It separates itself from typical soap behaviour in that contact with water activates all of its scent layers, transforming the bathroom into a lilting, gilded, time-machine. No, when you step out of your shower you won’t suddenly find yourself in a magnificent bathroom in one of Chanel’s homes, but the swirling scents are sure to decrease anything that may have been a bother to you that day. Plus, the impact and sillage of the soap is without question, greater than that of the shower gel. Chanel No. 5 The Bath Soap is indeed an incarnation of the original fragrance, as it includes notes of jasmine, ylang-ylang, bergamot, neroli, iris, orris-root, rose, aldehydes and lemon. Added to that, the warmer components of the scent include musk, oakmoss, vanilla, amber, sandalwood and vetiver, an element I am enthralled by.
Together or separately, Chanel Coco Noir Foaming Shower Gel along with Chanel No. 5 The Bath Soap are but only two choices in quite a voluminous collection from which to choose. Pampering and self-care take on many forms and can be tailored to suit your tastes. It also doesn’t have to be costly but it is important to make time for it. That said, when you’re ready and looking to do some pampering and self-care at home, Chanel’s bath and body products are a superb place to start. Oh, and if you want to peel back the layers on another gem among Chanel’s fragrances, go here.