An innovator, entrepreneur and risk-taker, Gabrielle Chanel was a rebel at heart. Today, the spirit of the visionary couturier lives on in her boundary-pushing house and is kept alive by allies such as Jacques Polge, who concocted Bleu de Chanel in 2010 during his tenure as the creator of Chanel perfumes.
Launched to critical acclaim as an eau de toilette, this electrifying scent catches one’s attention with notes of zesty citrus, dry cedar and vetiver. Its presence is bold and energising, yet its delivery is elegant, as one would expect from anything by Chanel. As it dries, the tough armour reveals a delicate aroma. Earthy botanical extracts such as ginger, nutmeg and patchouli give the scent an inviting quality, while hints of florals from jasmine and labdanum add a dose of tenderness. Together, these warm and cosy accords represent the sensitive side of a gentleman. Challenging the typical expressions of masculinity like this was a daring move. Yet it paid off as many found this aspect of the luxurious perfume to be different and captivating.
The eau de toilette set the canvas for evolved versions of itself to be launched in the years that followed. In 2014, Polge imagined Bleu de Chanel eau de parfum, which was more sensual with the addition of velvety amber. Like a man coming of age, this version exudes a raw sexual magnetism that is irresistible, making it the sexiest Bleu de Chanel iteration yet. Polge’s son, Olivier, then took the helm as Chanel’s in-house perfumer creator and created Bleu de Chanel parfum in 2018, which features sustainably sourced New Caledonian sandalwood. This highly prized extract adds a luxurious charm to the fragrance with its creamy quality, and is favoured by those with a taste for all things sophisticated.
The bottle’s undefinable shade of blue conveys mystery and fluidity, giving room for masculinity to be defined by its wearer and not the other way around. No matter the iteration, it is obvious that what is encased in Bleu de Chanel’s architectural bottles is more than just a cologne. And how is that defined by a modern-day gentleman? Three of today’s leading men share their thoughts on this iconic fragrance collection.
Lennard Yeong, 34, in-house chef at Miele Singapore
“I didn’t grow up with a lot of belief in myself, so I was always eager to impress people,” says chef and TikTok sensation, Yeong. “But over the years, I’ve learnt to recognise my strengths and understand my value, and this has helped me develop my self-confidence. It may be quiet, but it is there. Similarly, Bleu de Chanel’s fragrance is bold and strong, yet it doesn’t try too hard to get noticed. At first spritz, you can smell the citrus notes before the scent of aromatic woods takes over. It is undoubtedly masculine and is fit for someone who’s elegant and powerful. There is also something sexy about it, so it’s a scent that I’ll pull out if I want to make an impression on my partner on a quiet dinner date together.”
Edward Russell, 33, television personality and radio deejay
“Truth be told, I am an introvert,” confesses Russell. “But when I’m doing my job as a host and presenter, I need to be powerful and engaging, much like the Bleu de Chanel fragrance.
“It is said that ‘Thursday’s child has far to go’. As someone who was born on a Thursday, I like that a whiff of Bleu de Chanel can bring me back to that, inspiring a sense of drive and adventure in me.
“Another thing I like about Bleu de Chanel is that it embodies a man who marches to the beat of his own drum and isn’t afraid to forge his own path. It also makes me feel alive and empowers me with the confidence to take on any challenges I’m faced with.”
Ikhsan Fandi, 23, national footballer
“There’s a good energy about the colour blue and it represents my personality quite accurately,” says Ikhsan, a confident, yet down-to-earth Thailand-based athlete.
“I’m fun to be around, but there’s also a side of me that’s not afraid to chase after the things that I want. That’s also the same kind of energy that Bleu de Chanel has: inviting yet strong. I see the fragrance being suitable for someone who is bold, confident and brave. I’m familiar with the fragrance, and every time I wear it, I feel like that guy who gets the job done.
“Bleu de Chanel is also sexy and captivating, so I always make sure thatI spritz this on myself before I go on dinner dates.”
Director and creative producer: Vanessa Caitlin
Director of photography: Benjamin Siow using GCF
Photographer: Sayher Heffernan
Beauty director: Alli Sim
Stylist: Jasmine Ashvinkumar
Hair and make-up artist: Rick Yang using Boy de Chanel
Manicurist: Ann Lim
Associate creative producer and video editor: Hazirah Rahim
Colourist: Julien Chichignoud
DP assistant: Dylan Tan
1st CA: Lim Tian Chye
Grip: Yang Yong Qing, Muhammad Azman Asaraf Ali, Troy Tay
On-set producer: Danial Yeap
Production and set construction: Abundant Productions
Set decoration: David Bay
Fashion assistant: Jason Sonja
Creative production assistant: Andy Solomon Leow
Interns: Charlene Jody Lim, Muhammad Isa Bin Hasan Malik, Lim Cherann
Speaker: Devialet Phantom II 98db
Rock glass and mixing bowl: Crate and Barrel
Story: Syed Zulfadhli