Any notorious ‘nose’ or master of fragrance will tell you the same thing… That, of all the senses, scent is by far the most evocative – capable of transporting us to far-flung destinations, long-gone experiences and winding journeys down lane after memory lane. Going beyond what we can see or touch at a surface level, smells can tell stories that cannot be translated into prose or speech, but can only be felt as emotions and instincts.

Chanel’s latest trio of parfums, Les Eaux De Chanel (or ‘The Waters of Chanel’) collectively pay tribute to the seas, oceans and riverside towns that were poignant and personal to Gabrielle Chanel; singularly, PARIS-DEAUVILLE, PARIS-VENISE and PARIS-BIARRITZ interpret the personalities of each, via unique and captivating blends.

Three years after the launch of her first boutique in Rue Cambon, Gabrielle Chanel opened her debut fashion store in the town of Deauville in 1913. Her millinery was already a favourite amongst the elegant Who’s Who of the time, and her menswear and marinière-inspired aesthetic in clothing soon followed suit, garnering a passionate fan base amongst the resort clientele who frequented the Normandy countryside. Such verdant and bucolic notes are bottled in PARIS-DEAUVILLE via Sicilian orange and facets of basil that combine to conjure an innately Mediterranean freshness and herbal vibrancy.

Shortly after her success in Deauville became apparent, Chanel expanded her maison to incorporate couture, choosing the internationally renowned and fashionable hub of Biarritz to open a dedicated boutique in 1915. The Basque coastline and the surrounding waters enchanted a then 32 year-old Gabrielle, and their energy is brought to the PARIS-BIARRITZ perfume via citrusy hints of mandarin, harmonised with a seasoning of lily-of-the-valley.

As was the norm of sophisticated society at the time, in 1920, Chanel – along with muralist José Maria Sert and his wife – journeyed to Venice, in what would be a pivotal venture both personally and professionally for her. It was during this trip that Gabrielle encountered Serge Diaghilev, the Russian choreographer and Artistic Director of the Ballet Russes, for whom she went on to design costumes and so join its notorious collaborators including Pablo Picasso. The Byzantine city’s Eastern accords thread their way through the cloth of the PARIS-VERNISE fragrance, with hums of warming tonka and illuminating neroli setting the scene.

The adage goes that one must walk a mile in another’s shoes to truly understand their experience; instead, Les Eaux De Chanel allows us an unprecedented access into the sensory journey of its namesake founder, welcoming us all to breathe in the poignant places of the woman who famously proclaimed: “No elegance is possible without perfume.”

Smells like... Chanel! Click here to discover Les Eaux de Chanel.

In case you missed it, watch Caroline Issa, Abigail Gurney-Read and #TeamBecause pay tribute to the women that inspire them.