Whether you’re an avid astrologer or reading star signs doesn’t quite float your boat, there’s no denying that the cosmic world has had a huge impact on the fashion and beauty world in recent years. From Zodiac-adorned necklaces to star-spangled gowns and otherworldly inspired eyeshadow palettes, celestial creations are all the rage. But for one legendary designer – star signs and their meanings, powers, and symbols meant so much more than just a cool design or pretty pattern. It became her way of life.
Superstitious and fascinated by the stars, Gabrielle Chanel’s lucky protector was the mighty lion – the fifth sign of the Zodiac that watched over her from the day she was born. “I am a Leo, and, like a lion, I use my claws to prevent people from doing me harm”, she famously once said. Her love of the lion was so strong that she surrounded herself with bronze, alabaster, and silver homages to the wild animal throughout her 31 Rue Cambon apartment – which you can see in the images below, shared exclusively with Savoir Flair.
This was inspired by a trip to Venice following the death of her beloved beau and muse Boy Capel. Whilst in mourning, she found comfort and solace in the city’s neo-Byzantine churches, becoming enchanted by Venice’s guardian – the winged lion – that could be found throughout the city. Her love of Venice and the time spent in these sacred places helped Gabrielle through her grief, and so, the lion became her talisman. Her protector. Her source of strength.
Seeking to surround herself with the lion’s benevolent presence, and to channel its power to help her become a strong, independent character, Gabrielle kept her precious lion as close to her as possible – through the sculptures in her home to the engraved buttons on Chanel’s tweed suits or on the clasps of her bags. She was even buried under a tombstone watched over by five mighty lions, which she designed herself.
Fast forward to today, and the lion has become one of the key symbols used in the house, from fashion to jewelry and now, in fragrance. Meet ‘Le Lion De Chanel’. A tribute to the animal and its significance to the house, it promises to capture the grace, strength, and courage that the lion represented for Gabrielle.
“I was much more interested in the emblematic Chanel lion than the animal”, explains Olivier Polge, Chanel’s Perfumer-Creator and the man behind this powerful oriental perfume. This isn’t about a wild beast – it’s a sophisticated, elegant, regal creature that doesn’t need to roar to command respect. Notes of fiery black pepper and dazzling citrus are sparked by animalistic resin and rich amber, wrapped in smooth vanilla, creamy sandalwood, and musky raw patchouli. The spirit of a lion, coated in Chanel.
Even better? The fragrance has launched exclusively in the Middle East, whilst the rest of the world has to wait until next year. So, if you’re looking for a new-season scent bound to entice and leave you ready to face whatever life throws your way, you know what bottle to reach for. A roaring success? We think so.