Can A Fragrance Really Make You Feel More Optimistic?

Chanel's in-house perfumer Olivier Polge weighs in.

With power to evoke a memory, alter mood and transport you across the world, the impact of fragrance is undeniable. Some studies suggest scents can trigger up to 75 per cent of daily emotions. Which begs the questions, can a fragrance really make you feel more optimistic?

See Chanel beauty’s new LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL fragrance collection as proof. Masterfully crafted by Chanel’s in-house perfumer Olivier Polge, the collection is composed of rare and intricate ingredients that harness mood-boosting qualities. Individually, each fragrance tells a story of Gabrielle Chanel [the maison’s founder], embodying her spirit and is reflective of the timeless style the brand has become synonymous with.

A little bit about the nose behind the collection – Olivier is the son of legendary perfumer Jacques Polge, who also served as Chanel’s in-house perfumer for 37 years. Olivier is responsible for some of the most celebrated (and beloved) fragrances; Lancôme La Vie Est Belle, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and Chanel Gabrielle, to name a few.

Speaking with marie claire Australia, Olivier touches on the symmetry between fragrance and optimism and his boundless approach to perfumery.

marie claire Australia: How would you define a “fragrance of optimism”?

Olivier Polge: Fragrances express and direct our emotions and our feelings. At CHANEL, when we create fragrances, we try to highlight a state of mind, and here it was the state of optimism. COMÈTE is enveloping and fresh, no dense notes darken it. The scent of optimism shines on the skin, enveloping it to merge with it as one. It is something very warm, pure and luminous. COMÈTE gives rise to a natural, almost magical sensation, as though you were enveloped in an aura of light.

Chanel COMÈTE, 200ml, $630 at

MC: Who is COMÈTE aimed at?

OP: Gender is not specified for the LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL fragrance collection – it is up to us to choose. Each LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL fragrance, including COMÈTE, enables the wearer, whether male or female, to cultivate a form of rarity and express their own unique character. There are no rules in perfumery.

Fragrance enables us to express a facet of our character that we want to reveal to the rest of the world. Each of us decides what fragrance represents for us, personally. And then we are one with the perfume that we wear. I love the idea of this magical encounter between a fragrance and a person: it is a sensual relation, something you wear for yourself.

MC: If you had to describe COMÈTE in three words?

OP: Exquisite, magical, luminous.

Shop the LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL fragrance collection at

Related stories