By Shivani Vora
Chanel fans know their camelias—a flower that’s emblematic of the house and a mainstay in many of its designs from jewelry to handbags to clothes and even on the packaging with that unmistakable white bloom.
Today, this East Asian plant is the key ingredient and inspiration for Chanel’s new beauty line: called No. 1 de Chanel, the collection of nine pieces includes skincare, makeup and a perfume and stands out as much for its sustainability as it does for its efficacy. The launch is also Chanel’s first foray into the fast-growing natural beauty category.
In the making for more than a decade in Chanel’s camellia farm and phyto-analysis lab in Southwest France, No. 1 de Chanel uses red camellia flower extract from The Czar variety of Camellia japonica. It has myriad skin-benefitting properties such as boosting vitality, combating anti-aging and protecting from daily stress such as pollution.
The products contain up to 97 percent natural ingredients, 76 percent of which are camellia petals, seeds and yeasts—a move that preserves the whole plant and keeps with the line’s green ethos. A revitalizing serum is the hero and reduces pores and wrinkles while also improving elasticity. The lightly scented whipped cream is part of the daily skincare ritual, along with an eye cream, powder-to-foam cleanser, and serum-in-mist that instantly brightens and refreshes the face.
Moving onto makeup, No. 1 de Chanel features a moisturizing foundation that injects the skin with an enviable glow and a creamy balm for the lips and cheeks that enhances their natural color. A Chanel beauty launch wouldn’t be complete without fragrance, and No. 1 de Chanel’s L’Eau Rouge mist is the showpiece scent crafted with notes of jasmine and orange blossom. Wear it alone to capture the freshness or layer with another perfume for a bolder statement.
Beyond the transformative products themselves, the collection’s environmental impact has been scaled back tremendously, utilizing recyclable bottles and jars that are also lighter than their predecessors, and the Red Camelia Revitalizing Cream even comes in a refillable tub. But the emphasis on nature begins with the very grounds where the camelias are grown in Gaujacq, where the agricultural practices used on the entire farm are optimized to reduce pressure on the environment to a minimum.
No. 1 de Chanel is a bold venture for the storied fashion house, one that might just raise the bar in the luxury sector when it comes to clean beauty. Given that it’s Chanel we’re talking about, we wouldn’t expect anything else.
Images courtesy of Chanel.