Fragrance News: Chanel Appoints Christopher Sheldrake

Chanel has appointed Christopher Sheldrake as their new director of research and development for fragrances, reporting to perfumer Jacques Polge. Sheldrake was previously employed by Quest International and he is the nose for a majority of fragrances from Serge Lutens line. It is unclear based on the information available whether he will be exclusively retained by Chanel, or whether he will continue working for Serge Lutens as well. From Cosmeticnews.


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  • Flora: Wow, this will really shake things up if he is leaving Serge Lutens! I hope not, as I am hopelessly addicted to those fragrances of his already and I have only known them for a short time. I can only imagine what the offer that could not be refused was…. January 28, 2006 at 3:09am Reply

  • Evan: The only direction Chanel can go from “Chance” is up. I only hope that Sheldrake’s talent is not simply wasted at Chanel, especially if he is no longer able to work with Lutens. Who would replace him? As far as I know, the only one of the Serge Lutens perfumes that Sheldrake didn’t do is “Iris Silver Mist”. It might be hard for a perfumer with his own strong ideas and style to work for Lutens- it seems that Lutens needs someone that’s a bit of a blank slate with a good nose and great skill. January 28, 2006 at 6:45am Reply

  • sarasotagirl: Interrressssttting. Who knows? There may yet be a Chanel I can wear. January 28, 2006 at 4:01pm Reply

  • nicolas: I`ve heard he`s still creating Serge Lutens fragrances… with Quest ???? January 28, 2006 at 11:05pm Reply

  • Amandampc: Hmm, what to think? As far as I’m concerned, the only great Chanel is an “old” Chanel (i.e. pre-Coco era. Though Allure sometimes appeals in a good, not great, way.) Then again, I am not at all a fan of Serge Lutens fragrances – maybe it’s the iconoclast in me but honestly, I’ve never found one that grabbed and held my attention. So – ? This much is true: if Mr. Sheldrake tampers with #22, I may just have to instigate a fragrance riot. The Guerlain reforms I can semi-deal with only because the “original” formulations really do give me skin rashes from time to time (is that the coal tar or whatever it is?) But seriously, don’t mess with the Great Double Deuces – please, Chanel, please! January 29, 2006 at 9:27am Reply

  • Laura: This will be very interesting to watch! And smell, of course. January 29, 2006 at 11:42am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Flora, I do not know if he is leaving Serge Lutens. If the contract is not exclusive, Sheldrake can continue to create for whoever he likes. We shall see what happens. January 29, 2006 at 11:13pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, I think that Chanel has done well with Coco (a legend in its own right). I also think that Allure can be considered a trend setter. Coco Mlle and Chance were definitely less groundbreaking though. However, unless the company itself decides to be more daring, I do not think that we are bound to see huge changes. Of course, Christopher Sheldrake is very talented, and it is a very good move by Chanel. January 29, 2006 at 11:16pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Evan, I am not sure who would replace Sheldrake, if he indeed will stop creating for Lutens. Iris Silver Mist was done by Maurice Roucel. I do understand that Lutens is not an easy person to work with, but the results of his partnership with Sheldrake have been impressive. January 29, 2006 at 11:21pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: S, we shall see! 😉 January 29, 2006 at 11:21pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Nicolas, he is employed by Quest as a perfumer, and while employed by them, he can create fragrances for whatever client they approve of. However, with his move to Chanel, he is leaving Quest. January 29, 2006 at 11:23pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Amanda, Coco was great. I cannot agree more. Well, the sad (or not, depending on how one looks at these issues) thing is that nearly everything is reformulated, including No.5. As long as reformulation is done respectfully, the results will be good. For instance, Arpege reorchestration–very well-done indeed. Still, I also do not like my classics being tampered with. January 29, 2006 at 11:26pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, now, isn’t that the truth! January 29, 2006 at 11:30pm Reply

  • Campaspe: If I were a betting woman, I would lay money that the contract is exclusive. It fits with what I have read & heard about Chanel as a company. The Wertheimers control Chanel very, very tightly and I don’t see them allowing their prize to wander back over and create for something for a rival.

    If you find out more details, I do hope you post them as I will be interested to see if my guess is correct. January 30, 2006 at 7:21am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: F, that sounds likely, and we shall see what happens. January 30, 2006 at 9:48pm Reply

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