A luxuriate such as Chanel does not do — or launch — things in halves or haste. Every single detail is considered, debated and finessed, until the end result measures up to the impeccable standards the brand has built for itself over the past 100 plus years.

The beauty arm of the French house is no different. Known for iconic launches such as Chanel No. 5, La Solution 10, Rouge Allure and Huile de Jasmine, each and every product is beautiful in terms of function and form, while championing natural ingredient innovations.

Today marks the next chapter in this journey, with the launch of N° 1 de CHANEL: a new generation line of skincare, fragrance and colour cosmetics that focus not only on the health and vitality of skin, but also on sustainability and the wonder of botanical ingredients.

N° 1 de CHANEL consists of nine key products: the Red Camellia Revitalising Serum, Red Camellia Revitalising Cream, Red Camellia Powder-to-Foam Cleanser, Red Camellia Revitalising Lotion, Red Camellia Revitalising Serum-In-Mist, Red Camellia Revitalising Eye Cream, Red Camellia Revitalising Foundation, Red Camellia Revitalising Lip and Cheek Balm and N° 1 de CHANEL L’eau Rouge Revitalising Fragrance Mist.

It’s Chanel’s first exhaustive cross-category offering, but there is still one commonality: the red camellia flower. Fans of the brand will know that the camellia bares significance, chosen by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel herself for its aesthetic beauty and its strength (a single plant is able to regenerate itself for hundreds of years).

Inspired by this genius, CHANEL Research have been cultivating the camellia for over 20 years at various open sky laboratories around the world, working to understand the profound effects it has on skin health. One such finding is a key mechanism involved in cellular vitality called senescence. The thinking behind it is that when the skin is functioning optimally, it is radiant. But environmental aggressors, stress and UV all negatively impact these functions, accelerating the process of senescence and thus, lacklustre skin.

“The camellia is always a step ahead, working permanently to produce new stems, new branches, new leaves, and when winter comes, new flowers. Therein lies the essence of a plant that can exist and withstand time, even a long time, only by growing and regenerating itself perpetually. The plant that we too often perceive as passive and fragile owing to its fixedness, is in fact fabulously powerful.”

But fortunately, the red camellia possesses the unique ability to protect and improve skin quality, preventing signs of ageing and improving luminosity. That’s why the entire plant (from petal to root) has been included in the entire N° 1 de CHANEL range (including the skincare and colour cosmetics). The Revitalising Fragrance Mist is the one exception. Interestingly, red camellias do not have a scent, so the olfactive composition is one that was dreamt up by CHANEL master perfumer Olivier Polge — how he imagines the bloom would smell.

In addition to the ingredient innovation, there is also the sustainability aspect to N° 1 de CHANEL. Cellophane and booklets have been removed — now, additional product information can be accessed by QR code. Many of the vessels are also made from recyclable glass, while the Revitalising Cream is refillable. Other components, including lids, pumps and droppers, have been crafted from sustainable materials, while organic inks are printed across all packaging. Each formulation is also made up of at least 86% natural origin — an impressive effort from one of the biggest beauty houses in the world.

N° 1 de CHANEL officially launches today, and I had the immense privilege of testing both the Red Camellia Revitalising Serum and Revitalising Cream for the past few weeks. In summation, they are divine, but I’ve put together some of my detailed thoughts below. Keep scrolling to read.

My Thoughts 

As discussed, N° 1 de CHANEL is a line that focuses on the vitality and youthfulness of skin, especially that which exists in a modern, urban environment. This sentiment is one that speaks to me, as the toll of work, lockdowns and city living (not to mention my depleting collagen stores) is making itself known. My skin is often dehydrated, and I have fine lines around my eyes, mouth and forehead. And so I crave formulations that will provide lightweight nourishment with environmental protection — two things N° 1 de CHANEL aim to deliver.

The Red Camellia Revitalising Serum is a silky formula whereby 76% of the ingredients used are actually directly derived from the camellia flower. It immediately sinks into the skin, diffusing the look of dehydration via a subtle plumping effect. The dropper deposits precisely the right amount of product, and I found that despite my slightly oily skin, the finish was fresh and dewy — not shiny or sticky in the slightest. With ongoing use, I absolutely noticed a reduction in pore size around my t-zone (one of my biggest complexion woes) and the softening of lines around my mouth.

The Red Camellia Revitalising Cream is smoothing, comforting and supremely decadent. It contains 70% red camellia, including flower water, seed oil and a concentrated extract. There’s also glycerin for hydration, and shea butter for nourishment. It’s quite a buttery texture, but melts onto the skin leaving it soft and luminous, sans residue. What I love the most is the way it leaves a long-lasting veil of moisture — my face remained plump all day (no creasing, flaking or dullness). Housed in a refillable glass jar and emblematic red inner tub, the experiential element is also perfect, just as one would expect from Chanel.

EXPLORE THE RANGE

N° 1 de CHANEL Red Camellia Revitalising Serum, $22. SHOP NOW

N° 1 de CHANEL Red Camellia REVITALISING CREAM, $165. shop now

N° 1 de CHANEL Red Camellia Revitalising LOTION, $95. SHOP NOW

N° 1 de CHANEL Red Camellia Revitalising SERUM-IN-MIST, $120. SHOP NOW

N° 1 de CHANEL Red Camellia Revitalising EYE CREAM, $115. SHOP NOW

N° 1 de CHANEL Red Camellia Revitalising POWDER-TO-FOAM CLEANSER, $75. SHOP NOW

N° 1 de CHANEL Red Camellia Revitalising foundation, $110. SHOP NOW

N° 1 de CHANEL Red Camellia Revitalising lip and cheek balm, $75. SHOP NOW

N° 1 de CHANEL L’eau Rouge Revitalising Fragrance Mist, $165. SHOP NOW

SHOP THE ENTIRE N° 1 de CHANEL RANGE ONLINE AND IN SELECTED BOUTIQUES

thoughts?