In the Lab With Chanel's Nose

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Last night, on my way out of Paris, I was detained at customs. The officer took my Eddie Borgo bracelet, wrapped it around his knuckles and made punching motions at me to demonstrate its violent possibilities. I cried and pleaded in both French and English until they finally agreed I could exit security with my bracelet, find the post office at Charles De Gaulle and ship it back to New York. At this point, only magazines and copious amounts of chocolate could bring me down from my temper tantrum so I piled Jalouse, L'Officiel, Numero etc. into my arms, but it was the free magazine, Aéroport de Paris, that I read first. I've scanned the article after the jump, but they went behind the scenes with Jacques Polge, Chanel's nose since 1978, to check out the house's west Paris lab and discuss his perfume-making process. Whether they're launching a new fragrance or not, Polge travels the world annually, based on the seasons, to find new scents, to discover if the jasmine's better in Egypt or India, to research how scents age and learn about other perfumes.

He says, "People often ask me what the latest trends are, and I reply that I don't know. We are the trend creators." Maybe true, but Chanel No.5 is still the number one selling perfume in the world and Coco Mademoiselle's number three which means the trends are becoming classics. And even if you haven't the slightest interest in perfume, you might want to live in their perfectly sparse lab.