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Bottling the Misia Sert Spirit

by Marlies Dekkers

When asked what she wore to bed, Marilyn Monroe once famously  purred: “five drops of Chanel No. 5.” How utterly sexy is that? In 1920 Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel asked her perfumer to create something that ‘smells like a woman’ et voilá: Chanel No. 5 was born.

Now, almost 100 years later, Chanel launched a spectacular new scent. The inspiration? The woman who claims SHE was the one who told her best friend Coco to start making perfume: Misia Sert.

To be honest, I was amazed and delighted when it was announced, since I had just finished designing an entire collection inspired by this magnificent Parisian Queen of the Belle Epoque! Great minds think alike, right? (wink, wink) In any case, Misia is definitely in the air…

So what does Misia smell like? Well, this is no dainty flower-like scent! Olivier Polge, Chanel’s handsome in-house ‘nose’, was inspired by the dressing room scents of the Ballets Russes. After all, it was Misia who introduced her friend Coco to impressario Diaghilev and the dancers of his legendary ballet company.

When I put on the scent, I could immediately smell the lipstick, powder and the bouquets of flowers from admirers that must have filled those famous dressing rooms. I recognised a powdery violet, some rich vanilla-like tonka bean, gorgeous hints of iris and and some sensual Turkish rose.

I loved it, and could imagine both Coco and Misia approving. But the most important question: would I wear it to bed? Oh oui, I would! Though I would add some of my own Misia-inspired lingerie, just to make it utterly sexy…

Shop the Misia Loves Coco collection.

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