- My #1 candidate, Aurelien Guichard, has a rich portfolio of outstanding achievements both in niche and industrial fields; moreover, if the "experienced daddy" is a factor, his directs Givaudan's Perfumery school...
- Dominique Ropion. Well, imagine the two raw materials wizards Ropion and Sheldrake working together on Chanel's hypothetical next fragrance. Don't you get goosebumps? I do.
- Daniela Andrier, after having created best sellers for Gucci, Armani and CK, is now composing for Prada and is already used to the division "Mass Vs. Artistic", having crafted both the "Infusions" series and the outstanding Private line.
- Mathilde Laurent is very talented and with a refined taste, and being already a Parfumeur Maison for Cartier already knows the logics of this role. Moreover she's already terribly "Chanel" on her own.
- Ralph Schwieger, because his fragrances create parallel universes, and would've carried the scent of the "Chanel woman" to another level.Evidently, like in any other fields, choices are based on politics, so if someone works for a certain brand (or has married the CEO of a certain company) then you can't consider him/her a good candidate...
In any case, Olivier Polge is a talented young composer with a rich portfolio (Dior Homme, Flowerbomb, EauMega and Spicebomb for Victor&Rolf, Armani Code, Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au Thé Vert and Mon Jasmin Noir, D&G The One for men, Cuir Beluga for Guerlain and many others for Ferragamo, Kenzo, Burberry, Cacharel, Lancome etc..), and looking at it closely I realized that he made the brands he worked for, earn some serious money. Probably this was his key characteristic: having earned buckets of money with fragrances -generally speaking- not particularly expensive.
To be successful on the market, Chanel must keep earning good revenues, and to do so they need to launch interesting and pleasant new scents that people will buy worldwide. Then, they can rely on Sheldrake's genius to add some expensive marvels to the Exclusif line, which will keep the brand into the artistic world we all love. With this strategy in mind, the choice of hiring Olivier is understandable, especially, since he will always have home (and for free) the best possible advice the company could hope for.
Probably, a few months before Jacques retires we will see the release of the next Chanel woman (the last, Chance, was in 2002) signed by father and son together, ferrying Chanel perfumes into a new era. I have no doubt it will be an era of well crafted fragranced, intriguing and easily sold; I wish with all my heart to Olivier (and me) that among these there will also be room for some precious ones.