Why The Chanel Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale Is Worth Its Weight In Gold
The Chanel Sublimage story began in 2002, when the brand first started cultivating vanilla planifolia in an open‑sky laboratory in Madagascar, the plant’s motherland. Inspired by Louis XIII’s 17th‑century King’s Garden, which contained plants that were used for pharmaceutical research, Chanel looked to botany to develop its premium skincare range. The fruit of its intensive labour produced Planifolia PFA, an active ingredient extracted from vanilla’s fruit, seed and leaves, and used as the foundation of the Sublimage range. Today, vanilla planifolia is one of the two core ingredients in the new Chanel Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale. The other active ingredient is the solidago virgaurea alpestris, whose journey to discovery started back in 2010.
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Then, Nicola Fuzzati, director of active ingredient development and innovation for Chanel Research, its research and development facility for perfumes and beauty products, carried out vigorous research in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. His team studied the medicinal properties and suitability of over 500 wild plants, identifying five extracts with exceptional properties that would be beneficial for skin. This included the solidago virgaurea alpestris from the solidago flower.
The sunny yellow flower comes from the asteraceae family and grows along the rocky slopes of the French Alps, 2,800m above sea level. Besides surviving in its original dry environment, it proves to be as hardy and adaptable outside of its native home.
“For each cultivation step of solidago, we had to carry out trials and painstaking daily observations, year after year, in order to ensure maximum yield and optimal quality,” says Fuzzati.
Just like its name suggests (solidago is Latin for “I consolidate”), the hardy plant is collected by hand in the months between June to September. “Immediately after harvest, the plant is left to dry naturally in the open air. This stops the enzymatic activities and keeps the molecules of interest intact until their extraction,” he explains.
The active ingredient solidago virgaurea alpestris was found to counteract the effects of ageing, improving cellular vitality and restoring density to the skin. That is why the solidago virgaurea alpestris, together with the vanilla planifolia, forms the backbone of the Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale.
The 95 per cent natural formula is touted to increase collagen production by targeting epidermal cells, the keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts. It also has the addition of moisture-loving hyaluronic acid and pampering shea butter to soothe skin. Simply put, the Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale helps to slow down the ageing impact on cells and also firms and tightens the skin.
To apply this nourishing and light formula, Chanel recommends a three‑step method, which includes massaging the hairline, temples and ears, followed by application of the concentrate with gentle sweeping motions along the cheeks, forehead and neck. After application, a final massage once again at the forehead, temples, and back of the ears and head. The result? Uplifted, plumped-up skin with the reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
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