Why, Oh Why, Would Chanel Name Perfume 'Jersey'?

New fragrance name was baffling, at first: Simon Doonan

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 3, 2011 1:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – Simon Doonan wasn’t sure what to think when, while flipping through Vogue, he discovered that Chanel’s new scent is named Jersey. “A fragrant homage to our Garden State, created by the legendary French fashion house?” Doonan wonders. Not quite: The name is actually an homage to cotton knit jersey fabric. Even so, Doonan found himself “a little concerned that the marketing folks at Chanel may have overestimated our ability to recalibrate our response to the word Jersey.” That changed when he set off to buy a bottle of the perfume and discovered it had sold out, he writes in Slate.

It would appear that, thanks in part to Jersey Shore and the Real Housewives, “Jersey is having an undeniable moment. Jersey is on a roll. Jersey is le dernier cri.” But arguably the best thing about Jersey, the state, is that no one from there would ever actually say “le dernier cri.” “It is virtually impossible to put on airs if you are from New Jersey,” Doonan concludes. Coco Chanel used to “go around saying absurd things … and inveighing haughtily against vulgarity. … If you were born in New Jersey, you need not waste your life tilting against the windmills of vulgarity: You can embrace it and become Snooki, which, upon reflection, seems like a hell of a lot more fun." Click to read Doonan's full column.

Chanel's Jersey perfume.
Chanel's Jersey perfume.   (Chanel.com)
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