Forward by Qi Yun
With this post I would like to introduce a new guest blogger, non-other than my bff and fragrance fanatic Yina Chow. Some of you may have already known here, but few know that she has a nose so sharp, she’ll tell you the main ingredients in any perfume. While I’m concocting an epic fragrance challenge for her, here’s our first collaboration (and many more to come!).
Images by myself, post written by non-other than Yina. Let’s welcome her 🙂
Acclaimed Tunisian fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa introduces his first enigmatic fragrance. A seductive fragrance inspired by the sensuality of a woman’s body, a celebration of curves in all shapes and forms. Like a sculptor, he accentuates curves with materials which hugs the skin – muslin, leather, and lace, just to name a few. Unlike most famous haute couture designers, Mr. Azzedine goes against the grain and does not adhere to the rhythms of time. Seasons change continuously, but it is of no consequence when one works in a non-linear chronological order. Well-known among his peers for being a non-conformist, the designer’s idiosyncratic style can be perceived just by looking at the exterior of the bottle.
Made out of a special black-coloured glass with fascinating aztec-like designs embossed on it, it resembles a model clad in black fitting gown. Topped with a cap which looks like it has golden thread wound around it, it resembles a head full of luscious hair. At the same time, Mr. Azzedine imagined the fragrance to have the scent of “cold water falling on hot chalk”. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the bottle felt like a brick with cool, smooth texture in my hand. Having spent his childhood in Tunisia, I can guess why he thought of such an interesting description.
Upon hearing his vision for the fragrance, a young perfumer named Ms. Marie Salamagne began exploring different aquatic notes, and experimenting with spices and animalic notes. Amongst the sea of talented perfumers, it was her creation which caught Mr. Azzedine’s nose, the only one which fit into such endearing oddity. Let’s uncover the mystery wrapped around the eau de parfum.
Alaïa opens with pink pepper surrounded by ozonic accords, inducing a polarity between “hot” and “cold”. A vibrant floral heart adds to the proportion of desired femininity. A graceful and tender composition of peony, freesia and rose. Ah, some of my favourite flowers to say the least. The base, the portion of the olfactive pyramid which leaves such a distinct lingering scent, is where it gets interesting. Engulfed in musks, provocative leathery notes and animal notes bring out the seductive appeal of the fragrance. Au contraire, a delicate touch of violet imparts a sweet powdery and floral-woody note overall.
It is an unusual perfume in every sense of the word, and a rare one which piques my curiosity over and over.
My perfume is not reasonable — it makes time lie.
This is a powerful message conveyed by Mr. Azzedine which stood out for me, you may read the rest of the except from the article here. When I read about the origins of this fragrance, the birthplace of the designer, coupled with its distinct and lingering scent, The Return to Innocence played in my mind. I never thought I’d get to relate the genre of world music, especially music from Enigma, with any perfume. A timeless classic which brings back childhood memories – I remember the sound of cassette tapes popping into the player and the whole room filled with the sounds of Enigma.
It takes me to another dimension, getting lost in the sands of time and into another world when I close my eyes. In an instance I’m standing on top of a mountain, then I’ll be jumping off a cliff into the deep sea. The next thing I know, I’m in the middle of the Sahara desert before I’m running along fields of gold when the sun sets. Such an inspirational and hauntingly beautiful classic from an enigmatic group. Enigma, indeed.
Love, devotion Feeling, emotion
Don’t be afraid to be weak
Don’t be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart, my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to Innocence
Yina also blogs at https://musiquescents.wordpress.com/