The Artistry Behind Alexander McQueen’s Exclusive Scents

BY Rohma Theunissen / Mar 2 2020 / 14:02 PM

With the sold-out fragrances having just launched in the Middle East for the very first time, BAZAAR caught up with the perfumers behind some of the collection’s most iconic scents…

The Artistry Behind Alexander McQueen’s Exclusive Scents

British luxury label Alexander McQueen’s sold-out fragrances have finally landed in the Middle East this week and we couldn’t be more excited. The collection which consists of eight refined fragrances for women, effortlessly merges the art of haute perfumery with the innovative spirit of the Alexander McQueen brand to create a distinctive olfactory experience that caters to even the most refined of palates.

BAZAAR caught up with four of the distinguished noses behind the exclusive fragrances to understand what exactly makes these scents so successful within the highly competitive luxury perfume landscape…

“This enveloping, delicate aromatic floral draws on the depiction of the Celtic rose as an asymmetrical knot which in turn inspires the Celtic rose compass, a universal symbol of protection, exploration and a traveller’s return home. The gentle scent of rain drenched rose petals is restorative, taking care of the heart, while spicy, peppery thorns protect and empower.”

Nadege Le Garzlantezec - Celtic Rose

Harper’s BAZAAR Arabia: Why did you choose rose as main ingredient?
Nadege La Garzlantezec:
Rose symbolizes timelessness but also England, Alexander McQueen’s homeland. And in this fragrance, the rose is quirky, like English people sometimes.

HBA: What key words would you associate to this fragrance?
Timeless, quirky, contrast, duality.

“Growing in the deep and saturated mud of the banks of the Nile, papyrus is a symbol of life itself and of the place from which all life came. To the Ancient Egyptians, the papyrus amulet was a source of protection and strength. Papyrus extract has a strong, earthy scent, redolent of existence at its most primal. Combined with juicy blackcurrant buds its untamed energy is evocative of vital armour. This spicy, woody floral fragrance embraces humanity’s earliest beliefs giving back an intense and powerful desire for new life.”

Christophe Raynaud - Dark Papyrus

HBA: How do the notes of the fragrance reflect this unique universe of Alexander McQueen?
Christophe Raynaud: Similar to Alexander McQueen fashion, the fragrance collection embodies the extraordinary power of nature. For Dark Papyrus, I was inspired by nature’s talent to create the ‘fantastic’ and I imagined the scent of a flower with no fragrance: the Papyrus Flower, to create the extraordinary. Sarah Burton has imprinted her own vision on to Alexander McQueen’s DNA and it is mysterious and darkly romantic; a profile that my fragrance mimics through the dark scent of Papyrus contrasted by the lighter floral note to depict an enigmatic sense of femininity.

HBA: What makes this perfume modern for you?
CR: This fragrance features a special interpretation of sandalwood that I re-imagined as wood-milk. This is an original and trendy note you won’t find anywhere else.

“Everlasting flowers grow wild and free, all year round and in even the most remote environments. Imagine mineral coasts and barren seashores, awash with driftwood and shrouded in mist that rises to reveal tangled plants dense with clusters of deep blue petals. An eternal dream of hope, enlightened by the salt-heavy breeze of the sea, this woody aquatic brings the colour back into life.”

Pierre Negrin - Everlasting Dream

HBA: What was you inspiration when creating this scent?
Pierre Negrin:
I was inspired by the small flowers that cover the cliffs. And particularly by the everlasting flower… My idea was to recreate the scent of a cliff flower just few minutes after a storm. Hanging on a rock and leaning over the void, it comes a point of shock between the wind, the sea and the rocks when the storm arises.

HBA: What makes this flower interesting to use in fragrance?
This impetuous hybrid flower, wither mineral or salty, is irrefutably contrasted and I like its layered olfactive profile.

“In the amber garden grow incense and benzoin trees. Golden drops of precious resin spring from their bark. An amber oriental, this soothing fragrance reconnects the spirit to the serenity of nature. A warm, soft, comforting scent, its allure is awakened by vibrant spices: cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon.”

Yann Vasnier - Amber Garden

HBA: How would you say this fragrance captures the essence of Alexander McQueen?
Yann Vasnier:
The fragrance perfectly captures the intricate and ornate couture work of Alexander McQueen, from precisely crafted citruses and carefully sourced naturals to our recent captive molecules.

HBA: What makes the perfume so unique to you?
The vibrancy and richness of this oriental fragrance.

HBA: What words would you use to describe this fragrance?
Bright, mysterious, complex and vibrant.

The Alexander McQueen Parfum Collection is exclusively available at select Sephora Middle East stores and is priced at Dhs730 per bottle.

Images courtesy of Sephora