Le bocal de poissons rouges by Paul Jacoulet, 1942
Fashion designer Tom Ford is preparing to introduce a new quatuor of perfumes from July 2013 in a novel series inspired by Asia called Atelier d'Orient (Oriental Workshop). This quartet will be part of his up-market exclusive Private Blend library. The four fragrances have been baptized in a mix of French and English, Fleur de Chine, Rive d'Ambre, Plum Japonais and Shanghai Lily.
Tom Ford said, "This collection is the quintessence of Private Blend; it is an olfactory exploration of Asia with its fusion of cultures, its influences as well as a rediscovery of its most precious ingredients,"...
He added that, "Atelier d'Orient is an artisan collection which captures the most exquisite traits of Asia: its elegant discretion, its mastery of refinement even in the smallest details and its classic eroticism,"
Fleur de Chine takes inspiration from the femmes fatales of Chinese films from the 1930s to the 1960s dressed in qi paos and with darkly stained lips, including the iconic In The Mood for Love which recaptured that era and style. These women are romantic and mysterious, delicate, fascinating and a bit scandalous. The olfactory atmosphere is about "Oriental opulence". The lush Asian floral composition includes notes of tea blossom, magnolia, clementine, bergamot, hyacinth, jasmine tea, lilac, plum, tea rose, wisteria, white peach, peony, hinoki, Chinese cedar, amber, benzoin from Laos, styrax, vetiver.
Rive d'Ambre is inspired by the ritual of offering citrus fruits as gifts while being colored by Tom Ford's own sense of sensuality bringing added warmth to the perfume, an Eau de Cologne with a nostalgic slant. Notes includes essential oils of bergamot, lemon and bitter orange together with tarragon, cardamom, green mint essence. An unexpected twist has been added in the guises of benzoin and pear tree; cognac oil, tolu balsam create a golden aura which is amplified by the amber note.
Plum Japonais is the scent in the lineup which is said to be dedicated to perfume connoisseurs, which can be interpreted as being the more difficult opus of the four. Ford was struck by the interesting scent and texture as well as high symbolism of ume in both Japan and China. Notes feature saffron, cinnamon bark from Laos, immortelle, Sawara cypress - ume treated like a velvety liqueur - Japanese camelia blossoms, agar wood, amber, benzoin from Laos, fir balsam absolute, and vanilla infusion.
Shanghai Lily was born from the designer's daydreaming about the Silk Roads and Spice Roads of yesteryear crossing the Asian continent. He imagined them filled with treasures, overloaded with sensory richness and opulence. The floral oriental has notes of bitter orange, pink peppercorn, black pepper, clove, jasmine, rose, tuberose, vetiver, cashmere wood, benzoin from Laos, castoreum, cistus, gaiac wood, vanilla, and incense.
Prices are 180€ for 50 ml and 430€ for 250 ml. Launch date is this summer in July 2013.
See also in a comparable segment of the market, Asian Tales by ByKilian