This week guest blogger and fragrance junkie Aparna Gupta looks at the close relationship between fashion designers and their fragrances. Aparna has been with Times of India’s Luxpresso, consulting Beauty Editor at Verve india and now is a contributor at luxury magazine L’Officiel and Geeta’s List. Her earlier fragrance blogs are Enchanted Fragrance Garden and When a man loves a woman .
Much as I adore Guerlain and Lancome , there is something about designer fragrances from fashion houses like Jean Paul Gaultier, Vera Wang, Nina Ricci and Dior that holds me spellbound. It’s probably the fact that these fragrances are my unofficial entry into the exclusive universe of designer fashion and accessories. And these exquisite bottles pretty up my dressing table instantly. The designers’ creative universe expands and fragrance becomes yet another medium to showcase aesthetic sensibilities often inspired by an iconic dress,bag or piece of jewellery.
For fans it becomes another way (if I may add, a more affordable option) of wearing the coveted signature label. I begin with Issey Miyake.
True to his style of structured minimalism, when Japanese designer Issey Miyake launched his first fragrance in 1992, it was no surprise to see L’ Eau d’Issey come in simplistic conical bottle. With the A-POC (A-piece of cloth) concept germinated the idea of the ‘A Scent’ bottle that got carved from a slab of pure glass.
‘Pleats Please’ is a relatively recent fragrance from the Japanese fashion brand, named after its most iconic line of clothing of pleated materials and bright colours that was first introduced in 1993. The design of the bottle follows the asymmetric architecture of the collection, whereas the stylized cap appears like a ‘Pleats Please’ garment floating in the wind.
One of my favourite designer scents, purely on the basis of the design, is gorgeously corseted Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier. Just a glance implored me to try it. When Gaultier created his first fragrance for women in 1993, he conjured up a feminine, curvy container and dressed it up in his trademark corset. There is a direct synergy between the designs of the corsets and the designer’s runway collections. For instance bedecked in coral, starfish and shells, limited edition Classique Summer 2014 echoes the embroideries of the 2013 Spring Summer collection.
Vera Wang’s couture creations have inspired many a love story, so have her fragrances. The connection between the designer’s world of fashion and fragrance is explicit. Lovestruck Floral Rush is a fresh take on modern day Romeo and Juliet, and captures the adrenalin rush of love at first sight. The bottle that has been so inspired by the couture gown worn by model Leighton Meester in the ad campaign, with its cap transformed into a purple bouquet and a ribbon designed by Vera, that it becomes difficult to decipher which came first—the fragrance or the gown?
Italian brand, Valentino’s foray into the world of fragrances ushered in some preciously clad bottles almost in opulently rounded couture gowns. Signature Italian flowers, emblems of Valentino couture, adorn sleek glass bottles in pale shades of white, ivory and nude, colours featured in the runway collections as well. Just as the nude-hued creations were contrasted with a dash of black, the bottle is topped by a black pearl.
The Jimmy Choo Eau de parfum comes cased in an exquisite amber bottle inspired by jewel-coloured Venetian Murano glass which itself is evocative of the many jewel encrusted Jimmy Choo stilettos to walk the most celebrated red carpets. Snakeskin, a luxe material synonymous with Jimmy Choo shoes and accessories lent itself to decorating the outer box that enveloped the fragrance flacon.
For its latest fragrance launch, the Indian Garnet, Bulgari draws inspiration from its one-of-a kind necklace , the Capriccio a Portofino, that was set with Mandarin garnets carved in the shape of leaves, reminiscent of 17th century Indian Mughal gems and the juice has saffron, mandarin,tuberoses and amber in its notes to replicate the colours of the piece.
The grosgrain bow with gold plaque on the iconic mid-heel Ferragamo Vara shoes, became a leitmotif of the brand’s easy style and sophistication. In the last 35 years since its inception, the Vara bow has adorned bags, belts and jewellery. While the cap of the Incanto fragrance took inspiration from the Vara bow, the latest feminine fragrance, Signorina, comes with a real grosgrain Vara bow in two dreamy shades of rose and champagne.
Inspired by Carolina Herrera’s weekend trips to the American East coast full of boats and adventure sports, CH Men Sport captures the spirit of the sun and sand. And just like bold red and white stripes make up the CH Men Sport line, reminiscent of a quaint lighthouse on a remote island, the bottle also gets dressed similarly.