Sep 9, 2023
The Ann Demeulemeester fashion label, Uruguay-born designer Gabriela Hearst, Jean Paul Gaultier, Parfums Christian Dior, and German mixed-gender brand Marc O’Polo are some of the fashion and beauty names that are entering, or re-entering, the fragrance market this autumn. Here is an overview of this perfume-scented September.
Ann Demeulemeester debuts with very special perfume
This is the main event of autumn 2023. Ann Demeulemeester, the 40-year-old label owned since 2020 by Italian businessman Claudio Antonioli, is launching its very first fragrance. Called simply ‘A’, the new perfume has been entirely designed by the label’s eponymous founder and designer, her first creative project since she retired from fashion in 2013. It was Antonioli himself who put the idea of creating a perfume to Demeulemeester. The Belgian designer had been mulling just such a project for 20 years, and has worked on it for the last three.
She immersed herself in the world of scents, doing her research in France, in Grasse and at the Versailles Osmothèque, helped by a team of Italian specialists, including perfumer Nicola Bianchi. A, Demeulemeester’s new olfactory creation, is made from pure essential oils. It is highly concentrated and produced using natural raw materials only, resulting in a special, precious perfume. A’s 75 ml bottle is priced at €330.
Its top notes are both fresh (bergamot and lemon) and spicy (cinnamon, cumin and cloves), the heart notes expand into an unusual mix of rare flowers (jasmine and Provence rose), with leather and birch bark, while the base notes are earthy, with vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, and more.
Demeulemeester has, as usual, involved her husband Patrick Robyn and their son Victor in the project, notably for the packaging design. The perfume’s slim rectangular bottle is decorated with a letter A designed by Victor, while the all-white packaging box contains a tiny portrait of the designer, made by her husband in 1992, the ideal embodiment of this instinctual fragrance which transcends genders and age groups.
Gabriela Hearst steps into fragrances with Fueguia 1833
The Uruguay-born designer, who will depart from her role of creative director at Chloé after a final show in Paris on September 28, is entering the world of fragrance. For her first foray in the sector, Hearst has teamed up with Fueguia 1833, a niche perfumery house with a focus on sustainability founded in 2010 in Buenos Aires by Argentinian specialist Julian Bedel.
Bedel’s environmental engagement reflects Hearst’s own. The designer has always paid close attention to her products’ supply chain. Together, they have developed two fragrances symbolising Hearst’s career, called Paysandú and New York. Produced in 315 units each, the perfumes are available at the Fueguia 1833 and Gabriela Hearst stores and on their e-shops, priced at $415.
Paysandú takes its name from Hearst’s native region in Uruguay, where she grew up and where her family has been producing wool for six generations. Distinctive for its floral and aromatic notes, Paysandú’s scent is derived from unusual plants harvested in the family ranch, some of which have never been used in perfumery, such as carqueja and marcela. New York, named after the city where Hearst settled in 2000 and where she founded her label in 2015, is characterised by a blend of woody scents.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s olfactory take on the ‘divine’ woman
Thirty years after the 1993 launch of Classique, Jean Paul Gaultier’s first women’s perfume, with its iconic bottle in the shape of a female bust, the French label, now part of the Puig group, is launching Gaultier Divine. Fronted by US actress Yara Shahidi, this new floral scent, with notes of lily, was designed by perfumer Quentin Bisch. Divine’s bottle is of course bust-shaped, featuring a gold corset with pointed breast cups, reminiscent of the famous top created by Jean Paul Gaultier for Madonna’s ‘Blond Ambition’ tour in 1990. Gaultier Divine is described as a fragrance for free, sensual and bold women. It is also firmly rooted in the present times, since it comes with a refillable bottle (the 30 ml version costs approximately €77).
L’Or de J’adore, Francis Kurkdjian’s new vision for Dior’s J’adore
Another classic fragrance, J’adore by Dior, is releasing a new version this autumn. Under the aegis of Francis Kurkdjian, the perfume that was first launched in 2010 has become L’Or de J’adore (J’adore’s gold). Kurkdjian, who is also head of perfume design at Parfums Christian Dior, has created a new version that promises to be the “quintessential” J’adore, one of the world’s best-selling fragrances.
“Jasmine and rose are extrapolated, both rounded and prominent. Lily of the valley and violet are triumphant, illuminated,” said Dior in a press release. L’Or de J’adore was launched on September 1, and the 50ml bottle costs approximately €170. A refillable version will be available in March 2024.
Marc O’Polo, a fashion brand turns to perfume
In another market segment, German ready-to-wear brand Marc O’Polo has launched a collection of three perfumes called ‘Rooted’. The line, not the first to be introduced by the brand, has been developed in Germany and produced in the city of Grasse, and is inspired by natural elements. Its three fragrances are called ‘Sky’, ‘Rain’ and ‘Earth’. They are available on the Marc O’Polo e-shop and at the brand’s monobrand stores, and the 50ml bottle is priced at €64.
The five perfumes outlined above aren’t the only ones that will hit the market this autumn. Prada, whose beauty line is currently very busy, following the launch of a new make-up line in August, has recently dropped Prada Paradoxe Intense, a new version of the refillable fragrance released a year ago.
Events-wise, on September 8-10, in parallel with New York Fashion Week, Chanel is opening in Brooklyn a pop-up restaurant called Lucky Chance Diner, showcasing the new Chance Eau Fraiche eau de parfum, the latest addition to Chanel’s Chance fragrance collection. The venue is a stone’s throw from the Chanel fragrance and beauty store in Brooklyn.
And on September 27, another famous fashion designer will unveil her first collection of three perfumes. Something to look out for.
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