A Fragrant Reverie
The Portraits of Life, the second cycle of the Amouage Perfumes narrative, which was launched in 2013, is a follow up from the initial storytelling ritual started by Christopher Chong with the introduction of the First Cycle of Amouage when Christopher first joined the Omani perfume house nine years ago. The second cycle is a representation of Christopher’s own journey and evolution in the perfume industry, thus leading to a majestic collection inspired from life’s various elements combined together and expressed through the sense of smell. Christopher Chong revealed to Perle Magazine the story behind his new fragrance collection, adding another chapter to the Amouage tale.
The first chapter, Journey, of the second cycle was inspired by Christopher’s keen interest in Shanghai’s captivating deco, combined it with his affinity for Chinese cinema, especially the Film Noir genre, which revealed the true identity of Shanghai in the early 1920s. Beneath the façade of “Paris of the East”, Shanghai was thriving on organised crime and drugs, and through his collection, Christopher was able to relay the olfactive story by using spices such as cardamom, Chinese pepper, and tobacco to create a mysterious setting through his scents. Following up on the story of the evolution of Chinese culture and tradition, the second chapter – and latest edition to The Portraits of Life – Myths is an apologue created from the amalgam of the Western art movement of Surrealism, Chinese mythical creatures, and the Arabian Desert presented in a manner that of the Chinese (or “Peking”) Opera. “I am borrowing the philosophy of dream and the Surrealist movement – which is a dream-like state that represents fragmented elements of different concepts put into one to give a new meaning and interpretation”, Christopher says of the credo behind the Myths collection. Christopher’s inspiration for this collection was also derived from his own interest towards the fusion of different cultures and different concepts, resulting in a unique story that encapsulates his idea of a dream, and served as a starting point for the creation of his perfumes. Naming the collection after the incorporation of mythical creatures such as the Chinese Dragon and Phoenix, Christopher explains that ‘myths’ are stories and elements that are created by people but eventually with the passing of time, they become the new truths.
Creating the women’s perfume with the aim to capture all the colours of the Chinese Phoenix, Myths Woman carries the notes of Narcissus, Violet leaves, and Galbanum – the main ingredient, which gives the perfume a punchy ‘green’ floral smell that Christopher wanted in the women’s perfume. Also adding in Carnations and self-cultured Ambergris accord, as well as the moss, Patchouli, and the leather, all of which also add to the perfume’s aromatic scent.
Truly encapsulating Christopher’s vision for the mystic aesthetic of the perfume, the packaging for the women’s perfume features a Phoenix, as in the Chinese culture, the Phoenix represents harmony and peace and it is also the symbol for womanhood.
A master of his art, for the Myths Man, Christopher created a perfume that is both majestic and ambivalent in its scent. Using ingredients that are not commonly used in men’s perfume, Christopher used flowers such as Chrysanthemums and blended them with Orris, a root with a deep earthy smell. To give the perfume a heavenly spiritual kind of effect, Christopher used notes of leather, ashes, and Labandum. The packaging for Myths Man also carries elements from the Chinese culture with the Chinese Dragon, which represents a majestic, masculine, and wise man. Christopher says that he used these two mythical creatures because they are also somewhat regal, as according to Chinese culture, only the Emperor is allowed to wear the two creatures on his royal garb. Both crystal glass bottles of the perfumes are also made from 22karat gold caps and adorned with Swarovski gems.
Amouage marked the launch of Myths in Bahrain in May, by hosting a ‘High Tea’ event at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, where members of the media were invited to speak with Christopher and understand his journey while creating Myths.
Never one to fall short on delivering a beautifully crafted fragrance collection one after the other, Christopher says that the second chapter of the second cycle is currently complete. He is, however, working towards releasing a new feminine scent for his collection, The Secret Garden, which was launched in March 2016 in Russia to commemorate modern womanhood on International Women’s Day, and a masculine scent for his Midnight Flower collection, which was launched initially in 2014.
For more information:
Bahrain City Centre, Level 1
(00973) 1700 5383
Seef Mall, Shop 296 Phone
(00973) 1700 5380
Stockists: Al Hawaj: Salmaniya, Seef Mall, Bahrain City Centre, Al Aali Shopping Complex, Moda Mall
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