If you read yesterday’s post you will know that luxury house Amouage have just launched a brand new duo of fragrances – Imitation Man and Imitation Woman. Inspired by the glamour of 1970s New York City, these hazy, hedonistic fragrances speak of Amouage Creative Director, Christopher Chong’s personal journey to the city in this most iconic of decades. Moving to Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1975 as a young immigrant, NYC presented an entirely new set of experiences for Chong, who was fascinated by the fashion, art and subcultures that quickly surrounded him. In Imitation he celebrates these elements but also the freedom of growing up in such a fascinating metropolis at an audacious time.
I was lucky enough to be invited to join Amouage in the Big Apple for the launch of Imitation* and during my stay I got some time to sit down with Chong to quiz him about all things Imitation, Amouage and perfume. This was my first time actually meeting Christopher Chong, but after several years of social media interaction it feels like we have known each other for quite some time and he had always struck me as an olfactory visionary with a strong character. So when it came to meeting face-to-face I was not disappointed! Below you can find our chat, which covers the inspiration for Imitation but also details how Chong works with perfumers to translate elements from real life into olfactive form. Enjoy!
– Glamour and Grit –
The exciting thing about Amouage is that one never knows where Creative Director Christopher Chong is going to take the brand next. His artistic vision is like no other’s and with his creations for Amouage he brings in concepts abstract to olfaction – notions such as death and gender identity – and crafts them into fragrant forms. The results are fascinating and it would be safe to say that nobody makes perfume quite like Amouage and Christopher Chong. These are rich, complex and sometimes challenging compositions that not everyone will love, and therein lies their strength. So yes, I’m always fascinated to see where Amouage goes next.
Well that ‘next’ turns out to be a time-travelling epic to 1970s New York City, the city and time in which Christopher Chong grew up. Arriving in the Lower East Side in the mid 1970s, the sights, sounds and scents of New York have clearly had a formative impact on the Creative Director, who this year brings us Imitation, a new duo of fragrances that represent the “subcultures of an iconic era”. With Imitation Man and Imitation Woman, whose names are inspired by Andy Warhol and his imitative art, Chong takes us on an olfactory odyssey of glamour and grit, evoking “audacious freedom” through the smooth velvet of the masculine and infamous nights out at Studio 54 in the women’s. They make for quite the pair, I tell you.
I was lucky enough to be invited to New York City to join Amouage for the launch of Imitation Man and Woman, with a wonderful opportunity to explore Christopher Chong’s neighbourhood on the Lower East Side (it’s THE place to stay in NY if you’re going, trust me). I was also lucky enough to spend some time with Christopher for an interview, which I will publish tomorrow. But for now, let’s get our heads and noses around the latest olfactory coupling from Amouage – Imitation.
Speed Sniffs are a way to bring you ‘to-the-point’ fragrance reviews that are quick and easy to digest. They are perfume reviews without the faff.
Goldfield & Banks is one of a few punky perfume brands that are making Australia a real contender in terms of perfume making. With their modest collection (just five fragrances) they are showcasing the “lush, aromatic and botanical beauty” of the Australian continent, from the forests, to the deserts and the coastline. Their latest scent is ‘Wood Infusion‘ is inspired by the “balmy heritage listed Fraser Island in the Pacific Ocean”, celebrating a number of wood species all in one infusion.
Let’s give it a quick sniff…
I’m always crushing on something scented or other. My nose knows no limits. Candy Crush is where I showcase the beautifully scented things I’m crushing on right now so you can hopefully develop a crush too.
So these CHANEL Candy Crushes are becoming somewhat of a habit. Don’t blame me though, blame CHANEL – it’s them who keep releasing beautifully scented ancillary products based on some of their most iconic fragrances – I’m just a boy with a greedy nose who cannot resist their charms. What’s more, these two latest gems from CHANEL are scented with Nº5 L’EAU, which consequently is one of my favourite CHANEL fragrances, so I really couldn’t resist. You can’t keep doing this to me CHANEL. Who am I kidding – I’m not ready to quit the brand – keep ’em coming!
Nº5 L’EAU stands out because it manages to strike the perfect balance between the classic and the modern. It takes the inimitable structure of the most iconic fragrance in the world and creates a new, very current twist on it whilst remaining faithful to all that makes Nº5 good and great. To celebrate the popularity of Nº5 L’EAU, CHANEL has launched two new ‘essentials’ to the collection – an enveloping ALL-OVER BODY SPRAY and a tactile ON HAND CREAM. I am obsessed with both.
Due to its undeniable popularity, I am often asked for my thoughts on BLEU DE CHANEL and those thoughts are as follows: I like it, I think it’s the typical, modern aromatic masculine but executed very well with top notch ingredients. Do I wear it? Yes, sometimes, but I prefer to smell it on my husband – it smells particularly handsome on him. Does it excite me? I wouldn’t go that far but I do think that as far as this style of fragrance goes, the big bad BLEU is the best of the bunch. So yes, I’m a fan (aren’t we all) and I can totally see why it is so popular – it’s good.
In June, CHANEL is extending the BLEU DE CHANEL family with BLEU DE CHANEL PARFUM – a fragrance that “unleashes the power of BLEU DE CHANEL”, presenting it in its purest and most concentrated form. This is CHANEL in-house perfumer Olivier Polge’s first tweaking of BLEU and much like his approach to Nº5 with L’EAU he has sought to remain faithful to the original, keeping what made it so iconic, but has reset the balance, this time specifically in relation to BLEU’S signature woods to make them more prominent, “to create a stronger and more intense energy”. So is this BLEU DE CHANEL on steroids or is it BLEU DE CHANEL in 4K ultra-high definition?