When Azzedine Alaia signed a 13 year exclusive fragrance and cosmetic license with Beaute Prestige International in 2013, I gasped with joy and a little disbelief - finally, there was a promice of an Alaia perfume "that interpreted his work and his world" that every Alaia aficionado could become a part of.
And finally the news are in. Azzedine Alaia is launching his very first fragrance and, just like everything Alaia, it is going to be very special. According to the NY Times, the perfume inspired by "the smell of cold water falling on hot chalk" is a combination of pink pepper, freesia, peony, animal notes and musk blended into an airy day-dream by Marie Salamagne and presented in a black bottle topped with a spool of gold thread designed by Martin Szekely.
The press-release that accompanied the perfume was produced in way that made me think of Serge Lutens' approach to fragrance launches... Rather than being a dry matter-of-fact document, it sounded like a story, a journey into the heart of the fragrance and the man who spend years making perfection seem like a norm.
"Creating a perfume is to confide in a woman, to steal her thoughts of tomorrow and run away with her before she ever looks back. Creating a perfume is also knowing that, at the precise instant, the words I use to recount my secret already no longer belong to me... My perfume is not reasonable - it makes time lie. I dreamed of it like an archaeologist dreams of sculptures from antiquity lying at the bottom of the sea for millennia, sculptures of perfect bodies, matches only by the women of today - an ideal and timeless beauty."
Such an intimate confession and captivating insight into Alaia's mind took me back to the David Seidner's photo of Francine Howell wearing Azzedine Alaia in 1986 - the visual image of the feeling shared by the designer and, in my opinion, a beautiful final note to the surreal mystery of the fragrance I cannot wait to embrace.
Photo source: Francine Howell in Alaia photographed by David Seidner in 1986