August 12, 2020
Amouage presents Interlude Black Iris Man
What are the things that inspire you regarding the creation of a fragrance?
For me, the fragrance is all about pleasure. I want people to enjoy it as much as possible. So, I love to work with beautiful ingredients and always try to bring a beautiful patina. But at the same time, perfume creation is about so much more. It’s about evoking emotions and telling a story. This is where I think our Creative Collective comes into play, bringing very different elements of the story together. I love to work collaboratively with others in the creative process and there is certainly something inspiring about being part of that group of people who put their passion and good feelings into the product creation until the right feeling is achieved.
How important is the brand of a company like Amouage?
We’re a brand with a story and a history, and this is something that is very evident as soon as you come to Oman. Amouage is the country’s most famous luxury brand, and its objective is much more about representing the country and creating beautiful fragrances that are admired internationally, than about financial gain. So, even as we grow and transform and put ourselves in a modern cultural context, this remains central to our positioning.
When we talk about a new era, we mean that we are taking this very unique identity and evolving it. As one of the world’s most sought-after luxury fragrance brands, Amouage has always given the utmost attention to craftsmanship with an absolute commitment to the highest quality standards. This is something that will never be compromised, yet, as global market trends and customer behaviours change, we have to be proactive in adapting the way that we connect with our clientele. So, taking this history and identity, we are weaving our storytelling around the client themselves and how our brand connects with their lives and passions.
In keeping with your latest launch, do you have any tips when it comes to trying a new fragrance?
Fragrances are a deeply personal thing. For me, fragrance should be all about emotion and pleasure. Before asking what the ingredients are, just smell it.
What does it evoke in you and how does it make you feel?
Also, don’t judge a fragrance purely on its top note in a boutique. Most of the perfume masterpieces only reveal their richness, uniqueness and personality when worn over a longer period, so give it some time. Amouage, for example, offers beautiful sampler sets that are perfect for discovering a rich variety of fragrances, allowing you time to choose your favourites. Lastly, don’t be afraid to be daring.
What do you think is really special about Interlude Black Iris?
Interlude Black Iris is a new take on Interlude. We have reworked the original fragrance and reinvented it to make it more relevant in today’s world. It offers a space of serenity and balance during a chaotic time, with the buttery smoothness of Orris, combined with the deep and lasting texture of the woody base notes. The fragrance is reflective of a period of creative interlude for Amouage and perfectly captures the way we are defining a new direction that brings something new and interesting while staying true to the soul of the brand. It has its own custom soundtrack, created by Belgian music producer Copal, and is also translated into film by Russian visual artist Daniil Lavrovski.
In terms of ingredients, Interlude Black Iris presents several differences. The idea was to present a different and smoother take of the original fragrance. Oregano and Rosemary notes have been toned down resulting in an opening that feels slightly more sparkling and wet, with the addition of Violet Leaves notes. Additionally, Orris adds an extra layer of buttery smoothness to the heart of the fragrance, complementing the vanilla. Finally, the overall woodiness comes out faster in the composition than in its predecessor.
How do you assess the luxury fragrance industry today in our markets?
In this region, fragrances make up around 70 per cent of the luxury beauty market. As a tradition that has been passed down through generations, the fragrance is a really important investment and therefore people here are very discerning in their choices. But the tide of consumers is getting younger, and their lifestyle habits differ greatly from earlier generations. For example, they are more digitally-savvy, more financially empowered, and keener to pursue the things that express their individualism and this has an impact on their relationship with luxury retail, too. In terms of fragrance habits, they are coming with a fresh perspective, a keenness to try new things, and a savviness for global trends. They see fragrance as another expression of who they are, rather than what they have, and this just adds another facet to our relationship with them.
Which are your key markets today, and which markets hold the most potential for the future?
Amouage already holds a strong position in the niche luxury market, reflecting the wonderful traditions of luxury perfume creation internationally for over 35 years. We’re building on that standing, tapping into unchartered markets, and creating new connections with the younger generation. This is why we introduced our “Creative Collective”. They are all experts in different fields and this allows us to have a unique perspective on how to drive the next phase of our development. We are engaging their creative minds to transform the way fragrances are crafted, communicated, purchased and, ultimately, enjoyed. We will absolutely not compromise on the quality of our products, but we are certainly adopting a more pro-active approach to connecting with the next generation of clientele.
Being a product of Oman, what are your company’s advertising strategy in the international market?
We are really focusing on where to place the cursor between the East and the West, between the tradition and the international influence. This means trying to stay true to our unique and rich heritage and interpret it in a modern way for the international market. Amouage is about so much more than just fragrance, it’s about true creative mastery, and this transcends borders. While our transformation is reimagining perfumery, we will always stay true to our traditional roots as we continue to share the brand’s remarkable story with the world.
What are the emerging challenges in today’s fragrances market?
Modern affluent consumers, especially younger generations, want their consumer choices to express who they are, rather than what they have. So, it’s about meeting them at their level; for example, engaging on social media, which is probably the most important platform for young people to showcase their individualism. It is certainly a challenge to find different and unique ways to connect and to showcase our products on this universal platform. Smells don’t travel through the internet, so we have to convey the emotion of our fragrances in a different, more resonant way.
Can we expect the launch of any new fragrances in 2021?
We have some exciting projects coming up and you don’t even have to wait until 2021. Coming up is Overture Woman which is a really exciting collaboration with Annick Menardo. As well, the distribution of Overture Man is expanding. In the fall we will be introducing some very special new creations, as we end our creative interlude and enter the new chapter of the brand.
And there is a lot more in store as we continue to evolve. The next part of our story is not about doing a brand re-boot but simply changing the narrative. We will keep on creating long-lasting and innovative fragrances that pay tribute to the art of fine perfume making and that are loved and worn all over the world, but with a different approach. While the creative process with the perfumers, craftsmen and artists is now more open and transparent, our upcoming fragrances will, for the most part, go back to the roots of the brand. As the Amouage story continues to unfold, we are delighted to be pushing the boundaries of fragrance creation, while staying true to our heritage as we look forward to that which is to come.