Your New Scent: Alaia Paris

Two years in the making, the new Alaia fragrance is fresh and floral

Azzedine Alaia and model Elise Crombez. Photograph by Patrick Demarchelier.

Who? Azzedine Alaia, who reshaped 1980s fashion, applies his body conscious art to a defining fragrance. The Tunisian-born Paris resident who sheathed his supermodel discoveries in stunning creations inspired by his sculpture studies, worked at Christian Dior, Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler before launching his first ready-to-wear collection. The big names who chose to be wrapped in Alaia, including Grace Jones and Tina Turner, soon earned him the King of Cling moniker.

This designer’s designer, who marries classic tailoring with innovative technique — including laser-cut leather that inspired the black perfume bottle — brought his exacting eye to every step of his latest project.

What? Alaia Paris the fragrance, an eau de parfum. Two years in the making, workshopped over the designer’s kitchen table with colleagues and collaborators, including photographer Paolo Roversi, and the perfumer Marie Salamagne. His olfactory idea was the “smell of cold water falling on hot chalk”. The brief: nothing oriental, no identifiable flowers, but freshness, minerals ... something with cool and warm notes, a chiaroscuro for the skin. A study in contrasts between elegance and power and, like his designs, to be worn like a second skin.

“Creating a perfume is to confide in a woman,” says Alaia, “to steal her thoughts of tomorrow and run away with her before she ever looks back ... ”

Where? Exclusive to Smith & Caughey’s stores, Kirkcaldie & Stains in Wellington and Ballantynes in Christchurch. The perfume dispenses with the usual descriptions of top notes, heart and base notes and talks instead of a freshness impression (airy with pink pepper), a floral impression (based on subtle freesia and peony) and a bare skin impression (animal notes and musk). Alaia Paris comes in three sizes, with body lotion and gel available also. The mid-sized 50ml costs $170.

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

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