Interview with Christopher Chong Opus continues its journey with the launch of Opus IX. Tell us the story of this chapter. As you know, the Camellia flower has no scent in its natural form. This gives me creative freedom to compose Opus IX based on my own interpretation of what the Camellia flower would smell like. I use Black Pepper and Jasmine in the top notes, along with Gaiac Wood, Beeswax and Leather. Base notes of Grey Amber, Vetiver and Civet were also used to create the woody, floral fragrance. By combining textures of opulent floral notes with animalic and leather notes, I am able to depict the discord in the trials of love.
Is the traditionally ‘Arab’ scent what makes your creations unique? I don’t stereotype, therefore I tend not to focus on one culture or anything too specific, but rather take inspirations from all the places I’ve visited and my life experiences. They are like amalgamations or fragments of my life.
What dictates the elements of any new creation? I think everything that happens in our lives can be translated to a much more intimate level. When creating a perfume, I interpret everything that I see and feel into scents. My life experiences and music are my inspirations, and I express this through a series of narratives. I like to describe it as bottling art and emotions.
Christopher, no one can doubt for a second that you are the corner stone of the global success of Amouage. Where are you taking it next?
I see every new perfume as a new beginning because creativity is all about exploring the unknown and discomfort. Sunshine Man, part of The Midnight Flower Collection, is released in September. I am very excited about The Midnight Flower Collection, which holds special meaning to me and will develop this collection more in depth in the future. In 2016, we will release Opus X in March and then the excitement of the year will see the release of a man’s perfume and a woman’s perfume in the mainline collection.
Amouage seems to set the trend in the whole Middle East perfume industry. What are you thoughts on this? As a global brand, we focus more on luxury than cultural specificity. We have never placed too much emphasis on one cultural identity or a region of the world. You can say that we embrace the world by being inclusive and not exclusive. Our customers are sophisticated, confident, and internationally aware. Most importantly, they’re not afraid to wear something different that makes them stand out from the crowd. 02
Many global brands have their versions of the Arabic Oud. When will we see the Amouage Oud version? We tend not to follow the global trend, and therefore, you won’t see an Amouage Oud perfume. Our brand DNA is about creating something different and unique rather than trailing behind a trend. Our customers are drawn to Amouage because they understand and appreciate the fine art of perfumery and thus they come to us for scents that have a philosophical air to them. It is about a way of life that is beyond convention.
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