Alexander McQueen unveils first in-house fragrance
Sarah Burton went deep into perfumery to design the new scent
Alexander McQueen is one of the few big fashion houses that hasn't had a hand in creating its own perfume, until now. Creative director Sarah Burton has partnered with Procter & Gamble Prestige and Firmench to make McQueen Parfum, a rich white floral that embodies the brand in so many ways.
The brand had two previous fragrances – Kingdom, in 2003, and My Queen, in 2005 – that were developed by YSL Beauté, both disappearing very quickly from the shelves after being discontinued in 2008. In 2013 it was announced that McQueen signed a fragrance deal with P&G Prestige, also responsible for Gucci, D&G and Hugo Boss fragrances. The partnership also signaled the launch of McQueen's own fragrance house.
Sarah was a part of every element in the creation of McQueen Parfum, from the accords to the flacon, learning the artistry behind perfumery including how scents are extracted, taking three years to remove and replace notes that she felt didn't belong, and picking the perfect shade of gold for the feathers and base.
Ergo, the fragrance evokes a dark, almost gothic mood so reminiscent of McQueen. "It's about nighttime, dreams, obsessions, collections and the sub-conscious," said Sarah before the AW16 show and the fragrance launch event the following day, according to WWD. She said there is nothing "wishy-washy” about the parfum and expressly said it "does not" tick every box, keeping in line with the uniqueness and strength of the McQueen woman. This is reflected in the ingredients, night flowers that flourish in the dark like jasmine, tuberose and ylang ylang. Top notes of clove, pink and black pepper and vetiver add to the mystery.
What becomes clear is this is a serious endeavour to capture the maison in a fragrance, which means we'll have a lot to love and look forward to. "The perfume is very much what Sarah is about, and she took time to develop it and the bottle," said Jonathan Akeroyd, chief creative officer of Alexander McQueen. "There is a real passion from Sarah's side for this to be a success."
And if what Antoine Delgrange, managing director at P&G Prestige, said is anything to go by, we're super excited: "Like Chanel had new standards of quality and creativity, you will see that here, too." We're crossing fingers, eyes and toes in hopes it hits our shores really, really soon.
Related: Alexander McQueen AW16