The perfume will transport you by way of mysterious notes borrowed from the East, paired with a considerate homage to the signature audacity of the Italian design duo
Ten years in the past, Rodrigo Flores-Roux was requested by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana to create a variety of fragrances for the model’s inaugural Velvet Collection. As an enormous fan of the design duo’s style, it was a dream gig for the Mexican perfumer.
“I like the model’s baroque maximalism and the designers’ means to at all times create coherent and delightful full appears to be like,” explains Rodrigo. “I notably just like the model’s consideration to particulars, the deep information of artwork, and their use of historic and inventive references.”
So, when Dolce&Gabbana reconnected with Rodrigo to collaborate on one other perfume for 2021 – Velvet Black Patchouli – he was naturally delighted. “It’s like my collaboration with Dolce&Gabbana has come full circle,” he smiles.
Whereas the 2011 fragrances have been impressed by Sicily, the 2021 scent, he explains, was led by patchouli itself and “its wealthy woodiness, its freshness, and its intriguing floral, fruity and animal tones.” He provides, “It is a narrative of the fusion of East and West. Patchouli symbolises that wealthy alternate of cultures, as a result of it references a time when treasured items arrived from the East to the shores of Italy, cloaked in its mysterious scent. The perfume tells the story of Italy and its open doorways to the Orient.”
Describing the unisex perfume as “ultra-rich, magnetic and sensual,” Rodrigo has a transparent thought of who would put on it. “The particular person I envisage is unapologetically elegant and audacious – not a shy particular person, however a ‘extra is extra’ type of woman or man,” he says. “I like to think about my fragrances as talkative or chatty and this one has lots to say! It radiates class and exudes confidence. It is kind of sturdy and has been described as a ‘non-stopper’, and I like that.”
Fittingly for a flamboyant model like Dolce&Gabbana, the journey that Rodrigo embarked upon to make Velvet Black Patchouli had many twists and turns. “The inventive course of was complicated as we stored a number of paths open, and in reality allowed the inventive avenues to interweave,” he says. “I’m a perfumer who derives nice pleasure from fine-tuning and sprucing the main points to search out precisely the appropriate dosages of supplies. For Velvet Black Patchouli, we didn’t go away any stone unturned.”
Now 52, Rodrigo first determined he wished to be a perfumer aged simply 13.
“Perfume is my life,” he says merely. “I like and really feel very comfy working with citrus – lemon, orange, bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit. Maybe my love for these hesperidic notes comes from my childhood: I grew up in a home in Mexico City that had each an orange tree and a lemon tree in its courtyard.”
Other sources of inspiration embrace the Italian Renaissance, Italian Baroque artwork, Greek and Roman sculpture and structure – themes one imagines you may also discover on the temper board in Dolce&Gabbana’s fabulous atelier.
“My strategy to creation is consistently evolving, both experimenting with new supplies or exploring an outdated or basic theme, revising formulation types and modifying,” he says. “It’s a craft that’s at all times below assessment.”
Lead picture credit: Velvet Black Patchouli Perfume, Dhs995 for 50ml, Dolce&Gabbana
Photography: Efraim Evidor. Styling: Nour Bou Ezz
From Harper’s Bazaar Arabia’s June 2021 challenge.