Why fragrances by Oman’s Amouage are among the most valuable in the world

It is telling that when Renaud Salmon, who has spent 15 years working in the fragrance trade in Geneva, Milan, London, Paris and New York, for manufacturers resembling Louis Vuitton and Delvaux, was approached by Omani perfume home Amouage to tackle the function of chief expertise officer, he jumped at the alternative. He left New York, the place he was vice chairman of Marc Jacobs fragrances, and moved to Muscat, the place he’s now accountable for product improvement at Amouage, in addition to every little thing else “you possibly can see, contact and odor as a consumer”.Such is the attract of Amouage.“As a fragrance lover, I used to be very conscious that Amouage was certainly one of the greatest perfume homes on the market,” Salmon tells The National. “When the household and chief government approached me, mainly I stated: ‘If you may have the ambition to create one thing superb, then I’d love to affix.’ In the finish, what satisfied me was, first, the previous and historical past, however then additionally the imaginative and prescient and ambition. And I feel that’s what we are seeing taking place at this time – the ambition that was shared with me greater than two years in the past is definitely materialising.”Renaud Salmon, Amouage’s chief expertise officer. Courtesy Amouage Amouage this week introduced plans to ascertain a subsidiary in the US, with a head workplace in New York. This is the newest step in a world enlargement technique that additionally led to the opening of workplaces in Dubai earlier this yr. But in spite of its outward-looking method and worldwide aspirations, the home stays steadfastly dedicated to its Omani heritage.The model was launched in 1983, as “the reward of kings”. Amouage’s founder, Sayyid Hamad Al Busaidi, approached Sultan Qaboos with a proposition: he would create a product that may introduce Oman’s perfume heritage to the world, one thing that may be worthy of being gifted to the sultan’s high-profile friends. It would comprise substances native to Oman, from rock rose sourced in the Al Hajar Mountains, to the most interesting frankincense from Dhofar, and the valuable ambergris that washes up on the nation’s shores. “I discover this to be a fantastic thought – giving a bit of Oman to individuals,” says Salmon.Amouage’s Boundless perfume. Courtesy Amouage While he stays tight-lipped about precisely which dignitaries have obtained scents over the years, Salmon does level to Oman’s vital function as a mediator in regional and worldwide politics over the previous 4 a long time – and suggests “plenty of vital individuals in this world have obtained Amouage perfumes”.The Belgian nationwide additionally recounts assembly his personal king and queen for the first time at the Amouage headquarters in Muscat. “When his majesty Sultan Qaboos handed away, plenty of vital individuals visited Muscat and I used to be personally capable of welcome a few of them at the manufacturing facility. The first time I met my king was at the Amouage manufacturing facility.”Beyond this storied historical past, the worth of Amouage’s aromas lies in a continued dedication to these world-class substances first proposed by the home’s founder all these years in the past. While rock rose, ambergris and frankincense don’t seem in each Amouage creation, they kind the basis of the home’s scent palette. Ambergris, or whale vomit, is a potent pure fixative that contributes to the long-lasting profile of Amouage’s perfumes; rock rose affords intricate floral notes; and frankincense offers complexity and uniqueness.Omani frankincense is certainly one of the core substances of Amouage perfumes. Courtesy Amouage “Oman is thought to have the very best quality of frankincense, Boswellia sacra, and inside that you’ve got a number of grades and the greatest grade, Royal Green Hojari, represents in all probability 5 per cent of manufacturing and grows in a really particular space in the south of Oman,” Salmon explains.“It’s very pure and it has a really particular scent. Lots of individuals know the identify frankincense or incense and so forth, however there’s confusion round what it truly smells like, as a result of it’s used in church buildings and different locations the place it’s burnt. But that doesn’t imply it smells like smoke.”It truly has an olfactory profile that could be very numerous. It goes from lemony to woody and it covers plenty of points. It provides plenty of depth and complexity to a perfume and that’s what creates the uniqueness of Amouage fragrances. They are very refined, lyrical fragrances with plenty of complexity.”The different factor that makes Amouage so distinctive is the focus at which these substances are used. “We are likely to overuse pure substances at a really excessive dosage,” Salmon says. Its eau de parfums comprise 20 to 30 per cent perfume oils and its extraits comprise between 35 and 40 per cent, dosages that are persistently above the trade common.Behind the scenes at the Amouage manufacturing facility. Courtesy Amouage Time is one other component that units Amouage aside, and its significance in the fragrance manufacturing course of is one thing that Salmon has solely actually come to understand since becoming a member of the Omani home. “I actually found for the first time, after working for 15 years in the trade, how vital time is. Particularly as a result of I feel it’s in the mentality of individuals in Oman. And time is the final luxurious.”Amouage takes its time at every of the 9 phases in the fragrance creation course of. “So you harvest the bushes at the proper time, you don’t rush,” Salmon explains. “The frankincense tree takes 15 years to supply its first optimum harvest. If you harvest after seven years, it’s too early. You take your time to reap, to extract, to mix.“The ageing of the perfume can also be one thing we do very effectively at Amouage. And it’s one thing that isn’t actually achieved elsewhere in the trade, as a result of individuals need to rush and in addition as a result of many fragrances as of late comprise plenty of synthetics, which don’t age. With naturals, you will need to age them at two phases – what you name the maturation and the maceration phases. We do three to 6 weeks for every step. So in complete that’s three months between the time we combine issues and we put them in a boutique.”The Amouage manufacturing facility in Muscat, Oman. Courtesy Amouage Added to this, Amouage has labored with a veritable who’s who of noses since its launch, counting trade stars resembling Guy Robert, Jean-Claude Ellena, Annick Menardo, Bruno Jovanovic, Emilie Coppermann and Cecile Zarokian among its collaborators.“If you consider it, it’s fairly loopy. Amouage is a home from Oman – and for those who take a look at the perfumers which have created for Amouage, it’s the cream of the fragrance world. And the cause these perfumers settle for to create for Amouage is as a result of we inform them they’ve carte blanche. They can use the full palette of substances. On high of that, the artistic path of the home is about doing one thing distinctive and completely different, and so they love that.”Retailing for between $225 and $495, Amouage’s scents are not the most costly in the world, however their worth lies in their high quality, creativity and uniqueness. And they are going to have an vital function to play in the post-pandemic luxurious panorama, says Salmon.“When individuals begin travelling once more and craving these luxurious experiences once more, there might be this notion of significant luxurious. Yes, it will be about indulging in luxurious experiences once more, however ones with that means.”Oman is that this excellent mixture of nature, custom and imaginative and prescient for the future, and this interprets into Amouage’s creations.”Updated: July twenty ninth 2021, 6:42 AM


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