Amouage create Memoir fragrances inspired by Baudelaire

by Grant Osborne, 08th September, 2010

Amouage have announced the launch of Memoir Man and Memoir Woman. Consistent with the fragrances released over the past three years, Memoir presents a new chapter in the narrative conceived by Creative Director, Christopher Chong. Bucking the industry norm of a dominant woman’s fragrance, Chong instead conceived the two Memoir fragrances from a male point of view. Memoir Man, a Fougère, took the creative lead that then informed the development of Memoir Woman.

Inspired by the genius of the 19th Century French poet, Charles Baudelaire, Chong embarks on a deep and inquisitive voyage to unlock the unfathomable mysteries that reside within human nature. He expresses these influences by coalescing the provoking and potent ingredient of Absinth with other floral and wood accords to evoke a sombre mood.

Incarnated from the introspective pages of Baudelaire’s volume of poetry Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil), Chong’s Memoir Man seeks to uncover his identity by seeking the underworld where he meets his other self and alter ego, the Black Swan. In this emporium of vice and damnation, the anguish, the unwanted, the dark, the haunting and the unmentionable are all beauty of the truth.

Represented as the female gender in this story, the Black Swan is Memoir Woman; she is him and he is her. Hauntingly, they come together as one representing each other’s past, present and future in which they mimic each other’s sorrow and pain. They are separated and reunited by the memoir they share, which Chong constructs in these philosophical and mesmerizing fragrances by piecing together contradictory fragments of accords.

Memoir Man unmasks itself with a seductive green sensation of Mint pervading to an intoxicated journey of Absinth and Wormwood, which opens the door to the underworld of self discovery. The fragrance continues to express the complexity and philosophy of the Black Swan with the intricate richness of sophisticated Vetiver.

Memoir Man Notes: Absinth, Wormwood, Basil, Mint; Heart Notes: Rose, Frankincense, Lavender Absolute; Base Notes: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Guaiac wood, Amber, Vanilla, Musk, Oakmoss, Leather, Tobacco

Memoir Woman manifests with a spicy fusion of Absinth to resonate the magical aura of the Black Swan. This transformation is enhanced by deconstructing the redolent Tuberose to its core and reassembling the note in a white floral accord with Lisylang and Orange Blossom. As Chong explains, “I wanted to create a haunting fragrance that is beyond the restriction of gender and one that is both hypnotic and bewitching. I articulate this aspect by increasing the dark wood accord with cashmeran, sandalwood and patchouli supported by an animalic accord in the base to neutralise the gender difference.”

Memoir Woman : Top Notes: Mandarin, Cardamom, Absinth, Pink Pepper; Heart Notes: Pepper, Clove Bud, Opulent White Blossoms, Rose, Jasmine, Precious Dark Wood, Frankincense; Base Notes: Styrax, Oakmoss, Castoreum, Leather, Labdanum, Fenugreek, Musk

Resembling black fog rising from the wet cobbled streets of Europe, both bottles are made of black glass crystal graduating from a dark to a lighter shade with silver metal caps accentuated by a multi-faceted black Swarovski crystal. Memoir is presented in a silver-tone coffer with myriad shades of black to support the Black Swan feather motif and is available in 50ml and 100ml Eau de Parfum.

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    • Persolaise | 8th September 2010 12:46

      Any new release from Amouage is always exciting, but these sound particularly interesting. I'll have to try to get hold of some samples soon.

    • Mimi Gardenia | 8th September 2010 16:28

      A very interesting release - especially interested because of Baudelaire.

    • Kiliwia | 8th September 2010 17:26

      Sounds interesting. Heard it will launch the end of September, can't wait to try it.

    • Nostalgie | 8th September 2010 18:30

      Oh, my, the ad copy about Baudelaire is a bit over the top yet vague...but I'm always ready to try a new Amouage. The bottle description makes it sound as if this one might be even more expensive the the "run of the mill" Amouage.

    • Lessa | 8th September 2010 20:28

      The ingredients sound especially intoxicating. Never met an Amouage that I didn't want to thoroughly sample!

    • Sandy | 10th September 2010 20:07

      I've just received the reply from the leading hungarian company selling mostly niche scents, that they'll begin carry them immediately after the official release on the 22nd september. In their opinion these new Amouage scents are among the best ones of the recent years.

      I used to trust them, so I'm so eager...

    • Francop | 11th September 2010 12:26

      What a Beautiful French Story Line !!!

      I shall do my best to try them both sometime soon...:smiley:

    • NYCBoy | 13th September 2010 21:00

      The article seems to stress the point that both fragrances are unisex.

    • mr. reasonable | 14th September 2010 15:44

      I think the copy is dead on, actually - very evocative of the scents and/or vice versa. Memoir Man, in particular, carries a sense of introspection that is palpable - to me, at least - and altho Woman is floral it also has a languid mystery to it. The balance, if you will, between the two is calibrated a little like the Epic pair - they compliment each other beautifully.

    • Mimi Gardenia | 14th September 2010 16:14

      Does anyone know when it will be released in US ?

    • Grant (article author) | 15th September 2010 11:12

      I emailed Christopher Chong and he said "I am not sure of the general release in USA, but I am making a personal appearance at Bergdorf Goodman's woman's store in the afternoon on 30th September to promote Memoir."

    • NevilleM | 23rd September 2010 00:13

      I always thought Wormwood was Absinthe so it will be interesting to see how they're differentiating the two notes - maybe its "cask strength" Absinthe (I think Absinthe usually has 9mg/litre of Wormwood)

      Hope to make it along for the free nibbles (samples too?) tomorrow on the way to the Science of Scent event at Harrods.

      Was wearing Jubilation XXV today to get me in the mood.