LONDON — Stephen Jones is wearing a new hat.
The milliner has turned his hand to fragrance creation and concocted a debut signature scent with Comme des Garçons Parfums’ PARFUMS division, which will bow internationally starting in September.
“It’s a violet that’s been hit by a meteorite,” said Jones, referring to the scent’s juice, which comprises notes of violet and violet leaf, as well as “synthesized cyber aldehyde.” “There’s something innocent and romantic and otherworldly, as well.”
The fragrance, which was blended by Antoine Maisondieu of Givaudan, also comprises notes of clove, carnation, rose, jasmine, heliotrope, gaiac wood, magma, black cumin, vetiver and amber. Christian Astuguevieille, who acts as a liaison between Comme des Garçons and perfumers, also worked with Jones on the eau de toilette’s development.
The designer used an ink bottle from the 1890s for his flacon, reworking it with transparent black glass. A grosgrain ribbon attached to its neck harks back to Jones’ métier, since the material is often used in making hats.
Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons’ designer known for out-of-the-box thinking and an avant-garde approach to design, suggested Jones also return to his roots for his fragrance’s carton.
“She said, ‘You’re a hat maker; it should look like a hatbox,'” recalled Jones. “It was like being hit on the head with a sledgehammer.”
Further underscoring the link with millinery, each bottle is wrapped in “merry widow” netting, which is often used for hat veils.
Six thousand 55-ml. bottles of the fragrance, which will retail for 75 pounds, or $146, will be produced initially and sold in about 500 doors internationally. That adds up to a total retail sales value of $876,000.
The scent marks the second fragrance Comme des Garçons Parfums PARFUMS has produced for other brands. (The label is independent of Comme des Garçons’ licensing deal with Puig Beauty & Fashion Group.) It introduced Hinoki with Monocle magazine in February, and it has also inked deals with socialite and stylist Daphne Guinness, as well as with the fashion label Undercover.
“The idea for us is to produce, not to create,” said Adrian Joffe, president and managing director of Comme des Garçons Parfums. “We wouldn’t do a perfume with someone if they didn’t’ have a creative spirit.”