LONDON — When Matthew Williamson decided to launch his first signature fragrance, his thoughts washed up on an exotic beach.
“I wanted the central, overriding note to be reminiscent of the sexy oiliness of a girl’s warm skin after a day of sunbathing,” said Williamson, who regularly takes his inspiration from the hot shores of India, Ibiza and Morocco.
Matthew Williamson Fragrance, with its white floral notes, will launch in the U.K. in May and hit counters in the U.S., Hong Kong, Australia and Canada in September.
The designer said during an interview at his flagship here that he told the perfumer, Clement Gavarry of International Flavors and Fragrances, to “imagine the sort of scent Jade Jagger and Helena Christensen would wear — and take it from there.”
Gavarry said Williamson fell in love with Indian jasmine sambac. “From there we built a fragrance exploring the facets of the jasmine flower in completely different ways,” said Gavarry.
Top notes include bergamot, lime, neroli, tagete, ginger and cinnamon oils, a warm sand accord and schinus molle. The middle notes are jasmine sambac, orris concrete, ylang ylang java oil, magnolia flower oil, rose, gardenia and living heliotrope. The drydown is from labdanum resin, sandalwood oil, vanilla, olibanum resin, benzoin resin, patchouli heart and sensual musk.
“It reflects my personality and characteristics but it embodies the true essence of the brand; sexy, feminine and uplifting,” said Williamson, who plans to wear it himself. (He currently wears Avignon by Comme des Garçons). “I wanted it to be a contemporary and modern fragrance that would also be timeless as a classic.”
Williamson designed the rectangular, clear glass bottle with the help of Henri Monclin of Ateliers Dinand. The block-like bottle has a pink tinge to it, and a clear, cube-shaped lid. The bottle was inspired by the showpiece glass tank at the back of Williamson’s London store.
The collection includes eau de parfum in two sizes, 50 ml. for $80, or 42 pounds, and 100 ml. for $105, or 55 pounds. There will also be a 200 ml. body cream for $76, or 40 pounds, and 100 ml. bath oil for $61, or 32 pounds. Juniper Brand Development, the British company that owns the license, expects U.K. retail sales to reach $9.6 million, or 5 million pounds at current exchange, in the first year.
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