ON THE SCENT: Yohji Yamamoto was in London last week to relaunch a collection of his former fragrances in the U.K. after a hiatus of six years. He told WWD he had not expected to return to the perfume business anytime soon — but his curiosity got the better of him. Yamamoto said that two years ago, while he was in London for an exhibition of his work at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a proposal landed in his lap — literally.
“I was sitting in a hotel restaurant with my American friends, and a guy approached us silently and handed me a stack of papers. I brought them back to my company, had them translated into Japanese and decided to go ahead with the deal,” said Yamamoto during a party at his Mayfair store on Tuesday night where guests included Leah Weller and Pam Hogg.
This story first appeared in the October 8, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The silent man of the story was Paul Christie, now chief executive officer of Yohji Yamamoto Parfums, whose license is held by IFD Group. Asked why he pursued the fragrance project, Yamamoto replied: “I just wanted to know whether this mysterious proposal would come true or not.”
The relaunched fragrances include Yohji Yamamoto Homme, Yohji Essential and Yohji, and began landing on counters over the summer in markets such as Japan and Russia. They will be available in more countries, including the U.S., France and Germany, next year.
On Tuesday, the designer also launched Yohji Senses for women, which was created in the Nineties like the other fragrances, but was never marketed or sold. Two new Yamamoto fragrances, Her Love Story and His Love Story, were developed by Givaudan perfumer Olivier Pescheux, and are set launch this week in Moscow.
Yamamoto said they are inspired by “the smell of the sea.” The new scents will launch in the U.K. and internationally next year.