LONDON — Although Daphne Guinness’ first commercialized fragrance, Daphne, will only hit counters in September, the socialite is far from a novice when it comes to scented creations.
This story first appeared in the June 8, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I’ve always made my own with essential oils and alcohol in my bathroom,” said Guinness, whose multihyphenated professional descriptor includes writer, filmmaker and designer. “For me, [scent] is time travel. It takes you away from the everyday and you are transported to something in your past. It’s a very mysterious thing. It’s magic.”
It comes as little surprise, then, that when working on Daphne, Guinness, who inked a fragrance deal with Comme des Garçons Parfum in 2007, plunged into her past for inspiration. Working with Givaudan perfumer Antoine Lie, Guinness chose ingredients with personal meaning. Woody notes, for instance, recall floors and furniture from the house where she grew up, while oud was included since her mother often brought the ingredient back from trips to the Middle East.
Adrian Joffe, chief executive officer of Comme des Garçons International, recalled Guinness insisting he whiff oud in the doorway of Dover Street Market, Comme des Garçons’ multibrand store in London.
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“You can’t resist such passion,” he said.
“She always picked the most prestigious and expensive ingredients,” added Lie. “We’ve taken classic ingredients and arranged them in a way that is very modern.”
Daphne’s top notes include bitter orange, incense and saffron. At the eau de parfum’s heart are rose centifolia, Tunisian jasmine, tuberose and iris notes. Its base comprises patchouli, oud, amber and vanilla notes. Christian Astuguevieille was the project’s creative director.
The fragrance, which will bow Sept. 4 at Dover Street Market and worldwide starting Sept. 18, will retail at $140 for a 50-ml. spray. In keeping with Guinness’ literary leanings, Daphne’s outer carton is made of white linen book cloth, while its interior has a high-gloss black finish.
“I love black and white,” she said, adding a red velvet pouch, which protects the flacon is “your heart ripped out. Inside that is the essence of the heart.” The rounded glass bottle features an engraving of the scent’s name.
A first run of 5,000 flacons will be produced.
Comme des Garçons has a history of linking with other names in the design world, including milliner Stephen Jones and Monocle magazine, to produce fragrances.