LONDON — After two decades in business, Roland Mouret was looking for a new challenge — and he found it in perfume.
The London-based designer, who presented his spring 2018 collection in London on Sunday morning, partnered with the French perfumer Etat Libre d’Orange to debut his first fragrance, Une Amourette.
“Twenty years ago, I started draping in my kitchen without knowing how to, and now I got the opportunity to create a smell without [knowing) how,” said Mouret. “Everybody thinks that a perfume is a business strategy that revolves around money, but for me it was just based on emotion.”
Une Amouerette — which means a fling or a moment of passion in French — is a bold scent. It blends sweet notes such as cardamom with spicy, earthy ones such as oil-infused patchouli, vanilla or pink peppercorn that have a touch of provocation.
The designer worked with Givaudan perfumer Daniela Andrier. “It was a designer meeting an amazing nose, but also a man meeting a woman. Our first meeting was kind of like a date, we talked about what men feel and what women feel, about the skin and the ways we can share moments with another skin, the attraction of it, the sweat, every side of it. That was our starting point,” he added. “It was quite important for me to be able to create something that already has maturity, it had to be a journey.”
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There was also a deeper, more personal meaning for Mouret, beyond the idea of falling in love: “When I was at school, ‘amourette’ was the name the kids were bullying me with. I kept my little bully name in my pocket and I’m taking it back now,” he said.
Housed in a khaki green rectangular bottle with no signs of traditionally feminine design elements, it can also be worn by men, yet Mouret is quick to dismiss the “unisex” label. “Creating a perfume for women that men can wear was the best challenge I could have. It’s not unisex, unisex is for young people who don’t have the experience of life, you give them the smell of an oyster and they’re fine with it. You have to have the strength to wear a scent that’s both masculine and feminine.”
Mouret, who has stepped down from his role as creative director at Robert Clergerie earlier this year, said that he wants to continue the partnership with Etat Libre d’Orange, a brand he has been a fan of for over 10 years.
The perfumer is known for its niche fragrances, one of the most notorious ones being Sécrétions Magnifiques, which evokes the sense of sweat, saliva and blood among others.
Une Amourette will retail for 115 pounds for a 3.4-fl. oz bottle. It will be officially released in November and sold at Roland Mouret’s flagship stores in London and New York, as well as online.