The new Eau de Parfum Insignia Limited Editions by CH Carolina Herrera are an homage to Eastern Perfumery. Carolina Herrera de Baez, creative director of Carolina Herrera Fragrances, was seduced by the richness of nuances, the quality of the ingredients and the mystery that surrounds Eastern aromas when she travelled to the Middle East ten years ago in search of new olfactory ideas.
Her love for this millenary tradition has been growing every year. The new Eau de Parfum CH Insignia Women (created by Olivier Cresp and Hamid Merati-Kashani) and Eau de Parfum CH Insignia Men (signed by Émilie Copperman and Pierre Gueros) are the result of that passion.
Women: a bright and intense Oriental
In CH Insignia Women, created by Olivier Cresp and Hamid Merati-Kashani, classic notes such as Damascena Rose (traditionally used in Arab perfumery) and Centifolia Rose (an emblematic Mediterranean ingredient) huddle together in a modern swoon of woody facets (Cypriol, Cedar and Guaiac Wood) that become sensual and warm on the skin. Italian Bergamot and Coriander highlight the cocktail giving it a luminous twist. High quality Oud from Assam radiates modernity and balance thanks to the mysterious intensity of the Patchouli. The spiced character of the Saffron is stressed with a touch of Nutmeg. For both fragrances, De Baez has gone a step further. What if we incorporated high quality ingredients coming from the West into Eastern perfumery in order to enrich fragrances with new facets? That was the challenge that the four perfumers had to overcome. The result balances Oriental iconic ingredients such as Oud and Patchouli, with classical Mediterranean notes such as Rose Centifolia and Italian Bergamot. This sophisticated olfactory tour de force is an ode to noble materials, to the intimate ritual of perfumery and the spirit of CH Carolina Herrera.
Not only had the juices to be exquisite, the flacons, a determinant piece at Carolina Herrera, had to be luxurious. “It all started with the Insignia accessory collection we designed in 2016 for our 35 anniversary. Taking the brand initials as a starting point, we reinvented our signature monogram, the letters C and H. The successful line, which includes bags and bracelets, continues to grow today”, says Carolina Herrera de Baez. “These two high quality and exquisite aromas had to be bottled in an exclusive and elegant object. I wanted a piece that was so beautiful that you could not resist it, a luxurious object of desire that you could also experience”.
The two new Eau de Parfum are iconic on the inside and on the outside. “My philosophy in perfumery is to reinterpret the classics”, confirms De Baez. “When I smell an aroma full of memories and rooted in the past in a different way, I feel fulfilled”.
“In the Middle East, personalization in perfumes is highly cherished, and that is something I feel identified with. In my opinion, a scent is only completed when somebody wears it: when the aroma blends with the skin, it radiates a unique smell. In the Arab world, personalization reaches its climax thanks to the use of exclusive and intense notes that have a long lasting effect”, says De Baez.
In this era dominated by fast fashion and compulsive launches, uniqueness is the real luxury. “The best weapon to fight against uniformity is character. Oud, Guaiac Wood and Cypriol, three woody facets included in CH Insignia, behave differently on every person”, explains De Baez.
In perfumery, there are also Insignia notes. Oud and Patchouli are Oriental symbols; and Rose and Bergamot, Mediterranean ones. Leather, an icon together with flowers in the Carolina Herrera universe, is also an emblem in perfumery.
Those classic accords –present in CH Insignia Women (Oud, Rose, Patchouli, Leather and Bergamot) and CH Insignia Men (Oud, Rose, Patchouli and Leather)– show their modern and charismatic side thanks to the use of Saffron.
CH Insignia is a sociological experience: by blending the best of Eastern and Western knowledge, scent becomes a myth. “In Dubai, fragrances are part of daily life. They reflect mood and personality. This city is full of perfume connaisseurs”, says De Baez. Carolina Herrera is synonym of craft and quality in the Middle East.
Middle East tastes and savoir-faire are changing the course of modern perfumery. “Dubai seduces visually and through smells. The first time I travelled to the region, I felt in love with its captivating scents. I was fascinated by Oud, a sensual, mysterious and dark ingredient appreciated in Arab perfumery. I have experimented with its absolute, which is extracted from the Agar tree, since I came back from that trip”, explains De Baez. Oud, used in Carolina Herrera Confidential, is a couture ingredient: like a high-fashion dress, it adapts to each character.
When opposites –a signature element at Carolina Herrera– find balance, eternal creations emerge. Flowers and leather are key components at Carolina Herrera, but they are not easy to mix in a scent. The secret of the equilibrium is to hit the right chord when playing with different varieties and concentrations. “CH Insignia Women and CH Insignia Men transport me to my childhood, they evoke the smell of the rose garden at the family house”, says De Baez.
CH Insignia Women:
a bright and intense Oriental
In CH Insignia Women, created by Olivier Cresp and Hamid Merati-Kashani, classic notes such as Damascena Rose (traditionally used in Arab perfumery) and Centifolia Rose (an emblematic Mediterranean ingredient) huddle together in a modern swoon of woody facets (Cypriol, Cedar and Guaiac Wood) that become sensual and warm on the skin. Italian Bergamot and Coriander highlight the cocktail giving it a luminous twist. High quality Oud from Assam radiates modernity and balance thanks to the mysterious intensity of the Patchouli. The spiced character of the Saffron is stressed with a touch of Nutmeg.
Insignia, a fashion tale
The perfume shares the spirit of Insignia, the collection of accessories launched in 2016 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the brand. New bags and jewelry are added every season to this successful line.
CH Insignia bottle reinvents the signature monogram adding a new three-dimensional perspective to the letters C and H. The luxurious flacon is made of leather and decorated with gold lines. CH Insignia Women reinterprets the voluptuousness of the C and the iconic red color. The delicate design of CH Insignia Men, wrapped in elegant black leather, deconstructs the sleekness of the H. They pay tribute to the bracelet, which was the starting point of the Insignia Collection. “We wanted a timeless symbol, made of noble materials on the inside and on the outside. A piece destined to become a reference”, explains De Baez.
Because there is more to a monogram than meets the eye, each Insignia creation is a unique piece of art. The Insignia bag is handcrafted in the Spanish ateliers of Carolina Herrera where gifted artisans carry out 76 meticulous operations. The exclusive design is based on a wood structure and a handle (inspired in the original bracelet) and plated in gold, silver or ruthenium. The details are exquisite: the geometric wooden frame is covered in soft Napa leather. The metal chain or leather strap are removable and adjustable making the Insignia bag sophisticated as well as functional.
CH Insignia Men: a leathery ode to the horses of Dubai
CH Insignia Men bouquet, signed by Émilie Copperman and Pierre Gueros, opens with an Absolute of Rose and Saffron at the top. Its heart is made of Oud, Violet leaves, Cinnamon and Cashmir Wood; the base is a blend of Patchouli and Labdanum. The Laddanum evokes the intense and glamorous smell of leather in an elegant tribute to the horses of Dubai.
“Patchouli, a fascinating note venerated in the Middle East, has always intrigued me”, admits De Baez. This alluring accord whispers glamour at CH Insignia Men: combined with Violet Leaves and Cashmir Wood (present in the successful CH Men introduced in 2009), this balanced cocktail seduces thanks to its modernity.