Spiritual Glamour and Flowerbomb Midnight

Blurring the lines between art and fashion, Dutch icons Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren constantly push the boundaries of conceptual design. Last season, we’ve all seen the showstopping, statement-making couture gowns walk down the runway demanding ‘no photos please’ or just simply saying ‘NO’. The S/S 2019 couture show, titled «Fashion Statements», presented those language memes in tiers of tulle and had an outstanding viral response.

Backstage with Viktor & Rolf last week in Paris

But how to top this collection? I was curious. Last week I was invited to their F/W 2019 Haute Couture show in Paris not only to see the new breathtaking défilé, called «Spiritual Glamour» but also to experience the connection between art, fashion and beauty. The mission? To make the world a better place.

When I went backstage before the show, I experienced their unmistakable artistic craftsmanship first hand, which can also be found in their iconic fragrance Flowerbomb which got a new addition to the perfume family with Flowerbomb Midnight, a mysterious, floral and sensual facet, enveloped for the first time in a sumptuous radical black bottle. Spellbinding and captivating, sparkling and intimate, this eau de parfum for women celebrates midnight, a moment of transformation where women can let their sensuality explode.

Flowerbomb Midnight is a long-lasting floral-chypre-fruity perfume, an olfactory bomb of sensuality designed around night-blooming jasmine. Also called «queen of the night,» this mysterious flower only blooms and reveals her captivating scent when the day falls. Layered with the intoxicating second-skin patchouli and musk accord, vanilla and praline, it gives Flowerbomb Midnight its tremendous depth and contrast. The powerful fruity notes of blackcurrant and pomegranate accord sparkle while bergamot adds a fresh, zesty note enhanced by spicy, aromatic pink pepper. This mouth watering new fragrance was created by four famous noses, Dominique Ropion, Domitille Michalon-Bertier, Carlos Benaïm and Fanny Bal. In Switzerland, Flowerbomb Midnight is exclusively available at MARIONNAUD.

On the runway, Viktor & Rolf showed magical dresses for the «queen of the night». The moon, the stars, the sun appeared as applications and addition to their futuristic fabrics. With the help of Claudy Jongstra, who has been developing her own textiles over decades, Viktor & Rolf created a collection that is different, almost an epiphany for the fashion savvy.

The artist has her own biodynamic dye garden in the Northern Netherlands where she produces botanical pigments to create dyes for the final artisanal touches to these extraordinary pieces. She is even raising rare Drenthe Heath sheeps, reimagines and reconstructs textile production systems, demonstrating deep respect for the interwoven narratives of materials, landscape, and making processes. A highly innovative artist, Claudy Jongstra has created new territory for wool as a contemporary artistic medium, captured and processed by the designer duo Viktor & Rolf.

The collaboration is outstanding as both partners treat couture like a laboratory and show that haute couture is not outdated yet. That it can be a leader in terms of sustainability.

Furthermore, «spiritual glamour» can be found everywhere, in a rare flower used in a scent, in a fabric that creates a gown or in an artist that wants to make the world a better place with his or her designs. The world of fashion, art and beauty are all interlinked, it is up to us how we want to transport the message ourselves. Let’s drop a bombshell and be our own muses.

Celebrity spotlight at the show: Miss Fame and Christina Aguilera, both boasting the Viktor & Rolf’s unapologetic irreverent slogans and unmistakable artistic craftsmanship from the S/S 2019 Haute Couture collection.

Enjoy more of my impressions below, especially my favorite moment at the end when I met Christina Aguilera.

LoL, Sandra

I got a little shaky… so excited to meet the singer in person!

Everything before a fashion show is last minute.

Personally speaking seeing the craftsmanship and outstanding fabrics so close…

… was a true pleasure and makes you appreciate the work of couture even so much more.

I love watching the make-up artists doing their job.

The eye make-up was outstanding.

Belgian make-up artist Peter Philips, who is currently the creative and image director of Christian Dior makeup, doing the final check-up of the model’s look.

Lots of L’ORÉAL hair spray and fake hair needed for the volume.

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht 

Superstitious Alber Elbaz by Frédéric Malle

The illustrious fashion designer Alber Elbaz has met his match in the perfume world with this beautiful collaboration with Frédéric Malle. Created together with perfumer Dominique Ropion, the ever-mysterious Superstitious Eau de Parfum captures the elusive, unidentifiable scent of a woman’s dress.

Dream team: Frédéric Malle and Alber Elbaz

A classic floral aldehydic perfume structures Elbaz’s free-flowing vision of an elaborate fabric in which everyone can find their own beauty: Turkish rose oil and Egyptian jasmine, enhanced by a touch of peach, rest on a bed of amber and frankincense imbued with Haitian vetiver. A final touch of aldehydes sharpens the perfume’s opulence with an urban edge.

TO SHOP THE NEW SUPERSTITIOUS EAU DE PARFUM, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandraicon

Photos: Courtesy of Frederic Malle, Madame Le Figaro
Frederic Malle und Alber Elbaz – © But Sou Lai

Dinner with Frédéric Malle

Frederic_Malle_Cover

Lately, I was invited by Perfumery Osswald in Zurich and had the amazing honor to have dinner with Frédéric Malle, a very captivating and inspirational gentleman, a father of four, and the man behind the niche fragrance house Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. Born in 1962, he grew up immersed in the world of perfumery (his grandfather Serge Heftler-Louiche founded Christian Dior Perfumes, and Frédéric’s mother later worked as an Art Director for the same perfume house) and has a deep knowledge of raw materials, fragrance structure and accords that he shared with me that night. His ‘Editions’ collection includes scents by distinguished noses including Dominique Ropion, Jean-Claude Ellena and Pierre Bourdon.

IMG_0198With Frédéric Malle at dinner at the Widder hotel.

Malle studied art history and economics at New York University. In 1988, he began his career at Roure Bertrand Dupont, the prestigious perfume laboratory. After working in the industry for more than 12 years, Frederic was ready to embark on a new adventure.

Frederic_Malle_20004 of his first launched perfumes in 2000: Lipstick Rose (Ralf Schwieger), Musc Ravager (Maurice Roucel), En Passant (Olivia Giacobetti) and Une Fleur de Cassie (Dominique Ropion).

In 2000, using his connections and experience in the industry, Frédéric invited nine top perfumers to design their own original perfumes with no restrictions, not even financially regarding their ingredients they chose. Thanks to Frédéric Malle, the return to luxury perfumery took place at the beginning of our century. In an era in which most companies put more importance on brand names, Malle brought the attention back to the product itself: perfume.

Until today, through a simple “back to basics” approach, Editions de Parfums is challenging all prevailing trends. Frédéric Malle’s contribution to the creation of the different fragrances sold under Editions de Parfums varies depending on the perfumers’ desire. Perfumers appeal to him to assess their work in progress and to share ideas.

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These fragrances are packaged in bottles that feature the name of the perfumer—a first in the industry, where the perfumer is traditionally behind the scenes and credit for the scent is given to the fashion house or celebrity on the bottle. While we were talking during dinner, I could sense that Frédéric Malle is very fond of Dominique Ropion‘s work. The two of them seem to build an amazing team.

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The development of a signature scent is a lengthy process, generally lasting between 6 and 18 months. Each fragrance starts with an idea, an “olfactive sketch,” which can either take the form of a material base – the mix of two or three raw materials, like colors in an abstract painting – or of an initial feeling, the desire to translate or convey a specific emotion. From there, the perfumers gradually build a full-scale composition, tinkering and problem-solving until a perfect balance is achieved. The challenge is to polish and perfect without losing the impact and personality of the original idea.

Eliminate all that is superfluous or merely decorative” – this, Frédéric Malle’s credo, is the only rule imposed on the house perfumers. Malle requests that each fragrance be designed to uniquely merge with the wearer’s skin rather than to just be a “pretty scent.”

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Designer Frédéric Malle has more than 25 perfumes available at the moment, made in collaboration with perfumers Jean-Claude Ellena, Dominique Ropion, Maurice Roucel, Bruno Jovanovic, Carlos Benaim, Olivia Giacobetti, Pierre Bourdon, Edmond Roudnitska, Ralf Schwieger, Edouard Flechier, Michel Roudnitska and Sophia Grojsman.

Frederic-Malle_Downstairs-finalNew investments under the new helmet: Frédéric Malle’s London store at 14, Burlington Arcade.

Two years ago, The Estée Lauder Companies acquired Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle.

Frédéric Malle said about his decision to sell part of his company: “The Estée Lauder Companies has great respect for the art of perfumery and for the creativity, dedication and mastery required to create truly exceptional fragrance experiences. The company’s commitment to a high standard of excellence and ability to support the growth of entrepreneurial concepts in a way that preserves all that is unique and special makes The Estée Lauder Companies the ideal partner for us.

A truly inspirational creator and a real business man!

TO SHOP FREDERIC MALLE ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
In Switzerland a large selection is available at Perfumery Osswald in Zurich.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Frédéric Malle and © Sandra Bauknecht, via Mr Porter

Candles Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

Malle Candles

For Frédéric Malle home scents are about atmospheres. A cluster of lily of the valley, a gentleman’s den, a dinner in Paris: so many different olfactory images have gone through his mind, and over time he has asked the best perfumers in the industry to transcribe them into fragrances. Each of these highly figurative scents can transform the atmosphere of a room. The fact that these perfumes evoke such precise images inspired Monsieur Malle to call illustrator Konstantin Kakanias and ask him to create his own interpretation of the image conjured by each perfume. For a limited time each illustration will be featured on the box of its corresponding candle, in a collection of images as eclectic as the collections of the iconic scents.

Malle Noel Candles

Special edition for X-mas: JOYEUX NOEL by Dominique Ropion

This limited collection will be available in Switzerland for example at Osswald.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Frédéric Malle

An Extraterrestrial Trip

Sandra Bauknecht-An Extraterrestrial Trip

While you are reading this post, I am back in the Middle East. This time, I followed Chanel‘s invitation to Dubai. Here, the French house’s Cruise 2015 show will take place tomorrow evening.

Emirates Zurich

The last time I flew with Emirates in their new amazing A380 was in January with Thierry Mugler for the launch of their newest fragrance Alien Eau Extraordinaire. In this post, I will tell you all about this fantastic trip to Oman.

Emirates A380 Business

The A380 is an experience in itself. The world’s largest passenger jet has a twin-deck, which means business and first class are on the top floor. Every business class seat has a built-in mini-bar, a personal storage area and a privacy divider. And here comes the best, there is even a real bar on this floor where passengers can mingle and enjoy a drink.

Bar Emirates Airlines

Dubai

I spent one night in Dubai before leaving on a fun road trip to the Six Senses Zighy Bay resort which is located on the northern Musandam Peninsula in the Sultanate of Oman.

Road to Zighy Bay

When you arrive on top of the mountain, you will surely be taken by the breathtaking scenery of this hidden gem. The resort is as spectacular as its setting, with the natural beauty of Oman’s rugged mountain landscape on one side and a sandy beach on the other.

Sandra Bauknecht Zighy Bay 1

Beach Zighy Bay

I have to say, I was amazed how fast you find total inner peace here through the power of nature. The resort is built on sand and you throw away your shoes in a second. Feeling the sand beneath your toes, you tantalize your senses, you enjoy an exciting remoteness and a barefoot luxury beyond imagination.

Nuit Dinner Zighy Bay

Zighy Bay Lunch

The team of Thierry Mugler invited us to “lâcher price” which means to let go and the Six Senses Zighy Bay offers the perfect surrounding. Being committed to environmental responsibility, the resort offers fresh, organic food prepared with ingredients that are cultivated in the region.

Herb garden Zighy Bay

Mezze

Goat Zighy Bay

Zighy Bay Staff

I stayed at a private villa with my own pool, 24-hour butler service and my own bike to drive around the resort. The rural charm of the rooms is amazing and I loved taking an outdoor shower in the morning.

Sandra Bauknecht Private pool

Bike Zighy bay

Bathroom Zighy Bay

Outdoor Shower Zighy Bay

Zighy Bay Private Pool

Sandra bauknecht Zighy Bay Boat

One day, we went on a cruise. We had no cell phone coverage to really let go. It was such a beautiful afternoon that I absolutely enjoyed.

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Sandra Bauknecht Bpat 6

Sandra Bauknecht Boat 5

alien coffret

Let’s have a closer look at Alien Eau Extraordinaire, the new addition to Thierry Mugler‘s Alien family, created by Dominique Ropion and Veronique Nyberg.

Pierre Aulas-Sandra Bauknecht

Pierre Aulas, artistic director at Parfums Mugler, explained me more about this beautiful floral fragrance launch. He is very charming and a genius when it comes to both, marketing and fragrance creating.

Alien Eau Extraordinaire

ALIEN EAU EXTRAORDINAIRE

Delicate floral notes transport a unique freshness and femininity. Exuding pure optimism, this scent is perfect for summer.

Top notes: Tunisian Neroli, Tea and Bergamot
Middle notes: Tiare Flower and Heliotrope
Base notes: Cashmeran and White Amber

It was such an amazing trip… Stay tuned for my upcoming post from Dubai, this time with Chanel!

LoL, Sandra

Zighy Bay 1

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

La Vie Est Belle

La-Vie-est-Belle-Cover

The press event for the launch of Lancôme‘s newest fragrance LA VIE EST BELLE started with the following statement:
“Lancôme is not a brand, it is a philosophy of femininity.”

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The French house is turning over a new leaf. The scent is meant to be a declaration for a new era. In a world full of diktats and conventions, there must be another way. Therefore, the concept plays with the idea of natural and simple beauty, the choice of once own vision of happiness and freedom. This shows best in the advertising film directed by Tarsem Singh (Mirror, Mirror), in which the face of the campaign, beautiful Julia Roberts, frees herself from being an imaginary puppet on a string (Click here for the making of).

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This gourmand and elegant composition was developed by three famous perfumers together, Olivier Polge, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo. It took them three years of probation and endless versions to create the final formula that includes 63 ingredients with iris playing the lead, surrounded by orange blossoms and jasmine as middle notes. I especially like the warm and powdery base with accords of tonka bean, praline, patchouli and vanilla. This fragrance is surely going to be a new bestseller, following in the steps of its famous predecessor Trésor.

La vie est belle PR visual 2

The flacon is a redesigned version of the classic Lancome bottle from 1949. It is a masterpiece of crystal in the shape of a smile, a square in the circle that achieves the impossible. Happiness captured in a bottle.

La Vie est Belle PM

Top notes: Pear and black currant
Middle notes: Orange blossom, jasmine and iris
Base notes: Praline, tonka bean, vanilla and patchouli

Available in Switzerland in September 2012.
Eau de Parfum 30ml (CHF 75.-), 50ml (CHF 115.-) and 75ml (CHF 145.-)
Shower Gel 200ml (CHF 59.-) and  Body Lotion 200ml (CHF 66.-)

La Vie est Belle Dolder

The press event took place at the Dolder Hotel in Zurich. The weather was definitely not co-operating but you have to take the rough with the smooth. No matter what: La vie est belle – Light up the world with a smile from the heart, like Lancôme’s lovely PR-lady Magi.

LoL, Sandra

La vIe est belle magiPhotos: Courtesy of Lancôme and © Sandra Bauknecht