x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

The scent of ‘true luxury’ at Abu Dhabi perfumes exhibition

Bvlgari's Opera Prima will sell for Dh1 million at the Master of Fragrances exhibition next month. But if you want to spend more, you can snap up a bottle of Guerlain's Le Secret de la Reine for Dh2m.

Bvlgari’s Opera Prima, which will retail for Dh1 million. Courtesy Bvlgari
Bvlgari’s Opera Prima, which will retail for Dh1 million. Courtesy Bvlgari

The exotic smell of spices and flowers has always been associated with the Middle East, and it is for this reason that the luxury travel retailer DFS chose Abu Dhabi to host its first Master of Fragrances exhibition.

A total of 26 perfumes from 22 fragrance makers will be on display at the invite-only show at the Manarat Al Saadiyat on April 10. The show will move the following day to Abu Dhabi International Airport, where it can be enjoyed by passengers until June 12.

Among the perfumes on display will be Bvlgari’s Opera Prima, which will retail for Dh1 million. The fragrance, created by Daniela Andrier, is reminiscent of the Mediterranean with scents of lemon and orange blossom.

The perfume comes in a murano glass bottle that is adorned with gold and precious gemstones – approximately 250 carats of citrine, 30 carats of diamonds and 4 carats of amethyst.

The event also marks the launch of DFS’s new perfume boutique at the airport.

“Abu Dhabi has a unique relationship with fragrance and consumers over there are very discerning and sophisticated and they want the best of the best,” says Eleanore De Boysson, the executive vice president of DFS for the Middle East and Europe. “And besides that we have a long-lasting relationship with the airport so it was logical for us to have our master of fragrance [show] over there.”

Bvlgari’s scent will not be the most expensive on display.

Coming in at twice that price is Guerlain’s Le Secret de la Reine – although this will only be available for purchase and will not be present at the show. The perfume is held in a bee-shaped vial that can be worn as a brooch or pendant. The crystal is set with 14 carats of diamonds and more than 500 hours of work went into drawing, cutting, polishing, setting and assembling the Dh2 million piece. Pressing the diamond atomiser that adorns the bee’s chest opens its wings, releasing its fragrance.

It is “true luxury”, DFS says.

q&a Eleanore De Boysson, DFS Group

Tell me more about the Master of Fragrances event?

It is designed to be an experience that consumers have never had before. At the first part of the event, we will have all sorts of [speakers], including Michael Edwards, the author of Fragrances of the World, to educate and share the magic of perfume with more than 300 guests. It was important to have a place where we have this cherished relationship with our valued customers. Then, we thought it would be important to transfer into Abu Dhabi airport for a couple of months to share this incredible experience never seen in travel retail before, for everyone that was travelling through the airport.

There are plenty of wealthy people in this part of the world. Are you expecting strong sales?

I think yes [but] it’s not about sales, to be honest. It’s really to give our customers and guests the most incredible experience. Some of the creations are like pieces of art and I think they will get a lot of interest.

And you are opening a new perfume boutique in the airport?

Yes. There will be a new design with fragrances from all over the world. There will be some brands exclusive to the Middle East within travel retail and many brands that will be worldwide exclusives to travel retail.

lgutcher@thenational.ae

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