Harmony In Duality

By Sana Joseph

In a world where fashion and fragrance intertwine, a captivating story unfolds drawing us into the enchanting realm of Alexander McQueen with the new Candle Collection. This tale is one of harmony and duality, where fragile flowers bloom, and emotions ignite like flickering flames. Picture a realm where anemones, tuberose, peonies, and wild roses dance in the candlelight, their delicate petals casting enchanting spells upon the surroundings. Read more in Harmony In Duality

At the heart of the fashion house Alexander McQueen there has always been a fascinating story about the allure of flowers, weaving their beauty into the very fabric of the brand. From the iconic Sarabande show in S/S 2007, where gowns cascaded with fresh blossoms, to the later runways adorned with laser-cut blooms, floral motifs have become an integral touchstone for the brand’s artistic expression.

Sarabande’ Alexander McQueen’s 2007 Women’s Spring Summer Collection

Sarah Burton the creative director of the brand chose anemones and water as recurring motifs in her Alexander McQueen collection for Autumn/winter 2021.   The flower, Anemone represents the idea of awaiting something with excitement almost like a representation of new life coming through after dark times.

Sarah choose images of anemones photographed and were used as placement prints across the collection which has raised their heads again for a new facet to the brand. Now they are seen as the visual to enter into this new world of scented homewares.

Alexander McQueen A/W21

This new Alexander McQueen candle collection captures the essence of wonder and transformation in the same emotion used by the flowers in the previous collection. It beckons to explore the harmonious convergence of fashion and fragrance, where emotions are ignited, and memories are woven into the very fabric of being.

Extending their artistry to the world of home fragrances. They unveil their latest creation, driven by Sarah Burton, a collection of scented candles, inviting us on an immersive journey into a captivating realm of scents.

Each candle in this collection has its own story to apprise, a symphony of scents that embodies the brand’s mission and history. Each one is meticulously designed by a different perfumer, bringing the codes of McQueen to life in its own unique way.

Ghost Flower, created by French perfumer Domitille Michalon Bertier is the first fragrance in the collection, that weaves together the complexity of peony and patchouli, harmonizing delicate freshness with the earthy allure of nature’s secrets. It creates a captivating dance between light and dark, revealing the mystery that lies within.

Working exclusively with a woman was a huge source of stimulation and motivation, I was also inspired by the challenge of this new line. The contrasted juxtaposition of powerful ingredients and delicate flowers. For Ghost Flower, I chose to oppose floral and delicate peony, fruity white freesia, with the woody, earthy, and deep notes of patchouli mingled with the captivating scent of incense. This unparalleled encounter creates a distinctive trail, playing between power and vulnerability.”

Domitille Michalon Bertier

Notes include the warm peppery spicy scent with rosy overtones of Pink Pepper. Light, freshness of Living Freesias alongside rich Olibanum oil with delightful floral Peony and earthy tones of Patchouli oil and a soft hug of Cashmeran

Pagan Rose, Created by Irish perfumer Meabh Mc Curtin is the second scent, which draws inspiration from the tension between the fragility of wild roses and the earthy essence of peat. It is a fragrance that embodies femininity and strength, a tribute to the dichotomy between nature and human emotions.

“I loved the brief as it explored different aspects of feminine power. Seeing the dresses worn outside of an urban setting evoked the elemental forces of nature, which I think of as a feminine force. I found the idea of juxtaposing contrasting themes interesting as a message that femininity can be complex and different things at once- that it doesn’t adhere to a simple definition and is fluid. I liked the inclusion of words such as fragility and vulnerability as they are also part of accessing individual power.

Being Irish and from the west coast of Ireland, the peat landscape with its sparse beauty resonates deeply with me. That kind of landscape is very ancient and because of its unique chemistry, anything buried in it is preserved for thousands of years. In Ireland it is considered a kind of sacred ground and repository of memory – in that sense it fit perfectly for the theme of feminine power. I created a base of smoked peat and moss and then wove in a wild rose note. I see the ancient peat landscape as the Power and the wild rose as the Vulnerability – a flower exposed to the elements.”

Meabh Mc Curtin

Here the notes include fruity, boozy, sweetly herbaceous Davana oil with fresh and watery notes of Wet Grass. Alongside find the deep rich notes from a Cognac accord, alongside floral powdery yet green notes of regal Wild Rose, finished off with wet deep Peat accord and green notes of Moss

Lastly, Savage Bloom Created by French perfumer Céline Barel takes us on a journey through exotic landscapes with its heady blend of Tuberose and Oud. This powerful fragrance evokes the wild beauty that lies within us all, an intoxicating aroma that lingers in the air, leaving an indelible mark on our senses.

I created Savage Bloom with the desire to create a statement fragrance, powerful yet graceful, dramatic, a candle that will empower the room, like McQueen creations empower women who wear them.

From the brand’s universe, I look at its eternal dialectic between the Sublime and the Obscene, Shock and Awe, Romanticism and Sadomasochism, Lightness and Darkness. Savage Beauty, with its Tuberose and Oud facets, expresses an exotic and untamed olfactive vision representing the Beauty and Savagery of the natural world, at the roots of the McQueen universe.”

Céline Barel

Notes caught in this final blend include gentle warm spice of Cardamom, with rich sexy voluptuous Tuberose alongside spicy, amber, balsamic, and woody accents via Ciste and finally cosy Cashmeran, and deep smokey earthy Oud.

But the story does not end with the scents alone. Drawing inspiration from the iconic Fabergé Egg Purses showcased in the 2008 Fall collection, the candles are encased in exquisite egg-shaped black lacquered glass canisters all adorned with engraved metallic lids.

This seminal home fragrance collection was created and licenced by United Perfumes. United Perfumes is the home of luxury fragrance brands and have previously worked with brands like Paul Smith to bring exemplary home scents that truly reflect the very essence of each unique brand to the fore.

Working in collaboration with the industry’s most inspiring and renowned creatives, some of the best established and new noses, they have established a unique approach within the luxury fragrance market.

‘The project was Sarah’s idea from start to finish.  She helped shape all the briefs for the perfumers.  She focused on stories about how ‘juxtaposition’ guides much of the McQueen creative processes throughout the Maison.  The black and gold of the vessel were reflected in the contrast of tuberose (light) and oud (dark) in the fragrance formula. All the scents used were chosen by Sarah’.

As far as the creative process goes Sarah told stories of imagined stolen objects from an imagined museum.  You can see it in the ‘natural’ egg-like form, almost alien but natural and then in the wooden crate and mycelium insert which echoes transport packaging for art and objects of antiquity’.

Chris Yu from United Perfumes

Each candle is a masterpiece, encapsulating the essence of McQueen’s legacy and the brand’s future, the harmonious interplay between opposing forces. From fragrance to design, every element has been thoughtfully curated to create an extraordinary sensory encounter.

Just as Alexander McQueen’s designs empower strength and fragility, innovation and classicism, and encompass both lightness and darkness, this candle Collection captures the very essence of these contrasts. Let the enchanting scents of Ghost Flower, Pagan Rose, and Savage Bloom transport you to a realm where emotions come alive and beauty thrives.

For more information on Alexander McQueen, Candle Collection click here

If you enjoyed reading Harmony in Duality why not try Hard with a Soft Heart

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