Just days after the brand’s triumphant return to London Fashion Week, Alexander McQueen has even more exciting news for us. After decades of being one of the few European fashion houses without some semblance of an exclusive perfume business, it’s breaking down that barrier and debuting a fragrance house at last. And, in a move that should shock no one, everything from the scent itself to the design of the bottle is dark, rich, and ~*mysterious*~.
WWD reports that the fragrance, called McQueen Parfum, was created with “night owls” in mind, geared toward the Gothic mind and love of dark beauty that is so closely associated with all things McQueen. According to the same report,
“The juice itself is made with an unconventional mix of ingredients that flourish—and attract their pollinators—at night: Sambac jasmine, tuberose, and ylang-ylang. There are also topnotes of clove, pink and black pepper, as well as vetiver.”
The association with these nighttime flowers launched the social media hashtag #BloomAtNight, a tag that can easily be tied to more than a few of the pieces in the new fall collection.
This scent, while certainly provocative, might not be for everyone. Sarah Burton, McQueen’s creative director, said before the LFW show that the fragrance does not “tick every box,” elaborating,
“The thing about the McQueen woman is that she has a uniqueness and a real strength of personality.”
She also said that the “erotic connotations” of many of the notes appealed to her (apparently, tuberose was considered dangerous to young women in Victorian times because of its “orgasm-inducing powers”), making it what I imagine to be an intense scent, to say the least.
Followers of the World McQueen Instagram will have seen previews of the perfume mixed in with Fashion Week photos over the past week. There was a slightly veiled photo of the full bottle, a close-up of the feathery details surrounding the top of the bottle, and the following teaser trailer:
The final bottle can be seen in full here.
While this may not be the fashion house’s first fragrance (they released two other ones in 2003 with YSL Beauté that were discontinued by 2008), this is McQueens’ first foray into an exclusive fragrance house. It seems, though, that they were not lagging behind due to lack of initiative, but as a matter of strategy. Alexander McQueen CEO Jonathan Akeroyd felt that the time was ripe, though, and told WWD,
“Sarah [Burton] has been in the role [of creative director] for six years now and we have transformed the brand into a completely different positioning in the marketplace. We’re big enough to launch something really special and make it a success as well. The brand awareness is very high, and when you’re enter into this market you need strong brand awareness.”
The moment, in conjunction with Burton’s apparent passion for the project (it took three years to develop the fragrance because it took so long for Burton and the fragrance team to tweak both the scent and the bottle to perfection), has led to what will surely be an amazing launch and a new chapter in World McQueen’s book.
McQueen Parfum will launch exclusively at Harrod’s on March 1, and costs 350 euros, or approximately $385 per bottle. It will also be stocked at Alexander McQueen’s flagship stores in London, Paris, and Monaco come March, as well as on the brand’s website.