Christopher Chong & “Myths” by Amouage
In May, QMIN magazine had a chance to meet the Chinese born creative director Christopher Chong in Bahrain for the Middle East launch of “Myths” by Amouage.
The one-on-one interview started on an early morning in a beautiful tea room of Four Seasons Bahrain
Q: It is a pleasure meeting you finally here in Bahrain, please tell us about yourself first that our readers should know about.
A: Well, I am a Chinese born Opera singer that has been living in Hong Kong, New York, London, Paris etc. I come from a multi cultural background and my roots China has a major role in my career development. I used to be in the music industry and as an Opera singer I have been doing something completely different from then and now, but I loved my job and I was talented in singing. After years, my career with Amouage started when I became the creative director years back. It was completely new and I started with a great team that had specific knowledge in perfume making, so I had to bring the creativity and story with it. Coming from a musical background, overlapping my experiences of the Chinese, Western, and Aran culture I created a sub-culture of fusions and ambivalence. In such a globalized world people can relate to this and imagine it – it is an art, movement, culture and so on. It is all in there.
Q: Can you please tell us about “Myths”? What does this stand for?
A: Myths is the second chapter of “Portrait of a Life” – it explores “life as a dream” through expressive art of opera. Myths is essentially inspired by surrealism, in which elements are assembled in a dream-like and distorted state in order to create a new interpretation. Through surrealism, I was able to interpret my life experiences in an artistic way, without reason or convention, to create fragrances that truly represent a combination of the many facets of my past.
Q: What is the meaning behind myths for man?
A: Myths for Man, represented by the celestial Chinese dragon, a symbol of enlightenment and honor, opens with the classical beauty of Chrysanthemum and Orris. The fragrance paves the way to an intoxicating heart defined by an interpretation of a thorny rose. The culmination is a base projecting both peace and calamity with Labdanum, Ashes and Leather.
Q: What about myths for women?
A: Myths for woman paints its floral and green facets with an expression of dark nuances shaded with an ambivalent tone. The fragrance opens with Narcissus laced with green facets of Violets Leaves and Galbanum to evoke a radian journey into the surreal world of mythical themes. The heart radiates with Carnation, green facets and the sultriness of Musk and Patchouli. This surreal journey is adorned by a base of dark nuances of Amber, Moss and Leather for depth and texture.
Q: The packaging of the fragrance is unique, is there a reason why its designed in this way?
A: Well, these are presented in Amouage’s iconic glass crystal bottles in a lavish purple that fades into light hues. The caps of both the men’s and women’s bottles are plated in 24 carat gold and accented with amethyst Swarovski crystals. Lustrous purple boxes house the bottles and are illustrated with a dragon and male opera artist on the man’s box, and a phoenix and female opera artist on the women’s box.
Q: As last, as a creative director of Amouage, where do you always get the inspiration from?
A: This is something that always depends on my degree of creativity and imagination. Sometimes, I don’t know what I feel and want at that moment, and in that case, I usually sit with my team to go through the basic of fragrances in the laboratory. I need it to think outside of the box and to get inspired from the basics to create a story and the fragrance. it is not always easy and it takes a while to put it in words and movements. Music, arts, culture and design etc. it has always been my passion, so I need to add this all to the fragrance and its storyline. Thus, it all depends on what is lacking at that moment in creating, and I go for the basic steps with my amazing team to get inspired.