Mother Earth has given us many precious resources like native metals and crude oil. But they are not readily available in all parts of the world, making them invaluable. Chopard Parfums, the sustainable luxury fragrance arm of the famed Swiss jeweller and watchmaker, creates scents by using some of these scarce natural ingredients through environmentally conscious methods.
The brand's newest Haute Parfumerie collection for men, 'Gardens of the Kings', zones in on the finest of oud, Oud Assafi from Jalali Agarwood, and delivered four masculine fragrances that depicts stories of the prized component. Comprising of Agar Royal, Aigle Impérial, Nuit des Rois, and Or de Calambac, these scents exude a perfect balance of smoky, woody and leathery notes, with accents of tobacco, vanilla and honey.
We caught up with Patrizio Stella, CEO of Chopard Parfums, to learn more about the essence of 'Gardens of the Kings' and advocating sustainability in its products.
ESQ: How do you define the concept of the entire ‘Gardens’ series?
Patrizio Stella: Each one of the 'Gardens collections' can be defined as an olfactory adventure born from rare essences, natural ingredients of the highest quality coming from responsible and ethical sources. It is driven by Chopard's inspiration and values while crafted by outstanding local producers and artisans whom we work closely with. Thus, a human adventure above all—guided by passion, respect and know-how.
ESQ: ‘Tropics’ and ‘Paradise’ based on places and the environment. Why choose ‘Kings’, a class associated with royalty, for this series?
Patrizio Stella: 'King of woods' or 'Wood of kings', is the treasure tree of perfumery which has left its mark on human history and on the most emblematic civilizations. Born in India, oud travelled the Silk Road from China to Japan, then to the Arabian Peninsula and the borders of Byzantium.
For each of these cultures, it has represented for millennia as a mythical and mystical wood—the inestimable treasure of emperors and kings, symbolizing the very essence of royalty and masculinity. Gardens of the Kings is not a Collection name, it is the only one name that this Collection could have had.
ESQ: Tell us why the focus on oud and its association to Gardens of the Kings.
Patrizio Stella: Gardens of the Kings has four perfumes—Agar Royal, Aigle Impérial, Nuit des Rois, Or de Calambac—paying tribute to the most precious, noble and mythical natural ingredient in perfume: Oud.
More precious than gold, Oud Assafi is ethically and sustainably sourced from the sacred lands of Sylhet—the cradle of Indian oud (Al-Hindi) since time immemorial.
Originating in the Sylhet region in Bangladesh, oud was born 3,500 years ago in the foothills of the Himalayas, where the waters of India feed a luxuriant natural realm of tropical forests, rice paddies and green tea plantations. It is one of the earth’s most precious and expensive oils, produced in very small quantities each year. With such a heritage, quality and deep storytelling, Alberto Morillas, the creator, and Chopard decided that this was a true and meaningful story to tell to all our customers.
ESQ: How do you feel about scent layering? Can the scents from Gardens of the Kings be layered or it's advisable for them to be enjoyed individually?
Patrizio Stella: I believe 'scent layering' can be a very interesting experience. It enhances intimate touches and interpretation of selected fragrance that reflects personal tastes. Yet, each Gardens of Kings fragrance is such an individual and original geographical adventure that I believe must be tested one by one, to capture each rich olfactive and emotional nuance.
ESQ: Ingredients are obtained with sustainability in mind to create Garden of the Kings. But why use natural ingredients if they are harder to source and more muted than similar synthetic scents?
Patrizio Stella: It is the same as 'pret-à-porter' and 'haute couture'. The feeling of a unique olfactive experience, almost tailor-made on individual tastes, balances each complication and cost coming from a longer and more accurate production process. On top of that, the feeling of doing the right thing and contribute to the well-being of workers and communities who’ve been dedicating their efforts and passion to deliver such unique natural treasures gives us an encouraging feeling of being fully focused on the spirit of the time.
ESQ: Tell us more about the art and design aspect of Gardens of the Kings. How did the team decide on this particular colour scheme and bottle shape?
Patrizio Stella: The colours and the shapes of Chopard Parfums’ collections are all inspired to the gems and the precious materials used to create the exceptional Haute Joaillerie Chopard collections. Caroline Scheufele, co-President and Artistic Director of Chopard imagined the bottles to echo Chopard's high-jewellery creations that celebrate the majestic beauty of nature and the endless emotions it awakens in the hearts of human beings.
ESQ: What makes the fragrances from Chopard Parfums stand out from its competitors?
Patrizio Stella: Chopard Parfums fragrances represent a new vision within the Parfumerie. They are created for 'glamorous green' lovers. The use of the most pristine ingredients, which are sustainably sourced, and the preciousness of the creations echo the most glamorous High Jewelry pieces worn on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival. This represents the unique character of each Chopard fragrance.
My personal sense of accomplishment comes when a single customer says that he or she feels our fragrances are different than the others and that they recall his or her best memories.
ESQ: How does Chopard Parfums ensure transparency and advocation of sustainability in its products?
Patrizio Stella: Our goal of developing luxury natural and sustainable perfumes, it is a long-term journey we did start three years ago. By placing respect for nature at the centre of our mission, the Maison has selected a network of committed and reliable partners that guarantee responsible production. Involving growers, artisans and communities in our journey, Chopard aims to create a virtuous circle, which safeguards artisanal work and the precious raw materials that are the core of our olfactory project.
To reach this challenging objective, we engaged a close collaboration with fragrance house Firmenich, a recognized industry leader in sustainability (Ecovadis Gold Rating), who provides the richest palette of responsibly sourced natural ingredients through the Naturals Together Program of sustainable excellence.
Our teams visited some of these outstanding territories to personally assess their excellence. In addition, we are committed being transparent to our customers in true openness at any time the stage we’ve reached during our journey. This is a true artisanal job and it has the goal of enhancing 'lands, hands and communities'.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.