Flowers beneath the pavement… Issey Miyake launches L’Eau d’Issey City Blossom: urban life in bloom

It isn’t often that nature overtakes our modern cityscapes, but beautiful spring blossoms were welcomed into the London as Issey Miyake‘s Brook Street window showcased swathes of paper petals, flowers, and a giant perfume bottle created from tiny pieces of card…

‘When winter is drawing away and spring approaching, nature reasserts itself, even in the city….’ Coaxing urban life into full bloom was the inspiration behind this recent artistic collaboration, when Issey Miyake invited master perfumer Alberto Morillas and the visual street artist Mademoiselle Maurice to unleash their creativity on the new Limited Edition Issey Miyake City Blossom, for spring this year.

Fuchsia, green and white fragments were painstakingly pieced together by the artist to highlight the fragility of the passing seasons, with the instillation taking an incredible sixteen hours across two days and using seventeen different colours overall, working with paper, thread, lace and embroidery to bring to life the blossom amid the concrete imagery at the heart of the floral fragrance.

Watch the time-lapse video of this art piece being created…

As for the fragrance itself, this is no wildflower bouquet dreamed up by a perfumer trying to impose rampant country blooms into a city setting – quite the opposite. Opening with peppercorn, a sprinkling of citrus notes and a hint of calone – a nod to the legendary original L’Eau d’Issey, with ‘the first quiverings of a bud that will soon be blossoming….’ The freshness is off-set with honey-like osmanthus flowers, while freesia and magnolia retain their reserved natures by only opening half-way, with base notes of natural Virginia white cedar dominated by powerful ambrox and white musk.

The imaginary bouquet takes shape, ‘texturising’ itself with slowly unfurling petals – from an intricately folded origami flower perhaps? When they finally touch the skin, the flower fully blooms, mingling charm and audacity.
Mademoiselle Maurice is actually a 29-year old French artist who delights in creating intricately colourful and diverse works made from traditional crafting materials and mixed techniques within her tiny Parisian workshop. Bursting out from the urban greyness, a cosmic formation of her work breaks up the monotony of the city landscape. These smile-making, ultra-colourful creations stem from her inspiration and daily life as a city-dweller – ‘a carousel of emotion where each person can find an echo of their own sensitivity.’

‘It fits in perfectly with my great installation, the one I imagined for this great fragrance, i.e. very “textured” foldings that oscillate between deep softness and the evocation of a less frail temperament than one could initially think. Falsely fragile, outright sparkling and spring-like!’

Talking about the seeming incongruity of delicate blossoms trembling within the concrete confines of an urban sprawl, Mlle Maurice explained:

‘I grew up in the highlands but I’ve also lived in Japan. So, when I try to connect the words “city” and “spring”, it’s another image that enters my mind: that of city parks where everybody meets everybody else during hanami – the cherry blossom festival – which takes place in March. Back there, there’s a special complementarity, with nature at the heart of the city because people take time to view even the simplest and most modest flower. In principle, the city doesn’t conjure up a very colourful image and yet it’s the ideal place for shared action, for dialogue, visual and otherwise, and for a certain fluidity which is like an essential breath of life.’

To learn more about the dreamy artwork of this talented artist, you absolutely must watch the short video – its’s beautiful…

We don’t know about you, but we’re totally ready for spring to bloom (the sunshine today was SO welcome – we hope you saw some of it, too!) and shall be softening the edges of our own still-chilly cityscape with this pretty floral from now until the end of summer…

Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey City Blossom Limited Edition £51 for 50ml eau de toilette
Try it at Selfridges

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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