We never judge a book by its cover or, indeed, a perfume by its bottle (or advertising campaign) at The Perfume Society – but must admit to be rather partial to a bit of all-out prettiness at times. When a stunning bottle design is backed up by not only a fabulous looking ad campaign, but you discover the fragrance was created by three of the hottest noses in the business, too, then you really sit up and take notice.
Paco Rabanne say: ‘With Olympéa, Paco Rabanne writes a new chapter. Terribly feminine. Faithful to his innovative values, where provocation reveals the spirit of the time, Paco Rabanne has imagined unique, irreverent sensuality to which nothing and no one can resist. This modern-day Cleopatra is the queen of queens, the woman of all victories, the absolute icon. Endowed with every strength, she chooses her hero on the steps of Olympus. A demi-goddess, but a woman above all. Divinely woman.
Olympéa is a unique olfactory adventure, at the crossroads between the sensuality of a salty vanilla accord and the freshness of floral notes. A fresh ambrée in which green mandarin awakens the senses, boosted by the floral and aquatic essences of ginger lily and hydroponic jasmine – jasmine grown in water.
Tempting, bold and absolute nature. The sensual and luminous salty vanilla accord brings addictive magnetism, amplified by sandalwood and an ambergris accord. Its powerful scent and the unique balance of the accords form a genuine Paco Rabanne signature…’
For this creation Paco Rabanne drew on the remarkable talents of perfumers Loc Dong, Anne Flipo and Dominique Ropion from IFF.
Loc Dong says: ‘The initial concept came very quickly. With the Paco Rabanne team, we immediately started by looking into aquatic notes. In the region of Vietnam where I was born, salt is harvested through the evaporation of sea water. Salt rapidly appeared to me as the starting point, as the symbol of freshness for Olympéa. For the floral and feminine aspect, I suggested working essentially with hydroponic jasmine. This soilless technique removes the earthy notes and exalts the bouquet. When creating my fragrances, I like to play on opposing universes, like yin and yang. To counter-balance this freshness, I brought roundness with a very sensual, enveloping vanilla.’
We must admit to being rather transfixed by the incredibly pleasing presence of a silver fox playing the god Zeus in the film that accompanies the ad campaign, but everyone involved is basically impossibly gorgeous and the whole things makes us want to don a Grecian dress, golden headband and dive in to a deep blue pool to cool off… Heavenly!
Paco Rabanne Olympéa £54 for 50ml eau de parfum
Written by Suzy Nightingale