Last year, Elie Saab visited Dubai to reveal the highly anticipated La Collection Des Essences, with its Essence No. 1: Rose, Essence No. 2: Gardenia, Essence No. 3: Ambre and Essence No. 4: Oud. A “haute-parfumerie” collaboration with renowned perfumer Francis Kurkdjian who took 4 gorgeous ELIE SAAB dresses as his muses, the haute-couture inspired scents left us eagerly awaiting new essences, which both Saab and Kurkdjian alluded were being worked on. And then were born Essence No. 6: Vetiver and Essence No. 7: Neroli.
Essence No. 6: Vetiver – The ambiguity of vetiver, radiant and dark at times, either creamy or dry, sometimes verdant but also smoky, makes it a mysterious material. This “vertical” wood-scented essence constitutes a fragrance in and of itself. Translating the tall, slender Elie Saab gowns known for their dazzling ornamentation into a fragrance was Kurkdjian’s goal, and vetiver, with its subtle gradients, was the obvious choice. The Haitian and Javanese Vetiver accords are reinforced by Calabrian bergamot, with heart notes of aromatic tarragon and lavender, accentuated by floral touches of geranium and violet, the total body darkened by clove, papyrus and cashmere wood accords, in an ensorcelling green shade.
Essence No. 7: Neroli – Orange blossom, which the designer is known to have fond memories of from his hometown Lebanon, is the signature of ELIE SAAB fragrances. Kurkdjian came up with the identity of the 7th essence through a neroli distilled from orange blossoms grown in Lebanon and treated with a careful and lengthy process. Introduced to this Lebanese Neroli are smooth white cedar for structure and spicy clove for contrast, sealing the woody base note highlighted by a musky breeze. Just like Saab’s pearl, cream, ivory and petal haute-couture masterpieces, No. 7: Neroli is a symphony of scents.
Once again, we are left wondering if and when essences 8, 9 and so on will see the light, “the light of now”, the light of brilliance.