Scentbird, Inc., New York, NY 10001
Alaia Paris description
Alaia Paris, the first fragrance from fashion designer Azzedine Alaia, is a spiky, spicy abstract floral that has one of the most captivating exchanges between the top and the heart notes you will ever come across in designer perfume.
The fragrance begins with a sharp pink pepper note, which is perforated by an airy accord that lends it a more buoyant, almost floral feel to the opening. The spice doesn’t tickle your nose, but instead is soft, light and ethereally fragrant.
Which is very important to the way this perfume develops, because the freesia and poppy notes fuse to that light, soft spice and the pink pepper begins to trade personalities with the floral notes.
Instead of sharp, dry spice, you sense elevated, flowing warmth, and the expected big, bouncy freesia transforms into a semi-sweet peppercorn flower. This abstract floral is more surreal than abstract, but the result is breathtakingly original.
It’s fun to see the first perfume from a designer’s line dare to do work like this – finding the strange facets that both sharp, tangy spices and sweet, gummy floral notes share. Many designers might go for a safe genre choice, and build from there. But Alaia and perfumer Marie Salamagne have infused Alaia Paris with a stunning and exotic style all its own, one which showcases typically-used notes in a very atypical light. The heart of Alaia Paris should be savored for all its spicy hybrid floral glory.
The drydown is more of a coda than a third act in this perfume, with animalic musks slipping in to replace the pink pepper spice. The animalics are a little subdued in Alaia Paris; they appear more like a pride of tigers seen through binoculars than a roaring, rutting, thick scent. But there’s just enough growling energy at the bottom of this perfume to keep the composition balanced and full.
Alaia Paris is a must-have for any freesia or pink pepper fans who think they’ve smelled every possible perfume featuring these notes. The floral/spice hybrid accord that powers this perfume is uniquely original, unexpected and unforgettable.