A tender bouquet, a delicate dusting of scented powder; the balminess of a vintage dresser and a hint of crisp citrus. Crafted in 2000 and possibly the magnum opus of Kenzo Parfums, Flower by Kenzo marked the turn of the century; a meld of ‘90s nostalgia and the briskness of new city life. Timelessness in a bottle. Now two decades after the iconic fragrance was born, the house of Kenzo Parfums presents a new chapter: Flower by Kenzo Poppy Bouquet.
A sequel that reinvents the classic Flower by Kenzo, Poppy Bouquet retains an exquisite florality, while presenting a more intricate, profound and full-bodied take on its predecessor. The original Bulgarian Rose still occupies the heart of Poppy Bouquet, now reimagined with new notes of sparkling Nashi Pear, tangy Mandarin, bright Gardenia, aromatic Jasmine and heady Almond Wood.
The modern reinterpretation of Kenzo’s olfactory signature was birthed from the expertise of Spanish Master Perfumer, Alberto Morillas and the ardor of young perfumer, Dora Baghriche. Over an intimate email interview, the two perfumers indulge us in the artistry behind Poppy Bouquet, turning the scentless poppy into an olfactive experience and how they like their own fragrance rituals.
1. It’s been 20 years since the iconic Flower by Kenzo Eau de Parfum was launched. What inspired the decision to reinvent the classic fragrance?
Twenty years after the iconic launch of Flower by Kenzo, the challenge was to develop a new pillar for the brand; to complement the original Eau de Parfum by telling one powerful story and sharing a contemporary vision, fully in tune with today’s spirit.
2. What was the creative process behind Flower by Kenzo Poppy Bouquet?
We combined our expertise and passion to reinvent the olfactory signature of Flower by Kenzo. We worked together to add a new level of creative extravagance and pop culture, but all the while respecting the audacity, generosity and harmony of the original fragrance.
3. How is the scent of Flower by Kenzo Poppy Bouquet distinct from its predecessor?
The original Flower by Kenzo imagined a scent for a flower with no scent — the coquelicot — and established a fragrance at the heart of the city. Flower by Kenzo Poppy Bouquet is a generous bouquet of flower scents, that connects the city and countryside, a proliferation of poppies! The original Flower by Kenzo Eau de Parfum features a Rose Essence. On the other hand, Flower by Kenzo Poppy Bouquet contains a Rose Absolute — an extraction of unique quality, rich in ultra-textural facets. The perfume also includes Jasmine and Gardenia, Nashi Pear and Mandarin, as well as Almond Wood.
4. The poppy flower is naturally scentless! How did you go about turning it into an olfactive experience?
Only an uncommon fragrance could symbolise the Flower by Kenzo poppy, with a poetic blend of power and fragility. The head is the queen of all flowers, the quintessentially floral Bulgarian Rose, layered with Acacia Farnesiana and May Blossom, and an understated, sensuous Parme Violet. A Bourbon vanilla absolute and white musks add an addictive softness. Together, this created a restrained floral fragrance that is recognisable anywhere.
5. What is the reason for your choice of Poppy Bouquet’s reinvented fragrance notes?
We sought to create a new florality, a luminous modernity and freshness; a generous spark, and a colourful harmony. We were inspired by our love for Japanese culture, poetry and art, with a twist of our own Mediterranean memories.
6. Nonetheless, the Bulgarian Rose remains at the heart of the reinvented composition. Why so?
Flower by Kenzo Poppy Bouquet blends Bulgarian Rose, which is emblematic of the Flower by Kenzo Eau de Parfum, with new ingredients such as Almond Wood. This new association gives the fragrance a fresh, modern edge while keeping the sensual, offbeat feel of the original Eau de Parfum. An ultra floral perfume with a fully generous bouquet, the fresh scent of Nashi Pear also introduces a sprightly floral burst. It’s a sensual mix-and-match of Bulgarian Rose and Gardenia on a moreish base of almond wood.
7. How do you imagine the woman who wears Flower By Kenzo Poppy Bouquet?
Flower by Kenzo Poppy Bouquet is for a woman who is full of life, generous and sensual. A blend of power and fragility, she is understated yet captivating! The stunning Kim Tae-ri featured in the campaign perfectly embodies this woman.
8. Alberto, as a master perfumer and Dora, as a young perfumer, what was it like working together to create Flower By Kenzo Poppy Bouquet?
Alberto: It was a pleasure to work with Dora. She brought great creativity and energy to our collaboration. I was really just there to help push her even further.
Dora: I have a great admiration for Alberto and learned a lot from him. Not only about the art of perfumery, but also about his spirit. He is constantly challenging himself all the time. He has a very young mind, a great sense of humour and an uncanny intuition for the future.
9. What are your personal favourite fragrances or scents?
Alberto: I like perfumes with strong personality and character; perfumes which add a new olfactory point of view to the market. The universe and the story around the perfume are also very important to me. I do have a favourite fragrance: Armani Acqua Di Gio.
Dora: I have a weakness for perfumes with a masculine/feminine ambiguity. I have worn, for example, Bulgari Black, Dior’s Silverwood, Kenzo Air, Bois Farine of L’Artisan Parfumeur…
10. Finally, how do you like to wear your perfume?
Alberto: I like to live with perfume. I spray it on my skin. I experiment with it at home, let it evolve throughout the day, as it will change on your skin. Listen to what other people say, their comments. Spray it on your clothes, a jacket or scarf, then smell it the next day, to see if it still matches your expectations.
Dora: Perfume is part of the way I express myself. It tells others more about who I am. Therefore, I like to wear it as an extension of myself. It’s how I present myself, it’s my personality and it’s the way I interact with others. I wear it both humbly and proudly.
Poppy Bouquet, A Perfume & A Purpose
Here’s something else to get excited about: the contemporary translation of Kenzo’s iconic fragrance is also produced via an exceptionally modern, more conscious process. Aligning with sustainable agriculture, the raw materials in Poppy Bouquet are selected responsibly and in support of protecting biodiversity, as well as local communities. As the house remains dedicated to preserving and promoting a more beautiful world, as embodied in its newest creation.
Discover the new Flower By Kenzo Poppy Bouquet Eau De Parfum (from S$96 for 3oML), now available online at sephora.sg.
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Alberto Morillas, Dora Bagriche and Kenzo Parfums for lending their insight to this article.