Alexander Lee

The Scent of Esxence – 5 years of excellence award for MANE

ETOILEGANCE, the original creation by MANE’s Perfumer Alexander Lee won “The Scent of Esxence” prize on March 24th, 2013, in Milan.

The inspiring theme and concept was the five-pointed star: a geometric and symbolic derivation of the number 5, the years that the Esxence exhibition is celebratingand the original outline of the Italian city that hosts the event, Milan.
Alexander Lee talks to us about his creation:
“Look into the night sky and you will see stars illuminating the dark sky. Polaris, the North Star, guides lost adventurers to their destination with its brightness and intensity. One often forgets that it is the sun which brings light to our daily lives - the brightest and most important star in our galaxy.
The association between light and stars inspired me to use an exciting new ingredient developed by MANE’s Scientific Committee, that complies with the ECOCERT, COSMOS, NATRUE, NOP as well as NPA guidelines and that was recently introduced to the perfumer’s palette. The Sarcocaulon Mossamedensis is a plant grown in Namibia and is known also as the Bushman Candle (its waxy stems are flammable and burns a steady yellow flame like a traditional candle, providing bright light). This multi-facetted resinous ingredient has a long-lasting smoky, woody odor of frankincense which became the star of my fragrance titled: ETOILEGANCE. The name originates from the merging of “étoile” meaning “star” in French with the word “elegance.”
An image of the Sarcocaulon Mossamedensis further inspired my creativity. The plant closely resembles a dried iris root with dark pink flowers. The resin combined with the floral accord; iris absolute (abstraction of the plant body), magnolia, davana, tagetes, rose, jasmine, and osmanthus oils (the dark flower) depicts the plant’s visual aesthetics. Never having smelled this raw material used in a fragrance, nor have I ever used it before, I could let myself be creative without any prior notions about the use of this product.
As the fragrance came to life, I chose to marry a rum extract (one of the most volatile ingredients in perfumery) with a small accord of Brazilian tangerine oil and Italian bergamot oil to represent the flash of a paparazzo’s camera. The boozy top note and the flash that quickly disappears bring your full attention to the true star: the Bushman Candle dancing with frankincense amongst the decadent floral notes. The star’s woody aspect is supported by cashmere woods, a concentrated quality of patchouli and Indian Mysore Sandalwood. The body of ETOILEGANCE is reinforced by the warmth and sweetness of oriental and animalic notes.
This fragrance, created with elegance in mind, pays homage to classical perfumery and noble natural ingredients as well as the vibrating synergy between exquisite man-made ingredients and a traditional olfactive signature. With a cosmetic addictive edge and a strong masculine woody back, the fragrance blurs gender lines. The result of the composition yields a suitable fragrance for the elegant individual, man or woman. Every raw material has its place in the formula and each was chosen for a technical purpose.”