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Inspired by the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection, the luxury brand launched “Essenze by Ermenegildo Zegna” an exclusive collection of five signature fragrances with Estee Lauder. I met Richard Sawyer, the spokesperson and International Education Director for both the Zegna parfums and Lab Series Skincare for Men, in an exclusive interview, to talk more about this amazing collaboration and the incredible fragrances.
How can you describe your experience with Estee Lauder for 18 years?
“I did different jobs with Estee Lauder. I started as a make-up artist a long time ago, and then as a make up artist trainer and moved into regular trainings in different departments. I worked in public relations for a while as well and now I focus only on men’s skincare which is one side of me and the fragrances which is the other side of me. I think the market of grooming and skincare has really evolved and of course along with fashion becoming a lot more relevant which has a lot to do with men reading blogs online and fashion magazines educating them on health and nutrition and other interesting stuff. If you want your woman to look good you need to look good too and you’ve got to look good for yourself too and I think men have started to become more aware that they should make the effort to look good”
Have you visited Dubai before?
“I lived here in 1999 and I was actually training a PR manager for Estee Lauder back in the days and then I moved back to the UK and more recently moved to Asia. I used to spend 50% of my time either in Riyadh or Jeddah. And I loved Kuwait and Bahrain too. Dubai didn’t look like this! When I used to live here, it was only Sheikh Zayed road and the biggest shopping mall was Burjuman and the high end as well”
Tell us about the Zegna fragrances and the relationship with Estee Lauder.
“At Estee lauder, we have been working with the fashion brand Zegna for only a little while, almost two to three years and when we established the relationship Zegna wanted to create something which would be a parallel to their very high end fashion; they had fragrances but not something for their made to measure customer, a costumer who wants to live the Zegna experience.
So we wanted to work on a project where the families together were deeply involved. As both families were involved in everything they married the high quality of their tailoring and actual fabrics they make with the art of perfumery; and we wanted to have that parallel between the very high end fragrance ingredients with very high end fashion fabrics so we started on this project of creating a wardrobe of fragrances so a man could choose a fragrance based on his wardrobe or his personality or his style or mood.
So we went into a journey and the journey really starts at the beginning with bergamot and we’ve chosen bergamot as one of the 5 ingredients, which are the essentials in a perfumers’ workshop. The essential ingredient the perfumers can’t live without if he is a good perfumer and wants to create very fine fragrances; so we started with the bergamot which is the noblest of the citrus ingredients and we wanted to create a very modern feeling eau de cologne. The Zegna family wanted something which is very much their own so the bergamot we have is only grown and harvested for inclusion in a Zegna fragrance and it’s not available for any other fragrance in the world which is exclusively owned by Zegna. The bergamot is the citrus fruit and that specific bergamot we used which is a very high grape is now known as the Zegna bergamot and it’s only available in Zegna fragrances. So what we’ve done is, we’ve taken that bergamot, we created a fragrance and we’ve woven that one ingredient into the 5 new fragrances so it’s the one ingredient that unite all the fragrances together”
Tell us more about each fragrance and how guys should wear it
“Let’s start with the Italian bergamot: this is the lead scent in the Essenze collection. We’ve added neroli, rosemary and vetiver so you get this warm, very bright eau de cologne. This fragrance is intended for the refined urban man. You can wear this cologne on a day off, during the weekend, or a casual day.
The second fragrance is the Sicilian mandarin; we’ve chosen the Sicilian mandarin because it’s the most complex citrus with an almost juicy floralcy and we’ve added a little bit of Spearmint, petitgrain and moss to enhance its modern fusion. It feels very confortable on the skin but it has something new to offer the skin. Again very casual and natural, a little bit more dressed up and sophisticated than the Italian bergamot.
Florentine Iris is a blend of three iris varieties to reveal earthiness and warmth. Uplifting and crisp, Italian bergamot weaves through the heart of this masterwork developed by Cavallier, adding a sophisticated freshness, Jasmine paired with violet and musk enhance the modern style of Florentine Iris creating an intoxicating composition.
Javanese Patchouli contrasts the dry and lush, hot and cold facets of patchouli prisma. Italian Bergamot, pink pepper, tonka bean and cedar wood add precision to this handcrafted composition. The man who would wear this fragrance is a very confident, very self-aware man, who doesn’t care what people think.
Our final fragrance is pure Middle East; it is the Indonesian Oud, our strongest and richest fragrance. Rose, amber and patchouli add depth and complexity while Italian bergamot brings forth a unique freshness. We wanted to create a rich Zegna fragrance for the customer that lives in this part of the world and loves Zegna fashion.