Do you remember those moments in your life when you fell in love at first sight? One of those moments I could vividly remember was when I was 17, watching FTV for the first time. I wasn't really into fashion. The only personality that time whose fashion I adored was Carrie Bradshaw's -- until that time when Elie Saab's haute couture line was showed in FTV. That was his first year of fashion week (he was just new in the industry then), and amongst all the designers that came out in that segment, his collection was the only one that blew me off my seat. I thought, this designer has an innate sense of cut! He has a talent for magnifying femininity, his creations are a marriage between a fabulous details and pure lines. His luxurious signature embroideries and luscious draping are always offset by his impeccable cuts and rigorous architecture, which make for such modern silhouettes. I knew from there and then that he was my favorite couture designer. It still holds true until this day. 

Imagine my excitement when I got an invite to attend his first perfume launch in Manila. I can say I could faint with the news but that will only likely happen if it's already his Paris / Milan fashion show! Nevertheless, hearing his name alone is excitement to my nerves. 

So I arrived at the launch of his fragrance line Le Parfum at The Peninsula Manila yesterday, in a ballroom that was half converted into a photo exhibit of Elie Saab and half converted as a ramp runway. 

Saab doesn't do sketches. He draws on his mannequins, adjusts his creations directly on the female form and drapes fabric on the body.

Now, Elie Saab is most famous for the Couture gowns that have been sought after by red carpet best dressed celebrities. He also has an amazing ready-to-wear line.
 
It felt like I was in Paris, about to be seated in the front row of his show. The event started with exclusive presentations of who Elie Saab is, his beginnings, behind-the-scene videos in his Beirut workshop and his works. I could've gasped a hundred times seeing the exclusive videos if there was only me in the ballroom!
 
Waiting for the Le Parfum bottle, the star of the show.
 

Then the event proper took place after, showing us videos on how Le Parfum was born. Here are some of the things you'd like to know:

The inspiration

 
The perfume is meant to faithfully translate the fashion house’s codes. “A fragrance which expresses a radiant femininity and which includes the duality of my world: the light of the Middle East and the modernity of the West.” 
The campaign features the famous model Anja Rubik.
 
The bottle




It took more than half a year before Elie Saab's team was able to find the right bottle design that Saab would say yes to. With his impetus, the designer Sylvie de France, created a luxurious bottle with pure lines and crystal-like brilliance to express the designer’s high standards and reflect all of Elie Saab’s elegance. The minimalist case was inspired by the feel and colors in the designer's boutiques -- travertine beige, chocolate brown lettering, a hint of wenge wood, and a thread of gold.

The scent

Fragrance ribbon strips instead of paper strips. How luxe!

It took 279 trial versions before they finally decided to pick this one. It's a harmony of white flowers, cedar woods and a drop of honey that mimics the femininity of the trail of an evening gown. The top note opens on a sun-kissed, radiant orange blossom. The middle note develops into a jasmine absolute, a legendary flower in perfumery, imparting voluptuousness and elegance to the fragrance. It combines with a pure, modern patchouli heart. The base note unfolds into a cedar woody accord adding character and a lingering trail, while the honey rose envelops the composition in a beautifully addictive note. I particularly like that it has a Mediterranean spirit, a hint of the designer's roots.
 
The line

To reinforce and give new depth to Le Parfum’s trail (like how an Elie Saab trail would complement its main dress), there are other items in the line based on four feminine beauty rituals: Perfumed Body Cream, Perfumed Body Lotion, Perfumed Body Wash and Perfumed Deodorant. 

 
I was actually hesitant to try it at first because all I could think of is that my adoration for Elie Saab might just lessen if this scent disappoints. When I finally tried it, I was blown away AGAIN by Saab. I was still surprised on how he, can make me feel this way. I even commented to a very dear person to me, "If it turns out you are not my soulmate, Elie Saab is." There's nothing in his work that I don't die for, even his scent gave me the same chills. The top two adjectives I gave it were intoxicating and opulent. I would say Le Parfum highly resembles Coco Mademoiselle and Miss Dior Cherie (two of my all-time favorites) in almost all aspects -- the bottle shape, the shade of the perfume itself, and especially the scent. I think it's the reason why I fell in love with it at first sight and smell. The three have top notes of mandarin, middle tones of jasmine and base notes of musk and patchouli. It's very floral and musky, just the way I want my evening perfume to be like, without being too sweet or too strong. I personally do not hoard fragrances and it takes me more than a year to finish a bottle. I only have 4 favorites and this definitely completes my top 5, being no.2 in ranking.

Le Parfum is available in 30ml, 50ml and 90 ml Eau de Parfum bottles with an accompanying collection that includes perfumed deodorant, body lotion, body cream and shower gel, in all leading department stores nationwide.

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