IT would have happened sooner or later.
Montblanc, Dunhill, Tiffany & Co., Ralph Lauren, Prada and Guess are some of the brands that have already gone that way, so it’s not surprising that leather goods brand Bonia should also decide to venture into the scintillating world of perfume.
Bonia’s business development general manager, Geoffrey du Drouas, described the new addition as a “befitting diversification and natural progression” for the Bonia Group, which has a network of over 700 sales outlets and 70 standalone boutiques in countries like Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
“We were thinking of ways to expand the business. We have Bonia leather goods, shoes, clothes and we needed to think of something we didn’t already have.
“Fragrance was the answer as we get to reach out to a different (target) market,” said Du Drouas during the launch of Bonia pour Femme and Bonia pour Homme in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The fragrances were conceptualised with one of the world’s thoroughbreds of perfumery - Atelier des Parfums - which is based at the French Riviera, near Grasse.
The perfumery, which has been an active participant at the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) annual exhibition since 2009, owns a database of over 60,000 formulas.
Its executive vice president Olivier Funel explained that the historic town of Grasse is an important place in the French perfume industry, alongside Paris. The perfume industry developed in the 17th century when scented leathers were in fashion.
Funel felt the collaboration between Atelier des Parfums and Bonia was timely. The fourth generation to helm the business, he added: “Bonia gave Atelier des Parfum full creative freedom to produce its first ever scent, which was not entirely an easy task considering Bonia had no precedence for perfume.
“One of the key elements we considered was Bonia’s position as a global brand. We developed the scent in accordance to any other global brand, if not better,” said the certified perfumer.
With 4,000 raw materials to pick from and match, Funel likened creating the right perfume to music, much like “blending notes together to make a nice composition”.
The entire process from the start to the final formula took up to five months and involved around 450 alterations, Funel revealed.
Both perfumes, he said, contain more than 100 raw materials from “different component groups that smell the same but evaporate at different speeds” so that the fragrance lasts longer on the wearer.
The final packaged products are two 50ml bottle with rose as the top note for the women, while the men’s scent is led by cedar wood.
“Collaborating with world-class perfumery on the new perfume range is our way of staying true to our European inspiration as well as to our promise of superior quality and craftsmanship for all our products,” said Du Drous.
The perfumes will complement Bonia’s customers’ lifestyles “by adding a sensual and exciting element into their lives.”
The composition of Bonia pour Femme eau de Parfum (RM132) gives a mild freshness and a fruity mark to the woman who wears it. Bonia describes the wearer as “confident and proud” and “belonging to the new generation of avant-garde experiencing wonderful fragrance experiments of sudden, surprising impact”.
The damascene rose essence forms the head note followed by the scent of lilies from New Mexico. The heart note has violets from the Black Forest in Germany and jasmine from the deserts of Tunisia.
The base support of vanilla from the tropical Island of La Reunion adds a slightly spicy tinge.
The Bonia pour Homme eau de toilette (RM125) for men is a very masculine scent which, Bonia says, is “a mysterious alchemy, masterly accentuated to the intensity fulfilling a man’s wants and needs”.
The head note of cedar wood from the hills of ancient Greece, leading to the heart note of fruity acid peaches and citrus fruits, give the fragrance an unexpected balanced. At the base is vetyver, the perennial grass native to India. The addition of verbena from Southern Chile further enhances its presence.
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