Thursday, 22 October 2020

LINDERHOF AM MORGEN by Charles Wong

Creating the follow up fragrance to your debut scent is arguably one of the hardest feats that any company will ever have to do. The need to balance your existing customers’ expectations alongside a desire to attract new followers to the brand is often a difficult road to navigate. Veer too far away from the original and you might find yourself having to start again from scratch. The latest person to attempt this is Charles Wong. After successfully launching the elegantly refined Aurora back in 2018, he has taken inspiration from the Swan King himself and journeyed to Bavaria to realise the romantically extravagant Linderhof am Morgen.

If you’ve ever been to Bavaria then one of the incredible palaces or castles of the region must surely have been on your list of places to visit. There are three that simply cannot be missed, and all of them owe their existence to King Ludwig II. Born in 1845, Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm didn’t conform to the traditional royal style but, probably because of this, he became loved by the citizens of Bavaria. Polite and always ready to speak to locals on his travels, he was however difficult for the government to control, and so he was eventually deposed.

His three iconic, yet extravagant, building projects have since gone on to become a major tourist draw for the region. Schloss Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee, and Linderhof draw on his magpie-like love of architecture, his passion for theatre, and an exceptional eye for design. However, only the latter was completed during his lifetime. With formal gardens, Rocco inspired decoration, and a definite nod to Wagnerian theatricality, it truly sums up a remarkable man. He was never truly able to be himself, the public scandal of being gay would have been too much, but successive generations have become fascinated by his “brooding good looks.”

The idea for creating a fragrance inspired by Linderhof came about on a visit that Charles took to the palace. He was struck by the romanticism of Ludwig’s story, along with the stunning architecture, but how could he translate all of this into a fragrance? Charles Wong once again collaborated with Richard Asfour of Parfums Corialys and, over the course of a year, the pair refined the scent so that it had the desired “Linderhof in the morning” feel about it. His first fragrance had been a Mr Darcy-esque one, full of natural elegance, so what would Linderhof am Morgen reveal about the Fairy Tale King's palace?

The fragrance opens with a patisserie quality that is reminiscent of sugared biscuits and cream, but this is then overtaken with the scent of slightly underripe rhubarb. This tart fruitiness hints at the crisp air of the region and links beautifully down to a floral heart that's dominated by notes of mimosa and jasmine, but the base is where the journey happens. The combination of cedarwood with an amber accord references Linderhof's intricately polished woodwork, before a final pairing of orange blossom and vanilla return you to that original gourmand quality. With a definite lean to the more feminine style, Linderhof am Morgen is a sweetly romanticised version of King Ludwig II's palace.

Linderhof am Morgen is priced at £150 for 50ml, in a limited production of ninety bottles, and is available from Ave Parfum at aveparfum.com or by contacting Charles Wong directly by clicking here. [Sample provided by Charles Wong]

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