Monday 8 July 2024

L’ÉTÉ À LA VILLA EPHRUSSI by Charles Wong

A bottle of the perfume L’Été à la Villa Ephrussi by Charles Wong
The first perfume a company releases is often the fragrance that the creator has wanted to realise their whole life - whether that's the embodiment of a person, a place, or an emotive experience. It’s the releases that follow however that can cause the issues. Will the second, third or fourth be met with the same response, and is the inspiration strong enough? When Charles Wong launched Aurora back in 2019 he started gently but, over the following two fragrances, has grown in both scented drama and luxurious subjects. L’Été à la Villa Ephrussi is the fourth perfume in the collection, and is as beautiful as its inspiration.

It’s not unusual to find that the drive for starting a fragrance brand comes from having already been a part of the luxury sector. This was the route that Charles Wong found himself taking. Born in Hong Kong, he studied Japanese, French, and German before eventually deciding to study Marketing Management. Being surrounded by both the luxury items and also the artistry that came with promoting these goods, Charles felt that there was an opportunity to create a truly niche fragrance that combined traditional French perfumery values with the cultural background that he was familiar with.

His first fragrance, Aurora launched in 2019 and took traditional French perfumery, added a snifter of eccentric English aristocracy, and finished with a flourish of Asian-inspired mystery. Linderhof am Morgen arrived in 2020, and took the Bavarian palace of the same name as its starting point, but went in a more patisserie meets polished woodwork direction. However, L'Appartement de Madame de Florian, his third release in 2022, combined romantic Parisian danger with unexplained mystery by showcasing the two sides of the heroine’s lifestyle. Scoring three successes was impressive, but sights were set on number four.

The box for the perfume L’Été à la Villa Ephrussi by Charles Wong
L’Été à la Villa Ephrussi
takes inspiration from the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. This Tuscan-style palazzo is famously painted a decadently romantic pink and surrounded by nine themed gardens. Following the previous building-inspired fragrances, Charles again turned to Richard Asfour of Parfums Corialys to realise the grandeur of the estate, the lushness of the gardens, and the romance of the setting. With a delightful feeling of being a companion piece to the previous fragrances, Charles Wong is definitely a name perfume lovers should be hunting out. So, let’s head to the French Riviera!

L’Été à la Villa Ephrussi opens with an effervescent fig quality that combines uplifting bergamot, grapefruit and a textural touch of the fruit’s skin. There’s also a pinch of pink pepper in there as well, to give an added brightness. However, the heart of the perfume then reveals a delicious mix of velvety rose and aquatic water lily, so you’re given your first view of the surrounding ocean. The development of the scent brings in a crisp cedarwood and a wonderfully musky amber accord, so almost hinting at those aged floorboards, before a violet-edged vetiver and sweetened sandalwood provide the perfect balance of outdoor gardens and indoor luxury. Wonderfully wearable and decadently delicious, what more could you ask for?

L’Été à la Villa Ephrussi is priced at £185 for 50ml Extrait de Parfum, and comes in an initial limited production of thirty eight bottles. To order, or for details of stockists, you can contact Charles Wong directly by clicking here. [Sample provided by Charles Wong]

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