Amazing Lang Lang is about shared passions. Lang Lang’s perfumes are the result of an encounter between two worlds, music and perfume, but also between two passionate personalities: Lang Lang and Barbara Le Portz
Barbara Le Portz’s profession of faith in perfume
"Perfume is certainly a question of seduction but also a mysterious formula which speaks to you, moves you, transports you, transcends you and helps you to build your own identity. The soul has to be nourished. Perfume has this power and accompanies some people all their lives."
Perfume and music
Barbara Le Portz has been involved with the creation of perfumes for many international brands, for almost 30 years, both as manager for their development within perfume companies and then as a consultant.
Playing the piano has enabled her to understand the creative side to these developments. Also playing on the connection between these two worlds, both technical and creative, has given her 'the keys' to progress in her own expertise, to link the subtlety within both domains to obtain the ideal note, either in perfumery or music. "Music has helped me to understand the structure of perfumes and to integrate the obvious, which is that the most important thing is not the notes but the way they are put together, composed, in order to obtain much more than just a formula but a real emotion." This is the talent of perfumers-creators, it is also a mark of their expertise and their own personal signature, the one that touches the heart and soul. Just as a composer does when he gives a part of himself to the interpretation of a piece of music.
An understanding and vision of the market
Over the past few decades, perfume has become a worldwide phenomenon, guided by the olfactory choices of the large western markets. It has developed with its own specific codes but also with the repetitiveness of the market's demands which itself is limited by the idea of seduction. "A position which ignores the important identity or spiritual role of perfume for us" explains Barbara Le Portz, "since some perfumes stay with us all our lives and are powerful revealers and catalyzers of our emotions."
Recent changes in the market have led to the emergence and multiplication of « niche » perfumes which enhance raw materials and the demand for quality, making consumers more interested in perfume. Barbara le Portz wants to invent new ways to appreciate perfume, through a more emotional, interiorized approach but also strongly embodied in the world of artists. What could be better that a classical pianist to express this frequently neglected facet of a perfume which is nevertheless so sensitive and powerful?
"Lang Lang is an exceptional pianist, a flamboyant personality and real link between Asia and the West and therefore the perfect person to crystalize all the specificities of a perfume. He represents the creative ambition behind our project perfectly and understood it straight away."
Perfumes found in China mostly come from large American or European groups and it was important to offer the Chinese consumer a new approach with both the French excellence but also in a style close to this sensitivity and this culture which is so inspired by nature.
Determination in the face of any hurdle
Barbara Le Portz is a woman of conviction but also very stubborn. With confidence in her thought process and convinced by her intuition, she took a plane to join Lang Lang who was giving a concert in Los Angeles. Confessed music lover, she was delighted to attend the concert and managed to meet the young Chinese prodigy afterwards.
It took two hours to explain her project to Lang Lang, to convince him and to share the strong emotions that are found in the perfume they created together.
The two hours were almost timeless, with only the emotion of olfactory sensations and musical moments.
"I knew why I wanted to create his perfume but why should he accept the idea?" Barbara remembers...
The answer is because Lang Lang adores perfume, he knows about raw materials and the sensations they procure, he gave in when he discovered a sample that Barbara Le Portz had taken with her, a simple chord built around his favorite flower, the magnificent Jasmine.
Lang lang realized after talking about literature, music and perfumes with Barbara, that they were on the same wavelength.
Barbara spoke to him about fluidity, power and sensoriality.
And the culminating moment was when she removed a bottle in the shape of a piano from her bag.
When Barbara explained simply that a perfume is made up of the perfume itself, a bottle and the communication around the perfume, and that his perfume would be created with music, the bottle would be the instrument of his image at the heart of the communication, nothing more needed to be said. The rest was expressed without words but through just a few notes…
"Perfume is like music, we try to hold a note but it always escapes…… "
This was in 2011. Since then, Barbara Le Portz has knocked on doors to find partners, set up her company, travelled the world following Lang Lang’s concerts to keep him up to date with the progression of the project and deepen her understanding of this amazing artist’s world.
In June 2014, Lang Lang came to Paris for the pre-launch, and seduced the press with his intelligence, vivacity and his love of well-orchestrated pieces of both music and perfumes. His « musicolfactory » dialogue with the perfumer-creator Nathalie Lorson, who created Amazing Lang Lang for Men and Amazing Lang Lang for Women, will remain in our memories forever.
In January 2015, both Amazing Lang Lang perfumes were launched in Berlin.
And that is just the beginning of another encounter between these two olfactory creations and consumers.
Amazing Lang Lang, is a wonderful encounter.
But moreover a question of chemistry between a virtuoso pianist, Lang Lang, and a lover of the keen art of fragrance creation, Barbara Le Portz. The later offered the former the possibility of expressing his aesthetic vision of the world through the creation of fragrances.
Filled with this young artist’s culture, the brand, Art in A Bottle, is surrounded by other creators and artists, in order to orchestrate the imaginary world of « Amazing Lang Lang ».
As far as the bottle is concerned the intention is clearly in the object itself and seen from above, has the beautiful shape of a grand piano. It was designed by another classical music lover, Alnoor, who chose the curves and lines for this perfume bottle with Lang Lang. Sensuality and fluidity. The notes disperse but the piano remains.
This beautiful musical instrument, with its simple shape chosen to hold the two fragrances, protects and reveals its identity with a midnight blue veil for the masculine perfume's packaging or ivory for the feminine version. On the box there are parallel lines resembling a musical stave which invite us to play our own emotional score of music.
As for the communication, which is full of senses and signs, it places the spotlight on the artist, with the dispersion of notes and chords like musical and olfactory gifts. The butterflies remind us of the complementarity of the two bottles, two pianos, masculine and feminine, yin and yang. It was key to work with the recognized and talented photographer Rhys Frampton, to get the best shots of Lang Lang expressions.
This correspondence between sounds and fragrances will be found on the stage at the launch in Berlin, with a diffusion of Lang Lang’s recordings and the fragrances of his two perfumes.
One note, two notes, a chord, scales, a crescendo, volatility, a concerto for jasmine and crackling wood… The encounter between musician and perfumer is so obvious and both speak the same language. And they often have identical emotions.
It’s the little tune that we cannot get out of our heads.
Like a jingle that reminds you of something.
Like a perfume that reawakens our memories.
Prelude to the development of a fragrant masterpiece
For Nathalie Lorson, perfumer-creator for Firmenich, developing this perfume will probably remain a unique experience in her career.
One reason is the obvious similarities between Lang Lang’s profession and her own, between music and perfume, whether words or tools, the notes and chords which lead to the creation of a work of art.
The other reason is the unusual approach of the Art in a Bottle company, which was at the origin of this project. Discovering six chords which correspond to the many important emotions and moments for the musician, Lang Lang, and then putting them together to uncover the final composition. And then to translate this wonderful harmony into masculine and/or feminine inflexions. Nathalie Lorson chose a contrasting composition, particularly with the opening chord of flower-wood. Rarely used and original.
The six chords / emotions which make up the two Amazing Lang Lang perfumes.
To express bliss, Nathalie Lorson chose a musk that she developed in such a way as to be able to use it on her skin like a finished perfume. It gives her a feeling of completeness and serenity. This ingredient, developed by Firmenich’s research, has a unique opening once the bottle is uncorked and its musky freshness develops in an unusual way, until the end in both the feminine and masculine fragrance.
Lang Lang’s playing creates an intangible feeling which is timeless and in another world. A feeling of lightness, as if in a dream, of bliss, well-being, perfectly expressed by the musk.
The citrus family of ingredients is wonderful for expressing joy, happiness and positive vibrations! For the feminine perfume, our perfumer-creator took her inspiration from the Chinese fruit, Kumquat, with its sharp tang and slightly sweet bitterness. And chose the more classical and discrete bergamot to express the euphoria of the masculine version.
These citrus notes are the joyful, sparkling and luminous fragrant trail found in both perfumes.
Lang Lang’s personality is solar, incredibly extravert and communicative!
His presence is a celebration and his enthusiasm real. These citrus notes are the radiant image of the free, lively and inventive expression of Lang lang’s playing.
It is impossible to describe Lang Lang’s perfumes without talking about energy….And this is certainly the most vibrant facet of the fragrances with pink pepper in the feminine perfume and black pepper in the masculine one. Like a strong breeze which passes through the entire composition, these burning spices on a crackling fire, feminine cedar or masculine vetiver, bring natural and classical elegance to both fragrances.
In both of Lang Lang’s perfumes, we discover the rare and vibrant energy of his playing resonating in the pepper chord. A spicy, and unusual signature in a spicy, woody jasmine for men and women.
Knowing how to find the right touch, the perfect olfactory sensitivity and the good balance between two ingredients is the art of interpretation. The gift of using raw materials is only given to great perfumers. How do you add wood to a fragrance so that it is less aggressive and more gentle, sensual and generous?
Nathalie Lorson was able to add the wood and make it our gift. Cedar wood, sandalwood and vetiver are all part of the challenge.
A bewitching woody chord, like Lang Lang’s playing, which lets us escape through the magic of its soul and sensitivity. The work of an expert, above and beyond virtuosity.
What if Lang Lang’s perfumes had a mission? One that entailed revealing the infinite riches of China’s favorite flower, jasmine, to the greatest number of people. Nathalie Lorson decided to try and chose to pay tribute to this wonder by revealing its most sensitive and delicate facet found in its almost translucent petals with their infinitely fresh notes.
A tribute to Lang Lang who enjoys relaxing after his concerts with these flowers. The perfect answer to his desire for perfumes which play jasmine in a major key.
The range of woody notes has never-ending richness and absolute modernity. It was once again the wood which inspired Nathalie Lorson to create the deep and intense emotion that encourages us to dream. An exquisite romanticism, reminding us of infinity, transcends this chord which uses Kyara wood, wrapped in a note of smoky wood such as Gayac. Music talks to us about spirituality and reveals and lifts our souls following this vibrantly sensual and sensitive chord.
Lang Lang understood early on that classical music should inspire young people through a wave of emotions and encourage them to discover the riches and benefits of this artistic expression. If dreaming is a part of it and helps to incite vocations, then the artist will have won his bet.
GALERIES LAFAYETTE BERLIN: LANG LANG AND BERLIN, A TRUE LOVE STORY
Lang Lang on the 19th of January 2015 in Berlin. A great event, a world premiere. The launch of his fragrances, a worldwide exclusivity with a prestigious partner: Galeries Lafayette Berlin.
Working closely with the French company "Art in A Bottle", the genius artist has created a magic world, where perfume and music, yin and yang, women and men are connected by a fantastic harmony in a unique moment to share his emotions through two amazing fragrances, one for HER, and another for HIM.
Two amazing olfactive compositions orchestrated in three movements like a piece of music: a fresh and spicy opening, a jasmin heart as a chorus, and a splendid woody finale.
Barbara Le Portz (Founder of Art in a Bottle), Alnoor (designer of the fragrance bottle), Nathalie Lorson (Perfumer) and Lang Lang.
Two masterpieces as personal gifts from the artist, subtly encapsulated in a beautiful bottle, scarved like a piano, in soft curves, like the flow of his music. A total new approach to the fragrance world.
Lang Lang Fragrances at Galeries Lafayette Berlin no doubt surprised the market. Stay tuned!