Updated: Dec 19, 2020
Shanghai glamorous nightlife, an endless source of inspiration
Since the first half of the 20th century, Shanghai glamorous nightlife has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists of all kinds including perfumers!
In Lisa See's novel, Shanghai Girls (2009), the sisters May and Pearl describe the scent of the city by night: " We are young, we are beautiful, and we live in the Paris of Asia [...] we step into the Shanghai night [...] each block brings us the smells of death and decay, ginger and roast duck, French perfume and incense".
Shanghai has inspired countless films. The Goddess (1934), a striking contrast between the glorious Bund illuminated skyline and the tragic life of the heroine, played by the superstar Ruan Lingyu, wandering the streets in search of clients until dawn.
In a completely different style, Tom Cruise's night-time bungee jump from the China Bank Tower in Mission Impossible III (2006) takes us to 21st century Shanghai.
And when it comes to songs, how can we fail to mention Shanghai Nights magnificently interpreted by the iconic singer Zhou Xuan in 1949?
In the following chapter, I would like to share with you a short story I wrote in 2013. It is set in Shanghai old French Quarter and called Midnight Rendezvous. It inspired the creation of the fragrance Piège de Soie No1.
Founder of Façon Parfums
In the former French Quarter of Shanghai, the elegant lounge bar pulsates like a heart, neon colours swirling to the beat. The air breathes a scent of promise.
She knows I’m watching. Everyone is. She sits at a high table near the bar, her feline figure sheathed in black, tracing a finger through the droplets clinging to her glass. Empty space around her, a force field which invites and yet forbids. No one dares come near.
Lights dance across her face, caressing the cool white skin. Electric eyes, searching. The barest flicker of a smile hovers on her lips. She turns away, the red spike of her stiletto heel beckons as she crosses her legs.
In the mirror above the bar, our eyes lock. I feel the breeze of her carnal perfume. Who is she? The story begins….
Piège de Soie No1
A cocktail party at twilight,
A dangerous sensuality,
The fluidity of silk...
A sensual and elegant floriental fragrance. The movement starts with a carnal strawberry and cherry accord. A floral bouquet revolving around winter sweet, a rare and delicate Chinese winter flower, and English garden Heliotrope unfolds a fascinating and warm night atmosphere with hints of voluptuous vanilla and almond. An ambery balsamic accord adding a subtle silky and soft texture to the composition.