Each exploration of the aromatic traditions of ancient cultures gives rise to numerous ideas for perfume creation. There are many ways that one may go about evolving a concept for a perfume and for me it happens while exploring the different aromatic plants that have been loved and cherished by the people living in the ancient cultures in which they appeared.
The traditions that arose in ancient China were in the first instance influenced by the living plants and their aromas as they appeared through the seasons. The role of the natural world in the life of the Chinese people was deep and significant. The plants which they chose to reflect the moods of the seasons as well as their symbolic aesthetic, spiritual and mystical messages were relatively few in number but carried an immense impact.
As I studied a bit about the classical Chinese garden and viewed various images related to their design features including stone, water, architecture, plants etc I felt it would be a great delight to create a perfume that would help bring those images and poems to life. I felt it might help infuse life and vitality into a subject which was limited to material I could view over the internet. This is one of the great virtues of natural essences-that is that many of the plants that flourished hundreds and even thousands of years ago in a particular culture are even now being grown and in some cases their essences extracted. Their exquisite aromas act as a silent but effective means of transporting through time and space into cultures that are distant and different from our own. It is a simple and sweet way of linking ourselves with people who have gone before us. Flowers and their sublime perfumes though appreciated in unique ways in different times and places, carry with them a unifying message of beauty, simplicity and charm which appeals to everyone.
This perfume, Fragrant Cloud or Hsiang Yun, then is an attempt to capture some of the ancient aromatic beauty of the fragrances of the plants found in traditional Chinese gardens.