Between the gorgeous print campaigns, decadent scents, and museum-worthy bottles, each of Anna Sui’s fragrances offer a peek into her whimsical world, but her latest perfume is allowing us to learn more about her than ever before.
La Nuit de Boheme, which just launched at beautylish.com, draws upon Sui’s signature bohemian aesthetic and is the next best thing to taking a spur-of-the moment trip with the designer, with certain aspects taken from her love of travel. “I’ve traveled to Morocco a few times, and one of the things I love is the scent you smell when you go through the spice market. Last time I was there, I bought a whole bag of amber,” Sui tells InStyle.com. “I have it in a container at my apartment now, and every time I walk past it, it reminds me of Morocco. A lot of the ingredients evoke that, too, and remind me of the different places I’ve been.”
The fragrance starts out sweet with a blend of blackberry, nesberry, lemon, and gets a floral twist with a heart of purple lotus, rose, and golden oud. Its base of Moroccan suede and patchouli balances the sweeter elements. “It’s quite an exotic mix, and I think it’s a more global fragrance because in the past, we’ve kept the scents lighter and casual, which the younger crowd tends to like,” Sui says. Case in point: Its subtle La Vie de Boheme counterpart ($78; beautylish.com), which is more of a classic fruity-floral scent with notes of pear, rose, and peony. “La Nuit de Boheme is more dressy, and it still caters to that same bohemian woman, but she wants to be a little more dramatic by evoking glamour and sensuality.”
This scent also marks the first time Sui used a piece from her own collection as a reference point. “Sui Dreams, Sui Love, and Flight of Fancy were more aspirational, but we used the gold dress from the spring/summer ’14 collection as a starting point—the campaign even features the same crown and jewelry we paired it with for the runway,” say Sui, noting the dress above in her showroom. “That show in particular was inspired by pre-Raphaelite painters, but very art nouveau in feeling, so it was a natural progression from that bohemian woman in a field of flowers to a fairy tale–like woman from Arabian Nights, or Scheherazade.”
The bottle is appropriately decked out in gold, and bears two more of Sui’s trademarks in its shape—a carved rose and a butterfly. “Butterflies are kind of a symbol for us. We’ve used it in our pieces, and even in my store, there are butterflies everywhere, and roses are my favorite flower,” she says. “We wanted this fragrance to embody my world, which has so many aspects. I’ve used fairy tales so many times as references, I’ve traveled extensively in the Middle East and love visiting the old palaces in Turkey, so it’s a mixture of all the things I find so inspiring.” Find La Nuit de Boheme for $65 at beautylish.com now, and at Anna Sui and Nordstrom stores starting this fall!