Olfactive memory is the sumptuous intertwining of scent and a moment in time that lasts forever in the mind. Yet, as many can attest, it’s nearly impossible to describe. Finding the words to encapsulate an aroma is not a task easily handled, and replicating it is perhaps even more ambitious. However, when the right minds and concoctions come together, the intangible can be recreated and is more than worthy of a celebration – such is the case for Ex Nihilo’s ‘Cuir Celeste’, a new perfume inspired by French photographer Mathieu César’s vintage B3 bomber jacket.
Inside the intimate setting of the ‘Chef’s Table’ at La Serre, at a private luncheon hosted by Savoir Flair, a collective of Dubai’s elite gathered to experience the fragrant masterpiece, one that takes the idea of bespoke luxury to new heights. ‘Cuir Celeste’ is the merging of past and future, all within the tangible encasing of an elegant perfume bottle. When it came to replicating the scent of the iconic jacket, deep notes and distinct florals were employed. Its top notes comprise of rich galbanum, black pepper, and violet leaves, while the heart merges ambrette with osmanthus. As for the base? A full-bodied patchouli, cypriol, akigalawood, musk, and leather – all olfactory puzzle pieces that, when put together, create a luxe aromatic jacket fit for any individual lucky enough to wear it.
La Serre, the iconic French restaurant at Vida Hotel, played a fitting home for the Parisian perfumery’s festivities, especially as dishes from the chef’s beloved repertoire were served. Guests included Anum Bashir, Zeina El-Dana, Rosemin Manji, Elissa Freiha, Rania Masri, and – of course – Ex Nihilo founder Benoit Verdier, all of whom enjoyed delicacies that ranged from Provençale-style squid to lobster linguini and apple tarte tatin. At the center of the ‘Chef’s Table’ were beautifully arranged flowers from Plaisir alongside a selection Ex Nihilo perfumes for guests to play and experiment with. Browse the gallery, below, for an intimate look.