It takes patience and determination to find it, millimetric precision to extract it, and knowledge and ingenuity to cut it and bring out its luster and violet color. To obtain and to sculpt amethyst perfectly, one of the most treasured varieties of quartz, one must embark on a long, arduous and painstaking process. ‘Only through such a process can amethyst be elevated to the status of jewels and transformed into objects of desire’, says Carolina A. Herrera, who in 2021 has encapsulated the hard work behind this gem into the newest unisex fragrance of the Confidential family, Amethyst Haze, which complements the four existing perfumes in the Herrera Gems line: Sandal Ruby, Saffron Lazuli, Emerald Musk and Iris Empire.
PARIS, France – For the Carolina Herrera Beauty Creative Director, the value of amethysts is definite precisely by the workmanship they entail, which is as demanding as the creation of House fragrances. This analogy reflects the search for the highest quality raw materials, and their careful extraction. Creating Herrera Confidential perfumes involves sustainable, hand – on methods to ensure that harvesting techniques do not affect the petals, leaves, fruits, resins or seeds required for each formulation, while preserving all their nuances. Achieving a perfect amethyst is an equally complex operation that only succeeds when the stone is carefully separated from the agates and igneous rocks which surround it, or from the geodes where it often flourishes. This must be done with the utmost delicacy, so that the stone does not break and its purple splendor does not fade.
Once this first step has been completed, experience plays a crucial role, because it takes many years to master the difficult art of amethyst cutting and polishing. An average of 50 hours is required to cut this stone by hand – either accentuating its original shape or exploring unusual silhouettes – while the polishing process can take up to 500 hours with one goal: allowing the amethyst to come to life on its own and creating maximum impact. In the fragrance world, it is equally difficult to get good results without the right expertise, no matter how precious the raw materials are. There must be a vision. A skilled and experienced perfumer must master the olfactive notes with enough talent to redefine classic facets or dive into the lesser known ones. A huge number of prototypes are produced, tested and talked about for months to analyze how they develop on the skin. Then come the adjustments, the corrections, a process that, identical to what happens with amethysts, focuses on maximizing impact’, explains Carolina A. Herrera. ‘For us, creating a perfume with a powerful sillage is the very thing that drives us, from day one, to work long and hard to get the job done’.
Exploring The Formula
Innate to us all, creativity can always be stimulated so it blossoms to its full potential. This was the starting point for perfumers Veronique Nyberg and Alex Lee (MANE) to develop the new Amethyst Haze fragrance, following the contrasting notes common to each of the fragrances in the Confidential family. The juice of this Chypre – Oriental fragrance juxtaposes three soothing accords – Cashmere Wood, Lavender and Cardamom – with four stimulating ones – Vanilla, Patchouli, Coffee and Pink Pepper. Combined in one bottle, these notes create a haze, a deep and intoxicating halo. A scent that fully explores the creative process.
Base notes: addictive Vanilla Bourbon, one of the most precious and sophisticated ingredients in contemporary perfumery, is intertwined with Patchouli essential oil, its persistence reinforced by a cocooning Cashmere Wood accord.
Heart notes: high concentration Coffee notes give a warm and energetic twist to the fresh and balsamic ingredient that structures the fragrance: the purple Lavender flower, grown and hand – picked in Provence, in the South of France, with the savoir faire of many generations. This extraordinary and pure variety of lavender allows the formula to breath and expand without losing its intensity.
Top notes: calm and impactful. Cardamom husks, dried for months in the sun, offer a pleasing final result while Pink Pepper berries add depth with their sharp and spicy facets, necessary qualities for an idea to appeal at first sight.