Christopher Chong, Creative Director of Amouage

Heya Posse Peeps! Portia from AustralianPerfumeJunkies with you again from Sydney, Australia! Yesterday Ainslie Walker and I were invited to meet Christopher Chong on his whistle stop tour of Australia. For those that have been living in boxes and under rocks Christopher Chong is the Creative Director of the Amouage line of fragrances and has been firmly ensconced there since Reflection, released in 2007, and the major rebranding that has taken place since. In fact you can credit Mr Chong with making Amouage a household name among more than a select few perfumistas and the Middle East/Asia.

Christopher Chong, Creative Director of Amouage

What was I expecting from Christopher Chong? In my mind he was going to be petite, quiet, introverted and aloof, super clever and probably a little arrogant. I expect greatness and achievement to feel like being in the presence of a higher being.

Christopher Chong Sydney 2014 #5

Well, I was wrong on almost all counts. Christopher is tall and willowy, friendly, warm, mischievous, loud (but not overbearing), funny, clever, radiant, silly and NAUGHTY!! He was so charming and so excited to tell us the story of his fragrances, his beloved pets and to chat about our mutual friends that we were fast and firm friends in moments. Our very own Musette helped Mr Chong get through the agony of losing his King Charles Cavalier (that pooch has been the source of much inspiration), he studied French in London with Neela Vermeire (Back when he was a foetus and Neela a toddler) and we chatted happily and lovingly about the UK Bloggeratti. It was like old home week.

Christopher Chong Sydney 2014 #6
Laughter and silliness ensued and our 30 minutes allotted stretched out to an hour and a half. Poor man, we made him tell us the whole story of his Amouage journey and how he came up with the magic for each fragrance. A roller coaster ride to say the least. In the end we were even cheeky enough to make him sign our gift sets with foul language and innuendo. HEAVEN!!

Christopher Chong Sunshine Amouage FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Artemisia, black currant, almond
Heart: Osmanthus, jasmine, magnolia, vanilla
Base: Juniper, patchouli, papyrus, white tobacco.

We were among the first in the world to try Sunshine, the newest fragrance from Amouage and a thrilling new chapter in their evolution. Christopher was quick to point out that he had reverse engineered this fun fruity macaroon of a scent from the offerings in Department Stores and Mass Market fragrance but he wanted to do it better and fill what is often super sweet, sickly dross with the ultimate in ingredients making it transcend the genre and putting a smile on the face of almost everyone who tries it (there will be haters). Smile? Yep, I was swept away on the wonderful honest appraisal of what this new scent and direction could mean for lovers of Amouage and a whole new slew of devoted adherents that I’m sure the joyous range will bring.

Christopher Chong was so much more than I ever dreamed but then how else could he produce such incredible fragrances? Next time he’s in Sydney we are going to get him to sing at the Sydney Opera House.

Which is your favourite Amouage and why?

Portia xx

Christopher Chong Sydney 2014 #2

  • Tara C says:

    That note was priceless and I could hear your voice and your laughter while reading it! Lucky you! I have so many Amouage loves: Gold, Dia, Ubar, Lyric, Epic, Memoir, Interlude, Jubilation, Memoir, Fate, Beloved, Homage, Tribute – total fan girl. Can’t wait to smell sunshine!

  • Tiffanie says:

    I have been both intimidated and awed by Amouage fragrances. Not intimated anymore! Thanks for your fun and funny writing. I love your voice.

    I’ve never worn Amouage, but I’ve loved each one I’ve smelled on someone else. My favorite is Journey Woman because it reminds me of a beautiful friend who wears it.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Tiffanie,
      Totally get why you’d be intimidated by the line. They look like a VERY serious perfumistas choice in their King & Queen Chess Piece bottles.
      Don’t be afraid, they will caress you in unfamiliar places but you’ll probably be grateful.
      Portia xx

  • Dubaiscents says:

    Oh Portia, I just knew you would get along so perfectly with Christopher! I am so totally getting my next bottle signed like yours :-). I’m not going to be able to pick one favorite scent from the line but, I will agree that Sunshine is a scent to make you smile and I adore the gorgeous packaging!

  • That sound like a lot of fun. I laughed out loud when I saw the pic of the note. 😀 There are so many Amouages I haven’t tried. I’ve tried Jubilation, Memoir, Gold and Lyric (all the women’s), and Tribute attar. The only one that wasn’t quite my thing was Gold, though I think I’m more ok with aldehydes than I was when I tried it, so I need to revisit.

  • Neva says:

    This was the demystification of Mr. Chong! Now he feels like a friend, not like a superbeing creating superscents. Thanks a lot for this post.
    I loved Amouage from the first sniff and so far I own only testers. My favourites (of the ones I’ve tried so far) are Epic, Beloved and Opus I. Each and every one of Amouage scents feels classy and elegant and they last for hours, just like perfume in the good old days…

    • Portia says:

      OMG Neva,
      We were saying EXACTLY that the other day. The Amouage range is like stepping back to a time when they remembered how to make fragrance. You’ve hit the nail on the head.
      And Mr Christopher Chong is both a friend and a superbeing creating superscents. Like Superman or Wonder Woman, living a duel life.
      Portia xx

  • AnnaT says:

    Great post! Wish he would come to Finland too but I suppose we buy even less Amouage than the Aussies:p I try my best, though!

    My favourites are womens Epic, Lyric and Fate and Homage, and I just love the Honour and Lyric shower gels! At the moment I am trying to resist the temptation to call the London boutique and ask whether they ship to Finland. I need me some sunshine, now!!!

    • Portia says:

      Oh that Sunshine is a treat AnnaT,
      The shower gels are great too. I just finished a Dia. Next I think is Jubilation 25, packed away till we move now though. I’m missing it.
      Portia xx

  • Amarah says:

    Oh Portia you haad an absolute ball with Mr Chong and you are indeed one lucky duck!! Now I see why Mr Chong told me today that you were a very naughty one and that you made him naughty things LOL

    My favourite House is Amouage so I am a huge fan! One of my favourites is Beloved. I really loved reading this piece Portia, it just made my day even better! Xxoo

    • Portia says:

      Amarah, WE are lucky ducks. Didn’t he call you and chat? How stunning of him.
      Amouage is in my Top 5 Houses, up near the top.
      He He he, yes we were two VERY naughty boys with dirty mouths and minds. He had us all in stitches.
      Portia xx

  • Tara says:

    Portia, I bet you got on like a house on fire. I almost emailed you to get more goss on this meet-up so I’m glad you’ve written it up. Although I’m guessing there’s A LOT more you can’t publish, ha ha.

    Big hug x

    • Portia says:

      Tara! You know me SO WELL.
      Yes, we covered quite a bit of unprintable ground. There were a couple of moments when Christopher was so embarrassed by what he had to say that he had to whisper it to me so Ainslie and the PR girls couldn’t hear it. It was a wonderful, naughty afternoon and I will treasure it. Even writing these comments I am smiling at the memory.
      I am one Lucky Duck.
      Portia xx

  • MikasMinion says:

    All of what Lisa D. said above. Looks like you had a great time and I am so jealous! My favorite is Lyric Woman and not only is it my favorite Amouage, it is one of my all time favorite comfortable scents.

    • Portia says:

      MikasMinion,
      I find Lyric Man fits that exact spot for me. A really lovely, comfortable fragrance that I can spritz and go with, lasts for ages and changes enough that I keep getting wafts of something different through the wear. MMMMMMM Think I’ll wear it today.
      Portia xx

  • Lisa D says:

    Wow. It’s a perfumista’s dream come true (second only to the one in which I find that my perfume cabinet suddenly bears a remarkable resemblance to Donatella Versace’s – you know the one I’m talking about, or maybe that other dream in which I inexplicably find several Gobin-Daude scents in a forgotten back bin at T.J. Maxx). Portia, so happy that you had such a grand time with Christopher Chong, and that he turned out to be such a cool cat!

    • Portia says:

      Cool Cat. LisaD, you have completely nailed him. That is exactly what Christopher Chong is, a Cool Cat!
      Excellent.
      I will tell him you have him covered.
      Portia xx

  • Audrey says:

    I mean I tried tribute attar!

  • wefadetogray says:

    I think that man is sexy. Can I just say that? My favorite Amouage is Gold Woman <3 His signature as the foetus was hilarious. It seems it was a wonderful encounter. Lucky you, Portia.

    • Portia says:

      Hey There WeFadeToGray,
      I know! So funny! and yes dead sexy. Any man who looks so well put together, is so well read and traveled and can have me laughing from the minute we met him is definite husband material. Or best friend; barring romantic entanglements. I really enjoyed my time with Christopher and can’t wait to catch up with him again.
      Gold Woman!!! I am so a fan too. Shower Gel, Body Lotion, EdP and Extrait! All in my collection. LOVE IT!
      Portia xx

  • Janice says:

    What fun—I’m joining all those who are jealous of your meeting! I’ve fallen for several Amouages but one of my all-time favorite desert-island perfumes is Lyric Woman. And my latest purchase is Journey Woman, which is wonderful in a completely different way.

    • Portia says:

      Hey there Janice,
      It was TOTALLY fun. Journey Woman, the Silk Road story in fragrance is one of my new favourites too.
      Portia xx

  • Kandice says:

    I know this sounds like sacrilege, but I haven’t had good luck with the ones I’ve tried. But Mr. Chong sounds like such a fun and bright person I may have to try again. The reviews of Sunshine sound lovely so maybe I’ll start there. Wish I’d been there for your amazing time. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Portia says:

      Hi Kandice,
      Always so nice to see your name pop up.
      If you haven’t had any lick with Amouage then Sunshine could well be your gateway. A whole new chapter in the Amouage line aimed exactly at YOU. Anyone who found the previous fragrances too heavy, loud, unsuitable will be happily surprised I think.
      Portia xx

  • Audrey says:

    I tried lyric attar from a swap, love it. Wish I could get some more. Is it the same a Lyric?

    • Portia says:

      WOW! I am not sure but I think they probably are the same. You are very lucky. I kept myself away from the Attars because they would send me to the poor house. Smelling lovely but living in a cardboard box is NOT my idea of a good time.
      Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    Oh, honeypie. I envy you. EnVY! It sounds like a wonderful meeting! and I LOVE the message! I live in Amouage, as you know (in fact, whenever I am bemoaning my fate, I laugh because usually, as I am Bemoaning My Fate I am slathering on some gorgeous Amouage creme or spritzing some insanely beautiful Amouage fragrance. My 3 go-to scents: Gold, in all its iterations. Lyric (ditto). Jub25 (double-ditto). FateW. Beloved. My bathroom currently smells like the gorgeous Epic (which, in extremely cold weather, is sublime). Tribute. Homage attar.

    That’s three. At least it is on my planet 😉

    xoxoxoA

    Crap.

    • Portia says:

      Musette,
      YOU need to meet this wonderful man. I know you’re cyber buddies but I know you two will be crazy fun together. OMG! It would be super fun to have you two in the same room. One day I’m going to make that happen.
      Portia xx

  • Ann says:

    Wow, Portia! How cool is it that you got to spend some time with Mssr. Chong, and that he was such a great guy! Can’t wait to try Sunshine. Early on, many Amouages just didn’t agree with me, but over time I’ve come to love Memoir Woman, Lyric, Ubar, Gold, Beloved Woman (but dabbed only) and the crazy thrill ride (on my skin) that is Interlude. Ooops, way too many, but what can you do? 🙂

  • Pklagrange says:

    My favorite changes – for years it was Epic, but now a tie between Lyric and Jubilation. I also adore Opus IV. I always feel so elegant wearing these fragrances.

    • Portia says:

      Elegant is a great way to describe the elation of wearing an Amouage Pklagrange, like you can walk slow motion through a room, turning heads as you pass.
      Portia xx

  • Stefan says:

    Hi portia i am so jealous. I am also a big fan of him and the Brand Amouage . It is hard to pick 1 favourite because i adore all of them . But if i must pick it will be epic journey and beloved for man . My favourite women is memoir and epic.

    • Portia says:

      Hi there Stefan,
      You pick lovely fragrances from the range. Jealous? Yes, I think this is one time where the green eyed monster is the right feeling. It was an amazing afternoon. I am still pinching myself that it all happened.
      Portia xx

  • Tatiana says:

    OMgosh! I am a tad bit jealous! It’s nice to know that creative genius can also be fun and approachable. I would have begged him to bring back the attars. My favorite Amouage scents are Lyric and Jubilation. I also love the strange, wonderful ride that Memoir is on my skin.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Tatiana,
      Sadly I read recently that the Attars are not IFRA legal, nor are many of their ingredients available in the quantities or quality necessary. It’s all very sad.
      Portia x

  • solanace says:

    Hey Portia,

    This is so cool! I’m an Amouage fan girl, because I think this is a house that expresses what is positive about our own times: access to international travel for more people, cosmopolitism, sustainable and fair production of beautiful materials… Why cry about greedy corporations and over the death of Jolie Madame when we have Amouage? Yes, they are expensive, but they are worth it. Now, to pick a favorite is hard, so I’ll cheat and pick three: Gold, Epic and Beloved. Still waiting to try Fate, so curious about that one.

    • Portia says:

      Hiya Solanace,
      Three is a goodly number. Yes, they do seem to be doing all the right things and I LOVE that Christopher came to Australia even though we buy so little of his wonderful creations compared to many other countries.
      Portia xx

  • Tarleisio says:

    Ubar, Memoir, Fate, Opus VI & VII… and whenever I feel blue, I haul out a card someone sent me with the words “You are EPIC in every way!” – and reach for Epic. (This always, always works!) 😉 I have no words for just how much I adore Amouage!

  • Jennie says:

    Hi Portia, sounds like you had a ball!

    I have (and love) Dia and Gold. Dia was the first OMG-this-is-a-niche-and-absolutely-luxe fragrance that I was introduced to, and I snapped it up. Subsequently I picked up Gold.

    I wear one or the other on the (very few) occasions when I get to go to a super up-market soiree – Dia for day and Gold for night.