Red has always had a reputation for evoking the extremities of human emotions and — as a dominant shade on the colour wheel — inspiring feelings of sensuality, rage, power, royalty, love, and passion. It’s become synonymous with danger, such as the flapping red cape of a matador just before a bullfight or the red light of a robot signalling that you should stop. It’s been symbolic of natural wonders, such as the deep scarlet shade of a blood moon or the vast arid terrain of the Grand Canyon or Uluru (Ayers Rock).
It’s no wonder that in situations where a great deal of confidence is needed, red is always employed. When heads of state need to address a nation, they often turn to a red tie or dress to appear in control, powerful, and reassuring. In fashion, red has always been a way of punctuating a collection or making a revolutionary statement. The hue has appeared in the collections of many designers, including Valentino, Alexander McQueen, and Givenchy under the direction of Riccardo Tisci, who used “Givenchy Red”, a bold matte scarlet shade, as his powerful swansong before leaving the house in his ready-to-wear Autumn 2017 collection.
Narciso Rodriguez is a master of using monochrome tones to emphasise the clean architectural lines of his clothing. But one colour that’s always disrupted his pristine palette is red, which he likes to use to add a sense of emotion to his garments.
Whether it’s a sliver of the colour used in-between a linear pattern or a pair of red trousers jutting out from under a black coat — red brings in a rebellious streak. Rodriguez coined the phrase “Narciso Red” for the shade used in all his collections — a vibrant red with a tangerine undertone — and has now chosen to extend the impact of this red to his fragrances.
To complete the Narciso fragrance pillar —comprising Narciso EDP in pure white, Poudrée in romantic soft blush-pink, and Narciso EDT in ink black — Rodriguez tapped into the passion, raw sensuality, and power that red evokes. The juice of Narciso Rouge arouses familiarity with its signature heart of musk, as well as curiosity with its addictive combination of Bulgarian rose, cedar wood, amber, and tonka bean.
It took more than two years to create Narciso Rouge, and getting the juice right was just as important as perfecting the colour of the bottle. “When we create a new line, it takes almost three years from the first idea of the designer to the end consumer in the store. With Narciso Rouge, it was a long process, especially regarding the colour. It seems very simple, but this red colour is not easy, especially taking into consideration the alchemy between the juice and the painting of the colour inside of the bottle,” says Stéphane Goret Dervailly, the international marketing director for Narciso Rodriguez/Elie Saab/Alaïa fragrances. “So the tangerine red — it’s not a black red; it’s not a vermillion; it’s a specific Narciso red coming from his collection — that’s expressing passion. Now you see that red is blooming everywhere, which is great. Red is the new black.”
- From the October edition of Wanted magazine.