Forced to pause at an intersection frenzied with passing motorbikes an early evening breeze tussles the hem of a woman’s ao dai, it’s soft silk contrasting the brick and metal skyscrapers looming above.
Drifting into the bustling city center from the humble suburbs, the wind carries a faint whisper of citrus and jasmine, traces of which catch in the women’s hair as it flutters beneath a non la; it’s a scene that encapsulates Saigon’s unique ability to be simultaneously modern and traditional. Saigon, one of three signature Miss Vietnam perfumes aims to capture this moment in the form of a scent. The Vietnamese fragrances, held in elegant Minh Long ceramic bottles, are a perfect way to gift this romantic imagining of the city.
For centuries, people have used aromatic oils, flowers, herbs and fruits to add an alluring scent to their presence. Since the 1400s, Europe has dominated the international market in producing perfumes and, as with other cosmetics, Vietnam relied heavily on foreign producers. In recent years, however, local companies have begun making and selling their own perfumes, with Saigon Cosmetic Corporation (SCC) helping to lead the way.
For their Miss Vietnam collection, which draws inspiration from three of the nation’s most alluring cities – Hanoi, Saigon and Hue – SCC worked with several high-profile French and European perfumers. To arrive on the Miss Saigon scent, they offered a few emblematic elements of the city: strolling through the old town’s romantically cramped streets, savoring sweet butter candy with a cup of warm tea on a cool afternoon, and admiring the traditional architecture at the Temple of Literature, Hanoi Citadel and One Pillar Pagoda. The brand then underwent a careful back and forth with the perfumers, adjusting the various floral notes that would most appeal to their intended customers: people with a profound connection to the city that want to take it with them wherever their travels may lead. The resulting fragrance is a delicate balance of bright citrus and lime with notes of jasmine, narcissus and patchouli. By contrast, the Hue fragrance features bergamot orange, lotus, rose and cedarwood, while Hanoi contains rose, violet and light musk.
The Miss Vietnam containers are as carefully designed as the aromas. Instead of conventional glass, the perfumes are held in Minh Long porcelain. The ceramics reflect centuries of traditional craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation. Similar to the perfumes, a Vietnamese fashion designer was asked to look to each of the three city’s streets for colors and clothing that embody their unique spirit. Therefore, the bottle for Saigon depicts a woman wearing an ao dai. The iconic garment’s green color and sleek cut represents the city’s forward-looking and international style compared to Hue’s more conservative purple version. The Hanoi bottle, on the other hand, features an ao tu than, a decidedly northern garment that predates the more famous ao dai, and is worn for both daily life and special occasions.
Since Miss Vietnam is often given as gifts, the packaging is an extremely important element. The minimalist boxes, designed by international specialist – Centdegres, featuring iconic images from each of the three cities. Hanoi’s depicts the lotus flowers that grow in peaceful ponds throughout the capital, while Hue features the bamboo trees that sprout around the Citadel and Saigon features the apricot trees that brighten city streets during Tet.
People tasked with giving souvenirs to loved ones hope to share what they find so special about the country and are drawn to Miss Vietnam’s quality and value as an item to both display and use every day. The Eau de parfum lasts for up to eight hours, allowing one to keep the unmistakable grace of Hanoi, Hue or Saigon with them for an entire evening. Available online, at Hoarient retail stores or elsewhere, they make for unique and elegant gifts to give to friends and family, or keep for oneself.
Phone Number: 0901221159
40 HANG TRONG, HOAN KIEM DISTRICT, Hanoi
LOTTE CENTER, 54 LIEU GIAI, Hanoi
90 MAC THI BUOI, DISTRICT 1, HCMC
LEVEL 1, LOTTE MART, 469 NGUYEN HUU THO, TAN HUNG WARD, DISTRICT 7, HCMC
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