Shanghai Tang is a Hong Kong-based high end designer brand that has established a reputation for bringing traditional Chinese culture to the international market. I’m usually very averse to anything tacky, but Shanghai Tang has managed to tread that fine balance so well that I’ve been a fan of their apparel and accessories. I remember coveting a hand-tailored cheongsam (or qipao) for my wedding, only to find out the price was almost as much as my Vera Wang gown. Whilst not all of us can justify designer wear on a daily basis, fragrances are a good way to indulge. And of all the flacons that I’ve encountered, Shanghai Tang’s latest Fragrance Collection is the most stunning and luxurious of them all!
Shanghai Tang’s Fragrance Collection takes inspiration from the Silk Road, which was an old trading route between China and Europe. The collection pulls from the rich flora and cultures of the period, and translates into a modern re-interpretation that is exotic yet chic. Each bottle is painstakingly handcrafted, both the glass external as well as the ceramic ball centrepiece in each of the 5 women’s fragrances. The traditional Chinese emblem on the middle of the ceramic ball is made of gold foil leaf, and hand-applied by artisans. It is the symbol for longevity, and is also found on the top of the bottle cap.
There are 5 fragrances designed for women (although a couple of them feel like they would suit a gentleman well too), and each feature a different flower. Since this month we are celebrating the 50th Jubilee of Singapore’s independence, it is a happy coincidence that Shanghai Tang has featured our national flower – the Orchid – in 1 of these precious flacons.
Shanghai Tang Orchid Bloom is a lovely musky floral that wears well and does not overwhelm. It starts out with a slight burst of berries, which keeps the floral bouquet fresh and balances the musk delicately. That initial tart burst settles down within minutes, and melds into the skin to lend a creamy sweetness. The floral heart is accented by rose, but is rendered almost indistinguishable and unique by orchids. It is an elegant and chic, grown-up floral, neither overly girly nor old-fashioned. A base of musk and a touch of patchouli gives Orchid Bloom a warm, rounded base that feels whole.
And if you needed more cultural symbolism to bring Orchid Bloom alive, imagine the resilience and long-lasting nature of orchids. This flower variety has been around for over 80 million years, and is seen as a sign of strength and enduring love.
Shanghai Tang Fragrance Collection is now available in Takashimaya Level 1, and retails for SGD165 for 60ml.
This post featured a product that was provided for my consideration. Regardless, all opinions expressed here are my own honest, unbiased views.