“As I walk towards the plane, towards my next adventure, the toxic fumes of petrol burn my nostrils and begin to give me a headache; but it’s these scents that also make me giddy with excitement as well as making me nervous. I have learnt to associate the smell with a new journey that is waiting for me just around the corner. Boarding that initial flight to Singapore was no exception. I could almost feel the adrenaline running through my veins as I took my seat on the plane, I was ready to face this whole new world!
Kate Crofton-Atkins was inspired to launch Cochine when she left London and her job at L’Oreal and moved to Vietnam. Based in Saigon, she found herself so inspired by the city that she set out to design a range of fragrances that could capture Saigon’s unique charm.
Partnering with an international fragrance house, Kate spent time working with essential oils harvested from Vietnamese plants and trees in order to produce the perfect combination of scents to reflect Saigon’s intoxicating culture.
With Chinese New Year being celebrated shortly, I realize that after having spent three years in Asia, I am going to particularly miss the festivities this year…
Two years ago at this time of the year, I visited South Vietnam to discover the Mekong Delta. While the Tet was celebrated, the whole country was decorated with glittering yellow flowers. The Mekong River, said to be the busiest river in the world, was a serene tranquility… Groups of water hyacinths meandered aimlessly along following the current, the roar of our boat’s engine, which was hardly heard in the silence, yet broken from time to time by the drumming echo of the Unicorn dance.
Our olfactory journey continues at the crossroads of Laos, Thailand and Cambodia for a cruise over the Mekong River. Onboard a traditional junk on the mythical river border of Southeast Asia, Parfumerie Generale accompany us as we navigate through brown water in a sepia scenery. Between evanescent dawns and sun-drenched days, Indochine reveals a fragrance with spicy hints of cardamom and Kampot pepper, exhaled as a precious cargo in the bilge. While orange red sails are being hoisted, the precious Thanaka wood mixes with Laos honey and the finesse of Siamese benzoin. An oriental composition, resinous and woody, revealing the dull and misty colors of this singular atmosphere that floats on the ochre river.