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Sweet bouquets of Shanghai for Expo perfumes

2009. 12 July

by Yang Jian
( The Expo mood can be felt across the city as the 2010 Shanghai event gets closer, but now it has a couple of beautiful fragrances.

The French Expo team recently created a perfume especially for Shanghai Expo, while a Japanese Expo sponsor also released an Expo-themed fragrance. With both to be sold in the city soon, people can expected to enjoy an "Exposition for the Nose" ahead of the 2010 event.

The unique perfume from France has a bottle copying the shape of the France Pavilion at Expo, being wrapped in mesh just the same as the huge mesh wrapping on the pavilion. It is also named after the pavilion - L'Eau de Parfum Pavillon France.

The perfume from Japan, developed by its cosmetic giant Shiseido, has a beautiful white magnolia petal on its cover. It has been called "Shanghai Bouquet."

The pavilion-shape and flower-like bottle have one thing in common, they promote the aroma of the white magnolia - known as flower of Shanghai which has long represented the cosmopolis.

The France Pavilion perfume, one for men and one for women, blends several other aromas. Ylang-ylang, jasmine, plumeria rubra, peony, lilac, rose and musk were included for women, to represent "irresistible charm," while cardamom, mandarine, lotus, patchouli and sandal were used for men to reflect persistence and strength.

The smell is fresh and elegant, said Franck Serrano, a media official for the pavilion. It's all about Shanghai, as the smell comes from Shanghai and its signature flower, he said.

The Expo team spent 18 months creating the perfume, and some Chinese people have been invited to test it.

The French team hoped people will be eager to visit the France Pavilion after smelling the perfume, said Jose Freches, president of the organizers. He said a perfume is a universal language to reflect people's feelings and impressions.

The France Pavilion, dubbed "The Sensual City," will showcase the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and feelings of France. The 6,000-square-meter pavilion on the Huangpu River will feature a large garden and water pool in the center of the structure, as well as water outside. The square building, its walls covered by plants, will appear to be floating in water.

Smell will be an important part of the pavilion. Visitors will whiff roses in the "Palace of Versailles" and cream rolls in the French cafes. The pavilion will make visitors "travel with their senses," said Serrano.

The perfumes will go on sale in China in September, priced between 80 yuan (US$11.73) and 90 yuan.

The perfume for Japan looks more Shanghai-style with its magnolia-shape bottle. The company designed two perfumes - one smelling fresh, representing modern Shanghai, while another is more dense, representing the old Shanghai.

The Japanese team considered many icons that could stand for the city in their design of the perfume, such as the city's longtang streets, Oriental Pearl Tower, Yuyuan Garden, Xintiandi and Nanjing Road E. They selected the white magnolia because the flower's beauty can bring the greatest "sensual pleasures," said Kamata Masashi, manager of Shiseido.

All the petals of the flower point upwards, symbolizing vitality and the Shanghai spirit. The flower is also an emblem of best wishes for a successful Shanghai Expo, Masashi said.

"We hope Expo visitors will remember Shanghai by the perfume after the 2010 event," he added.

The "Shanghai Bouquet" costs 150 yuan a bottle and can be purchased soon in the city's tourism spots and hotels.

Q: When did China first participate in the World Expo?

A: China's debut at the World Expo, originally the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, was in London in 1851.

Xu Rongcun, a Chinese businessman from Shanghai, joined in the first World Expo in London in 1851, winning the great award with his own brand "Yung Kee Silk", the medal and certificate still well preserved today.