The making of Wanted, Azzaro's new fragrance for men

The making of Wanted, Azzaro's new fragrance for men

Living on the edge

Text: Renée Batchelor

What's in a fragrance? It's not just the juice, the bottle and the face, but all three combining in the campaign to create an olfactory explosion of epic proportions

What does it mean to be wanted? Well, it has (mostly) positive connotations about desirability, attractiveness and a certain, undefinable cool. The newest men's fragrance from French fashion house Azzaro is the scent for the man who burns the candle of life at both ends, but still gets away with it. Translating this bold hedonism to a scent wasn't easy, but the resulting juice — a handsome woody fragrance soaked in spices — hits all the right spots. With a first impression of lemon and ginger, the scent has a heart of cardamom and prickly juniper and the quintessential masculine, almost muscular base of tonka bean and vetiver. But what's a Wanted man without a heart? The scent is also ecologically responsible, with three of its star ingredients — cardamom from Guatemala, vetiver from Haiti and tonka bean from Brazil — coming from sustainable farming sources, with the perfume creator Firmenich guaranteeing fair trade and respecting and preserving biodiversity.

To find out more about the juice, hear from the nose, Fabrice Pellegrin. A Frenchman from Grasse he has a special love from balms and spices which he expressed to magnificent effect in Azzaro Wanted.

Do you see Azzaro Wanted as a fragrance of desire?
Absolutely! The notion of desire and sensuality is at the heart of this scent. I should mention that it's a characteristic of my compositions, but the Azzaro Wanted project was built entirely on masculine attraction and a type of magnetism that we find in certain men.

What makes this fragrance so desirable?
There's a kind of ambiguity, a somewhat fascinating paradox between warm woody notes and cool spices. But I would say that desire arises mainly from the ginger (and its spicy-peppery-rosy smell). It's a key ingredient in this fragrance and its aphrodisiac symbolism.
Azzaro Wanted

What is the raw material that you have wanted to work with for years and that Azzaro Wanted reveals?
The first ingredient I had in mind for this project was cardamom. Generally speaking, this note is more feminine than masculine, and that's what interested me! The quality of this cardamom is simply exceptional; both bark and seeds were distilled, which is very rare. In it, we find citrus notes and a fresh, spicy facet. This cardamom conveys the feminine side we find in men, which is particularly seductive when it dares to express itself.

What is the olfactory form you have always looked for and finally found in Azzaro Wanted?
It's a different form that I would call 'hourglass-shaped'. The top notes are exceedingly generous (very sparkling), the middle note has a slender waist, and the base note is a bodybuilder, very 'textured' and very present.

What is the most sought-after quality of a perfumer?
Daring... but clearly it is easier to dare when you have had some recognition from successes. You must be daring in order to move forward! You must try original harmonies and look for raw materials that have never been used before.

More than just a pretty face, Serbo-Norwegian model Nikolaï Danielson was described by the brand as having the elite body of Channing Tatum, the casual charm of Ryan Gosling and the menacing beauty of Christian Grey. That's quite a combination. A former boxer and an athlete in real life, Danielson insisted on doing some of the stunts in the movie, such as drifting in a Ford Mustang — he even sent home his stunt double Yuriy Machogan home. The scene when Danielson dives from the top of a building into a swimming pool? That's also, rather impressively, him.

How would you describe the hero you play in the film?
He's a man's man, a real guy, the king, the man all men dream of becoming one day.

What did you find most exciting about the filming?
All the scenes were a lot of fun, each one in its own way. The scene with the car, for instance, was fantastic. Every guy dreams of driving a car like that, at least once in his life. I also enjoyed doing the more erotic scenes in the swimming pool and clubhouse — not bad at all (laughs)! Frankly, the role wasn't very hard to interpret. I even thought it was the coolest job I'd ever had in my entire career as a model. Driving a collector's car, kissing sublime women, wearing beautiful outfits signed by Azzaro... it's a dream come true! The life of a millionaire, a playboy and a gangster, all in one!

What was your reaction the first time you saw the Azzaro Wanted bottle?
I was really surprised! I found it very intriguing; it's a blend of rawness and super cool. I loved it. A film like the one we made deserves a bottle with such impact, so very luxurious and sophisticated.

What did you find particularly difficult to do during filming?
The scene that was shot underwater, with a suit and shoes on to boot — that was the hardest. I thought it would be easy because I had already done an underwater sequence before, but this time it was more difficult. I wanted to do the scene myself, but I was told that I had a double for the action scenes. I was very disappointed! Fortunately, I was finally able to do everything, from the diving scene to the car getaways.

What is your best memory of the filming?
Probably the film team! Days were long and intense (up to 18 hours). It was hot, and we all had to make sure we were efficient and not wasting time, but team spirit was really great, everybody was prepared. It was the best clip I've ever done! 

Forget boring flaçons, the Wanted bottle is intriguing as the scent and its leading man. Crafted almost like a piece of machinery, this weighty, cylindrical bottle is both intensely masculine and undeniably cool, with the gold Azzaro medallion, looking like a gold poker chip resting at the top. Talk about making a deep impact. Check out this video of the iconic fragrance as a piece of belle mécanique on film.