Alain Delon: A Life Devoted to Quality
Alain Delon is an actor of French and Swiss extraction. By the time he was 23 years old, he was already gaining a name among famous French actors, and even American actors of his time, such as James Dean. There were even some who called him the male version of Brigitte Bardot. Throughout his distinguished career, he has worked with a number of great directors and won numerous awards. Now he has lent his name to a line of fragrances which capture the style and quality of his great works.
The Life and Times of Alain Delon
Alain Delon was born in the town of Sceaux in 1935 to Edith and Fabien Delon. They were not together for long after his birth, and their marriage was dissolved when he was only four years of age. He was given into the care of another family until he was old enough to attend a Catholic boarding school – the first of several, due to his behavior. He was expelled from a number of these schools, yet showed a real talent for religious studies, to the point where some asked him to consider becoming a priest.
Not feeling called to that, the young Alain Delon instead went to work at his stepfather’s butcher shop at the age of 14. Once he was 17, he joined the French Navy, and was sent to Indochina during the First Indochina War. Even there, he didn’t quite fit in to the lifestyle expected of a sailor, spending nearly a year out of his four years of service in the brig for a lack of discipline. In the end, he was dishonorably discharged from the navy.
At a loss for what to do with his life, he took whatever job he could find, working as a secretary, a sales clerk, a porter, and other odd jobs. It was during this time in his life that he met an actress, Brigitte Auber. He traveled with her to the Cannes Film Festival, where he would find his true calling as an actor.
Delon was noticed by an American talent scout who gave him a screen test, then offered Delon a job – if he would learn English. Eager to try this new career, he returned immediately to Paris to study English, but the French director Yves Allegret also noticed this young man and convinced him to stay in France and make French movies. Alain Delon’s first film was When The Woman Butts In. His biggest early success came when he appeared in the film Three Murderesses, which was also shown in America. From there, his career really took off, and he would go on to make 82 movies with some of the greatest directors of his time.
The Sophistication of French Cinema – in a Bottle
As with his movie career, Alain Delon entered the fragrance business with his own unique style. When the opportunity came, he was quick to create a line of perfumes which eventually became a full label. And as with his acting, he only offered his very best when it came to these products.
The first fragrance with the Alain Delon name came out in 1978, simply called “AD”. Just like his movies, it was a huge success. A few years later, a women’s fragrance joined it – Le Temps d’Aimer. This scent is topped by aldehydes, peach, green notes, with leather, coconut, civit, patchouli, and other natural tones at its base, giving it a balance of sweet and wild.
Named after one of Delon’s movies, Samourai Woman is a 21st century fragrance, launched in 2001. A mix of nutmeg, bergamot, cardamom, spices, incense, magnolia, ylang-ylang, and other notes gives it a fresh and spicy warmth.
For men, there is the classic AD. While it contains such florals as juniper, carnation, and geranium, it is woody, rather than spicy, made firmly masculine with notes of pine tree, cedar, and oakmoss. It is sweet and sensitive, but without sacrificing strength and a certain masculine sensuality.
Another male scent from Alain Delon is Iquitos, which debuted in 1987. This luxurious scent is a distinctly wood aroma, with sandalwood, oakmoss, cedar, and musk at its base. Yet there is a certain seductive sweetness added with notes of vanilla, coconut, rose, lily, and even a touch of mandarin orange and lemon. This is definitely a fragrance for a romantic evening.
Alain Delon’s label did not just stop with perfumes. He went on to oversee the development of clothing, stationary, watches, and even cigarettes under his name. His sunglasses became particularly popular when they were worn by Chow Yun-Fat in the Hong Kong classic A Better Tomorrow. The direct of the Better Tomorrow movies, John Woo, even cites Delon as one of his inspirations.
According to Alain Delon himself, everything in live is just taking advantage of circumstances. He has certainly made the best of his, and those who love bold and unique fragrances (not to mention films) are the better for it.