Adding to his namesake line of six fragrances, publishing and art aficionado-cum-perfume extraordinaire, Ulrich Lang is ringing in his latest scent just in time for the new season.

A keen traveller, who lives a double life between the bliss of Southern Germany and the bustle of New York City, Ulrich’s new concoction takes its inspiration from Shanghai; specifically, from the Guangqi Garden at 17 Nandan Road, where Osmanthus (the perfume’s key peachy ingredient) blooms in October. 

The result of a collaboration with Chinese author and poet, Song Yuan, the fragrance is visually interpreted as a dizzying visual of blooms – equally in line with Ulrich’s long-lasting love affair with contemporary art. To learn more, we met the multi-faceted fragrance maestro on his recent trip to London.

Fragrance and art aren’t the most obvious of partnerships… How did you become interested in the latter?
From an early age, I was going along to Art Basel in Switzerland – my mother dragged me there! It trained my visual perception and my eye. Early on, I was drawn to photography in particular; it is much more immediate and, to me, contemporary. 

What does your personal collection look like?
I used to work at Back then, I began collecting pieces from the artists who I personally liked. It’s a similar way to how we approach the artists for the sleeves of our packaging; a lot of them are personal relationships, because I spent a lot of time in the contemporary art world.

In terms of my favourite pieces in my personal collection, I have a very blurry photograph of Times Square taken by Jack Pierson in 1997, which hangs in my place in Greenwich Village. Then, in Germany, I have a photograph of a girl called Sabrina by Roe Ethridge from 2000, along with the cover of Isolated Heroes by Raf Simons and David Sims from 1999.

How do you go about partnering an artist with a fragrance?
Whenever I work on a new scent, in terms of photography, I’ll bring in somebody new each time. It’s usually people whose work I would also collect and really admire. However, in terms of fragrance development, I’m very loyal to specific people. 

Once we have an ingredient in place, I can already think about where the image is going to go… If, for example, we do a scent that’s very sensual and fragile, we’re automatically drawn to a certain photography school.

What does your dual perspective of life on both sides of ‘The Pond’ offer you?
I love the hustle and bustle of New York, but it can also be very private if you want it to be… You can be anonymous in a big city like New York. This does also go for the South of Germany, but in a different way. You can choose to be anonymous, or to go out to the local markets where everybody knows you! 

It’s very different, but I like both aspects. I get to read books in the South of Germany, which I never do in New York, because there’s too much confusion and distraction. I love spending a couple of weeks at a time in each location before switching again.

Get to know the wider Ulrich Lang New York range, here:

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