Born from a love of storytelling, Vilhelm Parfumerie is the brainchild of Jan Vilhelm Ahlgren, a Swedish born creative who now calls Paris home. Ahlgren faithfully pursues luxury in all things — leather goods, photography and now perfume — so it’s no surprise that his line of personal scents is steeped in opulence. From the hefty spun glass bottles to the bright saffron yellow labels that hold each scents moniker, each bottle of perfume is a captivating work of art before you even take a whiff.
The newest scent from the innovative fragrance house, Chicago High Eau De Parfum, is now available at Smallflower. As a Chicago fragrance destination and centuries old institution in the city, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to take a deeper dive into the flashy, fast-paced world of this 1920s-inspired scent.
Read on to discover Jan Vilhelm’s musings on the inspiration for the scent, why he chose Chicago to represent this fragrance and more.
Smallflower: What is the origin story and inspiration behind Chicago High?
Jan Vilhelm Ahlgren: I have always found the 1920s to be a very fascinating era, worthy of a unique fragrance. For me what comes to my mind is the City of Chicago and the character Jay Gatsby in New York. This fragrance is structured like a fragrance from the 1920’s.
SF: Tell us about the fragrance notes. Why did you choose them and how do they play off of each other?
JVA: The notes in this fragrance are champagne, pineapple, bergamot, honey tobacco, leather, patchouli and amber. These specific notes were chosen based on an imagined scent found at a 1920s party.
SF: What is it about the Roaring 20s that inspires you?
JVA: For me the roaring 20’s were a moment in time when everything seemed possible. Back then, the design and quality was impeccable. I just love the esthetic energy and spirit.
SF: What occasions are best suited for wearing this fragrance?
JVA: I personally think it works for any occasion. I think the fragrance could be best suited for a cocktail event, or any event with a long dress or a tuxedo. Of course though, you could also wear it if you are just heading off to a casual gathering but want to add some extra flair and luxury.
SF: Why did you choose to associate Chicago with this fragrance, as opposed to another big city?
JVA: I choose to associate this fragrance with Chicago due to the history of the city in the 1920s. Chicago really was the city on the front page with so many stories and myths — and of course the beautiful art deco buildings that came to life during this time.
SF: As a historic fragrance destination in Chicago, we’re proud to be carrying this fragrance. What scents do you consider to be synonymous with Chicago?
JVA: Chicago, for me, brings to mind champagne and tobacco. That’s why they are also key ingredients in the fragrance.
Shop Chicago High Eau De Parfum at Smallflower.com →