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Zambesi launches first perfume with deep, enigmatic scent


Zambesi perfume
New Zealand fashion label Zambesi is launching its very first fragrance.

With a 44-year history in the New Zealand fashion industry, it’s rare to find areas the edgy label hasn’t delved into before, but the new Eau de Parfum is one of them.

Called 1979, a nod to the year the brand was established by Elisabeth and Neville Findlay, the new fragrance seeks to capture the essence of the directional and multi-layered style Zambesi is known for.

Fittingly, given the brand has long worked its inventive tailoring and use of print across both women’s and menswear collections, the new eau de perfume is genderless, intended for anyone to wear. 

The team at Zambesi worked in collaboration with New Zealand-based fragrance house The Virtue to create the perfume, made using fragrance exclusively sourced from Grasse, France, and housed in a square glass bottle with a very Zambesi-esque black lid.

The eau de parfum is a blend of essential oils, botanical extracts and 100% cruelty-free and ethically-derived ingredients.

So what does it smell like?  The scent exudes a darkness with a warm, earthy depth, balancing top notes of bitter almond and bergamot, heart notes of patchouli and vanilla, and base notes of vetiver and leather.

“More than a fragrance, 1979 is another textural layer to the Zambesi story,” says Zambesi founder and designer Elisabeth Findlay.

“It translates how we feel, how we see, how we think.  I love how emotionally connected we can be to a scent: the memories it conjures, the moments it sparks, and I hope Zambesi 1979 will become part of its wearer’s story.”

  • 1979 Eau De Parfum , $275, will be available from December 7 from Zambesi stores, online and at selected stockists.


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