Fragrance Q&A with designer Christopher Bates

Fragrance Q&A with designer Christopher Bates

Canadian fashion designer Christopher Bates recently transplanted himself to Milan; from there he will grow his menswear label, a label known for its contemporary tailoring and bespoke details. Milan, the city where Bates trained, is, after all, an international fashion capital, but it’s also a city known to appreciate fragrance. (It is Italy of course!) What better reason to conduct a fragrance Q&A with the aspiring designer, who’s label is now sold at Holt Renfrew, Gotstyle and online with Gilt, about scent and style.

THE WHALE & THE ROSE: What is your favourite scent memory of childhood?
CHRISTOPHER BATES: The smell of the air in Vancouver in the summer in the evening. It’s beautifully intoxicating.

Q: What was the first fragrance you bought yourself and why did you buy it?
BATES: My first cologne was Dior Fahrenheit. One of the girls in my class in high-school recommended it to me. I had a crush on her so I probably would have bought it even if I didn’t like it, but I loved it and still do. It’s such a unique scent.

Q: What makes you notice a fragrance?
BATES: I notice fragrances that are familiar, brilliant or offensive.


Q: How many fragrances you own?
BATES: Just two at the moment, Versace Blue Jeans and Dolce & Gabbana The One.

Q: What do you smell like?
BATES: Ideally, clean, fresh, masculine—and a little bit dangerous.

Q: Who is the best smelling person you’ve ever met, and what did they smell like?
BATES: I used to work for a marketing firm in Vancouver. We had an intern from France who wore Dior Cherie. That was the first time I encountered it. To this day it is my absolute favourite perfume.

Q: How important is fragrance to your life, to your sense of style?
BATES: Fragrance is an intrinsic part of my life and my style. Really, it’s like the ultimate accessory to complete your outfit. It adds another dimension and has the power to stimulate yourself and everyone you encounter.

PHOTO: Gus Protopapas; Shayne Gray (runway)
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Alexandra Donaldson is the editorial assistant at The Whale & The Rose and a freelance writer and content creator. Although she recently took up yoga in an effort to be a healthy adult, she still binge-watches cartoons on a regular basis and dreams of running away to a cottage in the woods. She has yet to nail down her favourite perfume, but knows that it smells green, earthy and maybe a little bit spicy, but definitely not sweet.