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Recreating the wonders of Sharqiyah eclipse inside a boutique

The moon has landed at the Mall of Oman. Behind it is the sun. Surrounding it is an explosion of colours that change between the chaotic power of burgundy red and the callousness of blue. In between, dancing lights as many as the sands on the shore. Put together, they capture the poetic beauty of the solar eclipse witnessed in the distant, unforgiving desert of Wahiba in Rimal Al Sharqiyah.

The sphere in the middle representing the moon took weeks to make. It was originally metal meshed with limestone and shaped to perfection. There was a visible crack in the middle painted in gold and lit up to signify the moon giving life to something terrestrial.

Such clever did not just happen without direction. One not only needs to be an artist with eye for detail but whoever can bring together a team to make the impossible possible deserves a worthwhile accolade.

Renaud Salmon came to Oman to understand it and help take a brand to an even wider acceptance and understanding. As the creative director of Amouage, he has proven in previous interviews and accomplishments that he dares to challenge the conventional and position Oman as a place where luxury experience is possible. His gallivanting across the country has resulted in experiences inside luxury bottles that for sure, by the end of the year, would command millions in sales.

His latest creation was the 12th flagship boutique of Amouage located at the 3rd floor of Mall of Oman. It was formed for multiple of reasons not just to help clients find scents that work for them but also to be a centre that showcases the different unique experiences one can have in Oman. Is it a boutique? A gallery? A space for creativity and conversation? Why not all? Isn’t that where the future is headed anyway?

“There’s no boutique like this in the world. Its development and creation took us two years. The inspiration came after watching a solar eclipse in the Sharqiyah Desert. We decided to take that experience into the boutique,” Renaud shared at the sideline of the boutique’s opening held April 12.

“When you go inside it, you will discover all of its secrets. In the middle of the boutique is a giant sphere — very avant garde and a little bit futuristic as well — that represents the moon and the moon is hiding a beautiful sun. As you move closer to the moon and move around it, you will also progressively discover the sun behind the moon,” he explained.

“All around the moon are these amazing screens that projects different images telling the story of the constellations, of the skies, of the stars which is really unique and different. The digital art is made by Thomas Vanz who I have worked with in many different high luxury and high fashion projects. Putting all the imagery together, they make for a powerful display,” he added.

“These screens, the installations, we wanted to showcase the art work of not just international artists but local artists as well. These screens are very interactive as in the future, we also wanted to broadcast something live. Imagine we harvest roses and people can see it live. We are still learning more about this technology and we love the idea that it can come alive, it can react to some products as well. The potential is enormous,” he said.

But at the heart of it, Renaud shared that he wanted the space to be a place where people can share their love for perfume.

“Inside, you can make your own assortment of fragrances. You can ask one of our staff and they can make a beautiful gift box specifically for you with your selection of three fragrances. You can also discover our new collection of attars — our most special products in a place that is meant to be very welcoming where we can definitely talk about our fashion for perfume and beautiful creation,” he shared.

Renaud explained his vision with clarity and composure of someone who knows he is paving the road for something great.

If he can recreate an eclipse just by sheer power of imagination and human innovation, he can definitely take Oman and the Amouage brand to an era of evolution that is respectful to the culture with tenacity and persistence geared for success.

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