As post-production continues on Blossoms Shanghai, Wong Kar Wai has been dabbling in NFTs and, once again, revisited In the Mood for Love—this time not with his eyes and ears but with his… nose. Jet Tone Films have announced “In The Mood For Love – Rouge” and “In The Mood For Love – Noir,” a collaboration between Wong and Noritaka Tatehana to recreate the scent from his classic romance. Conceptualized by the director, this collaboration offers a limited collection of unique artwork pieces designed by Tatehana and handcrafted in Japan.

Read Wong’s introduction on the process below.

If I were to describe In the Mood for Love as a scent, what would it be? My take is that it would be the smell that flooded the senses of Chow Mo-Wan when he buried his secret in the stone walls of Angkor Wat; fresh grass in the morning, damp earth on the walls, sweat in the creases of his short-sleeved shirt, all combined with an aroma deeply ingrained in his memory – the intoxicating scent that trickled from the neckline of Su Li-Zhen’s qipao. The scent of Su Li-Zhen has always eluded me, but if I had to imagine it from my own memories, it would be the scent that my wife used to wear when she was seventeen. 

To mark the 20th anniversary of In the Mood for Love, we were not content to simply look back. Rather, we wish to take a step forward and offer more possibilities for the audience to appreciate the film. Over the past three years, we have worked with a group of artists in search of a scent. Our intention is to design a three-dimensional experience, through which our audience can relive the sensations that Chow Mo-Wan perceived that morning in Angkor Wat – the grass, the stone walls, and the scent of Su Li-Zhen, trickling from the neckline of her qipao.

We have immensely cherished this multidisciplinary collaboration, and must first express our gratitude to Mr. Alberto Morillas for his attention to detail in recreating the scent of Su Li-Zhen. We would also like to thank Mr. Noritaka Tatehana for his elegant design of the body of this work. Combining traditional Japanese craftsmanship with the textures of lacquer, pure gold and silver powder, Mr. Tatehana has beautifully expressed the textures of grass, stonewalls and the qipao. Finally, I must thank my wife, Esther, for creating the first memories that have inspired and guided this project.

Noritaka Tatehana, added “I was inspired by several elements of Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love, from the period costumes and wallpaper to the lustrous color palette created by cinematographer Christopher Doyle. The shape for this In the Mood for Love essence is inspired by the high collar of Su Li-Zhen’s 60s qipao. The secret held by a woman wearing a collar is the key inspiration for this work, which main theme of ‘sharing secrets’ is expressed as a metaphor for an invisible sensation through the essence contained within.”

If you happen to have a few thousand dollars, the sale of the next five pieces from the limited collection has been launched on Sotheby’s official website and is accessible worldwide.

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