Celine launches Haute Parfumerie scents on Saturday; debuts first perfume store
Oct 31, 2019
Leave it to Hedi Slimane to launch a range of very Parisian, 'Haute Parfumerie' scents with a surprising strategy, which kicks this weekend with the brand’s first perfume-only boutique.
Inspired by his love of Paris, Slimane created a personal diary to capture all his emotions about the French capital – using these ideas to develop the unisex scents with three different noses. Fans can capture the first whiffs this Saturday, when the Celine scent store opens at 390 rue Saint-Honoré, right next door to a boutique of Christian Dior, Slimane’s old alma mater.
The results are a range of 11 “powdery” Parisian scents, nine of which will be launched commercially this weekend. Part of what Slimane calls “the tradition of the Couturier Parfumeur.” With each choice deliberately designed to blur the distinctions between masculine and feminine notes.
With names varying from Dans Paris and La Peau Nue to Reptile and Nightclubbing, the fragrances will have an initially limited distribution – just Celine’s three boutiques in Paris – plus the perfume store – and its Madison Avenue, New York flagship.
By mid-month one will be able to buy the range in Celine’s network of boutiques in Europe and Japan, before all become available on Celine’s e-commerce platform end November.
A launch which Hedi has termed, “very exclusive but not confidential.” The scents are not a license, but launched independently by Celine with the support of the greater LVMH luxury group, which owns 100% of the brand.
Slimane wanted a dialogue with the noses, with each scent reflecting multiple aspects of his relationship with Paris. The nine are divided into six day fragrances, and three nighttime scents.
Beginning his day ideas with Parade, which recalls how Slimane has probably dressed more contemporary cool rockers than any other living designer, to Cologne Française, with an “aristocratic” feeling composed of neroli, fig and musk. La Peau Nue was inspired by French Nouvelle Vague actresses like Catherine Deneuve and Jane Birkin. While Eau de Californie references his own “exile” in Los Angeles, and includes a Latin American wood named Palo Santo, known for warding off evil spirits. Of which, one suspects, there were a few in LA. For another, named Dans Paris, Slimane wrote in his diary of “youthful moments on a Bateau Mouche floating down the Seine when everything seemed possible in life.”
For evening, Slimane developed a trio called Reptile, Black Tie and Nightclubbing, the last hinting back to his early escapades among the smoke-filled, red velvet banquettes of Le Palace nightclub. While Slimane aficionados will surely note that Black Tie is the same name of his final collection for the house of Yves Saint Laurent before decamping to Dior. Beginning a career which would make Slimane the first menswear designer to gain rockstar status.
Two further scents, Bois Dormant and Rimbaud, will be unveiled in 2020.
Slimane first unveiled his fragrance concept back on August 18, with a dozen or more black and white photos and videos he shot and posted on Celine’s Instagram account, which has 2.1 million followers.
The house very discreetly revealed the scents with one-on-one presentations to FashionNetwork.com inside its new press and communications office building on rue Racine in St Germain, located in the former home of one of France’s greatest literary publishers – Flammarion. Though Slimane and CEO Séverine Merle will continue to be based on the Right Bank in Celine’s main headquarters on rue Vivienne.
The initial nine fragrances will retail in two sizes: 100 milliliters and 200 milliliters, priced at €190 and €280 respectively.
The boxes are adorned in a paper with Grain de Poudre feeling and knotted with an Ottoman ribbon. While their flacons echo the City of Light. Made of clear glass with fluted column sides they recall the world’s most elegant apartment building, the Palais Royal, just 100 meters from the rue Vivienne headquarters.
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