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courtesy of Celine

Hedi Slimane’s new Celine perfumes are an ode to his hometown Paris

TextAlex Peters

Alongside the fragrances, Celine has opened a new dedicated perfume boutique in Paris

When Celine announced it was launching perfumes under new artistic, creative, and image director Hedi Slimane back in August, the fashion world sat up with interest. While Slimane had previously helmed a trio of fragrances for Dior Homme, Celine itself had largely avoided scent since the 1964 Vent Fou. What would these new perfumes smell like? How would Slimane translate his signature androgynous chic into scent? 

The Celine Haute Parfumerie collection consists of 11 fragrances, nine that are available now, with two following in 2020. An ode to his home town of Paris, where Slimane was born in 1968, the scents seek to evoke the multitudes of Parisian experiences, taking inspiration from moments in Slimane’s life.

‘Nightclubbing,’ for example, a decadent sweet and musky scent from which you can practically taste the cigarette smoke, was influenced by the nights the designer spent growing up as a club kid at Paris’s Le Palace or Les Bains Douches. ‘Reptile’ which contains notes of leather, cedar and musk, is a scent he created for his musician friends inspired by the “dark and reptilian glamour of Lou Reed, the wiry body and sparkling charisma of Iggy Pop,” Slimane told the Wall Street Journal. ‘Rimbaud’ meanwhile is of course named for the 18th-century French poet who Slimane discovered at age 14 when he would lie in the summer grass reciting “Le Dormeur du Val” with his friends.  

“This Haute Parfumerie collection is probably the most intimate and personal part of my overall creative project at Celine. I had the desire to approach the romantic myth of eternal youth in an olfactory way. How to express the idea of being 17-years-old, the realm of possibilities, teenage subtle fragility, but also the spleen?”  Slimane explains. “Working on this perfume, I had to recognise the emotions I felt growing up to adulthood,” Slimane explains. 

Making no distinction between established masculine and feminine notes, the scents are housed in elegant glass bottles designed by Slimane and inspired by late 17th-century classicism and the modernity of the Art Deco aesthetic. To launch alongside the fragrances, Slimane has built a mini-temple in homage in the form of a dedicated perfume shop on Paris’s rue Saint-Honoré. Designed by Slimane, the boutique is open now and hosts all the Maison’s perfume creations. 

The scents, which start at $220 for 100 ml, will also be available from the brand’s boutiques and website.

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