Greg Lauren

The Making of an Original: Greg Lauren’s First Fragrance, Exclusively Ours

Anything that carries the Greg Lauren label is guaranteed to be an original, whether it’s a military-inspired jacket or the latest creation from Mr. Lauren, a fragrance.

He is the second collaborator in Barneys New York’s Designer Fragrance Collection (L’Wren Scott kicked it off last year), and has worked in conjunction with master perfumer Ralf Schwieger to create a scent that combines marine notes with those of vanilla and tonka bean. Once the fragrance was completed, Lauren headed to France, where it was packaged, to customize each bottle in his signature distressed style.  The following video captures the journey and for more detail, check out Greg’s telling of the story below.

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One of the things I enjoyed most about the process was the exciting challenge of working in a medium I have never worked in before and one I knew little about. And yet, I was excited to approach it with the same spirit I tackle anything as an artist. For this project, that meant making sure that every aspect of the fragrance had to have a soul, a story—it had to capture one’s imagination and ultimately have an emotional effect.

When I first met Ralf, the master perfumer, it was a perfect collaboration. He had the genius ability to translate the story I wanted the scent to tell into notes and ingredients. And as I learned more, I loved trying to combine fragrance notes like paint. I’d have two contradictory notes under my nose and I’d think, I have no idea if these are meant to go together but I love what happens when they do.

Finding that perfect contradiction is what I strive to do in all of my work. I would ask Ralf, “Can a scent be sexy and make you want to cry? Can it be strong and vulnerable at the same time? Is there such a thing as a painful scent?” It was a wonderful process.

Once we had the scent, I knew exactly what the bottle needed to be. I wanted it to feel like someone had wandered into my art studio and discovered a secret bottle, hidden among jars of paint and cans of brushes. It needed to reflect the life in the studio. Like my clothes, I wanted to make sure the bottle had a uniqueness to it—personal and with the human touch. That is why it was important to me to go to France and hand-embellish every single bottle, so that each would be truly one of a kind.

Ultimately, the soul of this project comes from the many hands that took the time to make it as personal and unique as it is. From visiting Ralf in his lab, to the assistants at the factory in Chartres, I wanted this to be like no other fragrance they had ever worked on. The care each and every person put into the process is what gives it a magical quality. —G.L.

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