“Great Scott” is right! The singular (and statuesque) L’Wren is at it again, this time with her first fragrance.
After a very merry celebration hosted by Rachel Feinstein and Mark Lee last night, we were able to catch up with L’Wren this afternoon to discuss the launch, the first in a series of collaborations exclusive to Barneys New York.
Read on to discover what it was like for this confessed fragrance fanatic to develop the scent that now carries her name.
The experience of a fragrance starts with visuals. What does the packaging say about what’s inside?
The red is my signature Bordeaux, from the House of Scots, so it was a natural choice for a color. I knew I was going to choose some notes that were a bit heavier, but I don’t like the way dark liquids look in clear bottles. So I wanted a color that allowed you to see what’s left and of course I wanted it to always look pretty—an important quality for the girls, though the size of the bottle is quite masculine.
Did you have an idea of what it might smell like before you started?
I had a very specific idea and gave a very precise brief of what the notes were to be and how I wanted it to feel: I wanted to be mysterious, dark and sexy.
What scents did you use to create that experience?
Patchouli, tuberose, leather, moss, Absinthe, rose—there are all kinds of things in there, but it’s about how you mix the elements. That’s why it was so fun working with Ralf [Schwieger] in creating the sensory effect. From when you first spray it, it’s like a symphony—it changes and changes.
This is your first fragrance you’ve created. What did you learn along the way?
I learned a lot about the perfume families. Mine belongs to the Chypre family, and I learned there hasn’t been a new fragrance in this family for many years. I didn’t realize they were broken into these classifications—there is a family tree for perfumes!
Who is this scent for?
It’s not super masculine, but it’s not super feminine either. And it smells different on everyone, which I thing is the most exciting thing we’ve achieved. It takes on its own personality, based on who is wearing it. In other words, it doesn’t wear you. It’s distinctive, but not overpowering.
How do you see the relationship between fashion and fragrance?
I am always drawing very specific inspiration when I’m designing a collection, whether it’s a trip, a work of art or a book I’ve read. So it’s all about the mind and the eye, and traveling in your memories. And your sense of smell can really jog these memories. I love going to spice markets, old perfume shops, to different countries and knowing that the first thing you are greeted with is this new amazing smell, which is a memory that stays with you.