Whether creating complex scents or designing the bottles they come in, Serge Lutens approaches his perfume collections in a deeply personal and poetic way. His latest collection, Gratte-Ciel, is inspired by New York’s slender, glass skyscrapers. “From a design point of view, these opaque, angular black monolith bottles best represent me. They symbolize my most personal taste,” says the cerebral perfumer.
The collection consists of 10 existing fragrances and one new novelty scent called L’Innommable, which means “the undefinable” and is considered Lutens’s most emblematic fragrance to date. “What gives it its brilliance, this singular note, is the cumin, which is the smell closest to the human skin. It diffuses its particles in an explosive way,” he explains.
Lutens shies away from any limelight, choosing to live in a palatial villa in Marrakesh, where the far-from-retired perfumer develops all of his fragrances in his personal laboratory. When we asked about his famously private lifestyle, he replied in a characteristically enigmatic way: “Everything that is done in one’s life is determined before the age of 7. As for the discretion you mention to me, know that it oscillates between timidity and pride.” Once again, Mr. Lutens proves that his character is as beguiling as his fragrances.
Tune into @barneysny IGTV as we sample Gratte-Ciel at Barneys HQ.