11 posts tagged "Serge Lutens"
Serge Lutens is one of the beauty industry’s more fascinating characters. Best described as an image maker, Lutens was a creative force at Paris Vogue in the sixties, working with luminaries like photographers Richard Avedon, Bob Richardson, and Irving Penn to produce stunning beauty and accessories shoots. He was ultimately hired by Christian Dior to design its makeup range before Shiseido picked him up to direct its ad visuals in the 1980s. But it’s Lutens’ passion—and aptitude—for perfume that just may be his lasting legacy. He opened Paris’ famed Les Salons du Palais Royal in the late nineties and filled it with a signature line of fragrances in unique belled—cloche, in French—bottles, and thus began Lutens’ world-spanning reputation for scent formulation. Seasonal releases came and went thereafter, arriving at select locations across the globe wherever perfume aficionados demanded them, but the original cloche collection, Lutens’ most exclusive blends, remained at the Jardin du Palais Royal—until Barneys managed to get a hold of them last week. Starting this month, for the first time ever, 34 of Lutens’ prized perfumes—from Ambre Sultan and Bois et Musc to Santal Blanc and the exceptional Encens et Lavande, the perfect union of smoky, spicy, fresh, and sweet—are yours for the spritzing on Madison Avenue. Each flacon rings in around $300, which is not cheap; but minus the airfare to Paris, it’s a total steal.
Available at Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave., NYC. Call (212) 833-2425 to check on availability.
Last spring, Serge Lutens ventured into semi-uncharted territory. The creative director of makeup turned producer of rich, opulent fragrances released L’Eau—a fresh, concentrated eau de cologne that he branded as “the anti-perfume.” Something of a palate cleanser, the sage, mint, magnolia, and white musk elixir was deliberately missing the heady resins that have become a Lutens signature over the years. This month, he is trying his hand at another eau de cologne, mostly because he remains unsatisfied with the category’s current offerings. “I dislike cologne,” he admits, “but I love the feeling of freshness that it gives at the beginning but which unfortunately fades after a couple of hours.” To counteract this effect, Lutens has released L’Eau Froide, a “more polar, neutral, and colder” offering in which he has layered a specific Somali incense sap that lacks the smokiness of other varieties with four different musks. The result isn’t charred or heavy, as you imagine it might be, but sheer and airy while still substantial. “It gives you a feeling of coldness, like a fan,” Lutens contends—something that will make it particularly easy to spritz on come summer.
Serge Lutens has taken on many a scent challenge since launching his impressive library of fragrances. He gave patchouli a new, post-hippie lease on life with Borneo 1834, which is peppered with hints of galbanum and chocolate. And last year, he rocked the olfactory establishment with L’Eau—”the anti-perfume,” as he called the sage, mint, magnolia, and white musk elixir that was designed to be a palate cleanser to heavier oriental eaux. For his latest trick, Lutens has set out to capture violence through a new scent duo. “A particular kind of violence not to be confused with blind, indifferent brutality,” he assures Style.com. Instead, Lutens focused his aggressions on “disfiguring” familiar florals so they are barely recognizable when spritzed onto the skin. “Tubéreuse Criminelle is impossible to classify,” Lutens says of the tuberose-heavy flacon that’s been spiked with clean hyacinth and bitter snowbell essences for an effect that is vaguely medicinal, “like flowers in a newly cleaned hospital room.” Its companion scent, Vitriol d’Oeillet, alternatively features spicy notes of clove, cayenne, and carnation. “The use of the carnation was accidental,” Lutens says of the decorative flower. “What I liked was the corrosive part of it,” he says. Neither is your average perfume, but then again, Lutens isn’t your average perfumer. “Only one tendency matters to me: Don’t follow trends.”
$140 each, available at Barneys New York, (800) 222-7639.
Serge Lutens has a knack for taking a seemingly straightforward makeup product and elevating it to new heights. In his hands, a classic eye khol liner became an objet d’art, while a lipstick, that most essential of beauty items, was rendered the most chic (and, at $75, likely the most expensive) accessory in your makeup trove. Lutens’ new interpretation of lip tint is likewise an elegant affair. The Encre de Chine (French for Indian ink) Water Lip Color has the consistency of liquid silk, a delicate, foam-tipped slanted applicator, and a polished black lacquer case. The plum shade saturates the lips with a matte wash of blackened violet, while still allowing their actual hue to peer through for a natural effect. This water is one we won’t have any problem getting our daily serving of.
No matter the color, the non-reflective finish of a matte lip has always screamed chic to us. Some high-profile catwalk cameos at Spring shows like Marc Jacobs and new product launches from brands like NARS have us more eager than ever to road-test the look. Chapped-lip season, however, is proving quite the stumbling block. As temperatures continue their downward spiral and our shiny lip balm usage continues to climb, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a perfectly glisten-less texture. But leave it to Serge Lutens to offer up a solution. The makeup maestro’s super-moisturizing Lip Comfort packs ingredients like half-matte powder and Prismatic Powder B into its emollient formula, so you’re left with a soft, shine-free mouth. Here’s hoping that our perfectly painted, matte pout helps detract from that other winter beast, the perpetually bright red nose.