Scent Nicolas: Celebrating Balenciaga’s New Fragrance And Face
Was anyone truly surprised that Nicolas Ghesquière chose Charlotte Gainsbourg to be the face of his first fragrance at the house? That would be a non. Less expected, perhaps, was the venue chosen to celebrate the announcement: a hotel in L.A., not a hôtel particulier in Paris. Designer and muse gathered an intimate cross section of movie folk—a bearded Keanu Reeves, Robin Wright Penn, Gainsbourg’s husband, Yvan Attal—for dinner at the Chateau Marmont. “It is not a ‘little fragrance,’ ” explained Ghesquière the next day. “It is bold in keeping with a heritage of strong, powerful scents. [There’s] something very French in the tradition of a strong perfume, but [made] with a twist of today and modernity.” Ghesquière obviously knows a little something about merging Parisian legacy with forward thinking. And why the Hollywood setting? He and Gainsbourg were in Los Angeles to shoot the ad campaign in time for its launch at the end of this year. Ghesquière called his friend the scent’s ambassador, a position that thankfully didn’t require the actress to jettison a former favorite perfume. “I actually don’t have a signature scent,” Gainsbourg said. Well, until now. “Nicolas gave me a bottle and I have been wearing it for some time now,” she added. But did she have input in its creation? “Nicolas asked me my opinion along the way and gave me samples to try and tell him what I thought,” she said. “But I think he always had a very good idea of what he wanted.” We wouldn’t expect anything less.