Teen spirit: poetic perfume and party make-up for the forever young

Celine's new fragrance, Rimbaud, is paired with snazzy party make-up for a new take on teenage beauty. 

Tube of black lipstick
Lipstick in NOV Huambo Angola, €24, by Uslu Airlines.
(Image credit: Neil Godwan at Future Studios. )

Youth goes by too quickly for most people and the most frustrating thing about it is that once it’s gone, it’s gone. There’s no getting it back. That doesn’t mean that you can’t at least pretend to be a teenager again, even if just for a night. 

Celine’s latest perfume launch, Rimbaud, evokes the spirit of the teenage rebel poet who composed his entire oeuvre of dazzling, transgressive verse between 1870 (when he was just 16) and 1875. It comes as no surprise that literature’s most volatile enfant terrible is a hero to Hedi Slimane, whose fervent obsession with youth culture has shaped his work as Celine’s creative director. 

Close up of a perfume bottle

Above, ‘Rimbaud’ eau de parfum, £285 for 200ml

(Image credit: Celine)

Slimane remembers lying in the grass with his schoolmates as a young teenager, reading Rimbaud’s poetry and being ‘fascinated by the fragility and grace of the young poet and [feeling] his torments as they were our own.’ Celine’s latest fragrance, named after Rimbaud, bottles the quintessence of that Arcadian atmosphere with a powdery blend of lavender and iris, tempered by a hint of musk.

‘I have always wanted to create a perfume that evokes Utopia,’ says Slimane. ‘Illustrating that picture of Rimbaud, or the photos of thousands of young men and women I have made over the last 30 years.’ 

Dark lotion coming out of tube

Spectra Eye Colour, in silver grey, £33

(Image credit: The Unseen)

It is a celebration of youthful hedonism that is complemented by the glittering, holographic makeup of Berlin’s Uslu Airlines and London’s The Unseen. Uslu’s silver lipstick makes for stand-out clubwear, especially when paired with The Unseen’s reflective Spectra eye cream, which transforms under a phone camera’s flash from a silvery grey in real life to a glittery black in photographs. It is teenage debauchery all grown up.


A version of this article appears in the April 2022 issue of Wallpaper*, on newsstands now and available to subscribers 


Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.