Since his arrival in 2018, Hedi Slimane has wasted no time in making Celine his own, adding menswear, subtracting the ‘e’ acute, and devising a global retail concept. The artistic, creative, and image director continues to make his mark with the couturier’s first haute parfumerie collection since the 1964 Vent Fou. Announced today, nine releases from the 11-strong collection are set to spritz the autumn season, with two more to follow in 2020.

The Parisian spirit (and more precisely, what this means in a contemporary context) is at the heart of the olfactory project. The Celine perfume collection is devised from Slimane’s own journals (where memories are kept as highly personal inspirational imprints), while drawing upon French high perfumery, in keeping with the tradition of the couturier parfumeur.

Loosely divided into eight day and three evening perfumes, Slimane chose the names to capture specific moments from his diaries. The day selections derive almost exclusively from French touchpoints – think ‘Dans Paris’, ‘Rimbaud’, and ‘Saint-Germain-Des-Prés’. One exception, ‘Eau de Californie’, is Slimane’s tribute to his Californian period, where his exploration of urban youth culture was particularly lively. The names of the evening choices ‘Black tie’, ‘Reptile’ and ‘Nightclubbing’ suggest intriguing, moonlit references; the origins of which are left opaque.

Uniting each, a powdery note acts as a backdrop. It’s a tone that has travelled alongside Slimane on his olfactory journey (which famously saw him author a private collection of parfums for Dior in 2004). The Celine Haute Parfumerie collection also continues to participate in Slimane’s stylistic codes, investigating androgyny. The compositions make no distinction between traditional masculine or feminine notes.

As in Slimane’s Celine store designs, where materiality plays a key role, and furniture, fabrics and fittings beg to be touched, the bottle is a tactile object. It reflects France’s strong history in glassmaking, deftly stepping between 17th century classicism and the kind of bold lines found in art deco glassware, all the while remaining minimal. Detailing continues on the paper embossed box, which draws inspiration from woodwork panelling found at the Hôtel Colbert de Torcy, where the Celine ateliers are. Here, Slimane has created a solid and simple object to be treasured after the elixir is emptied. §