Carine Roitfeld, one the most influential figures in fashion, adds fragrance to her expanding global brand. Transcending the boundaries of culture and style over the past three decades. In 2011, after ten years as the editor in chief of Vogue Paris Carine stepped down to focus on personal projects including her biannual style bibles CR Fashion Book and CR Mens and the launch of CR STUDIO, an end-to-end creative and production agency.
All the while she has quietly been developing a fragrance brand with her son and business partner Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld. In a time when the beauty industry seems to be focused on a race to billion dollar valuations the mother and son duo set out to build a beauty brand the old fashion way on their own terms, self-funding and letting the business grow organically.
“Launching a Perfume is one of the most challenging products a brand can begin to work on; it has been an extremely long and technical process; we worked and built this project without any external financial support; we have not licensed the name to any larger perfume/beauty groups; we have taken all the risk ourselves with limited spending, but have achieved the most honest collection of perfume we could have ever envisioned.” Vladimir said. “Every single creative decision — from the scent development to the design of the bottle, to the overall concept/storyline have been developed by Carine and this project is a true representation of our brand DNA. It represents Carine as a person, an artist, and a trend-setter. This project is unique, and we believe will build the foundation of the development of our brands in the years to come.”
Carine drive has never been motivated by the idea of being a brand but rather a passion for her work. She is honest, genuine and a true artist. This passion has resulted in seven (her lucky number) genderless scents inspired by seven fictional lovers from seven of Carine’s favorite cities around the world. Developed in collaboration with renowned perfumers Aurélien Guichard, Pascal Gaurin and Yann Vasnier.
Speaking about the creative process Carine said, “I’ve always thought of scent as the most defining accessory. It speaks volumes about who you are and how you identify yourself to the world. When I set out to create my own product line eight years ago, developing a collection of fragrances is what came to me naturally. I conjured a character and fantasy with each scent that tells a story. Each scent is inspired by one of my favorite cities.”
She continued, “I came up with each of them in bed drinking a cup of tea. It was a very personal process. The seven fragrances are all crafted with high-quality natural ingredients that react to the skin to create a truly personal aroma. I also have long loved the idea of ambiguity so I knew I wanted the collection to be genderless and suitable for both men and women. I’m excited to share them all with the world.”
Inspired by Carine’s home of Paris to her favorite American city New York, the collection was inspired by special characters – some who she deeply respects and some created from her imagination – and the cities they come from. Aurélien for Paris, George for London, Kar-Wai for Hong-Kong, Lawrence for Dubaï, Orson for New-York, Sebastian for Buenos Aires, and Vladimir for St Petersburg. Each scent is an extension of who Carine is.
We had to ask what next. Vladimir said “Of course, we have already started thinking of the natural product extensions of our collection — including candles, body oils and beauty products, but for now, our goal is to successfully launch our collection. We also want to enjoy the moment, journey, and relish what we’ve achieved so far at this stage. The rest belongs to the future and will be a surprise as Carine very often embraces.”
Photo: via Carine Roitfeld