You change your personal style depending on where you travel — so why not your fragrance? A new perfume line from Carine Roitfeld, the CR Fashion Book founder and former Vogue Paris editor, is designed to be worn in style capitals around the world — from the sultry streets of Buenos Aires to the historic squares of St. Petersburg.
Inspired by lovers in seven of the fashion editor’s favorite cities, the perfume collection is a natural career progression for the famed editor, who’s a natural storyteller and a provocateur at heart.
“Finding a perfume you love is like finding a lover,” Roitfeld told Travel + Leisure.
To develop the scents, Roitfeld collaborated with master perfumers Aurélien Guichard, Pascal Gaurin, and Yann Vasnier (all of whom who have created iconic scents for brands like Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs) over the course of three years. The resulting 7 fragrances are rich, complex, and unapologetically sexy – like je ne sais quoi in fragrance form.
“When I go to bed I put on perfume, it’s like a second skin,” said Roitfeld. “And when I get dressed, it’s the last thing I put on —similar to a fashion accessory, but even more important.”
Aurélien is an ode to Paris, her home, and her first love, combining spicy floral notes, with hints or orange flower and davana oil. Meanwhile, her New York “lover” is Orson, inspired by the legendary actor Orson Welles, and merging the sensual petals of the hawthorn floral with the earthiness of tonka beans and benzoin. “The first time I came to New York, I stayed at the Carlyle Hotel, which has a classic New York feel,” said Roitfeld. “But New York was also about the downtown, with its art galleries, fashion, and restaurants like Odeon. So we made the notes clash as a way of representing the contrast of the city.”
Her paramour across the pond, in London, is George, a heady mix of green floral chypre, galbanum, and cannabis, “to capture the culture clash between the prim and proper in the place where punk rock began,” said Roitfeld.
Her world tour continues with Kar-Wai, named after the Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai, whose film In the Mood for Love captured Roitfeld’s imagination. A marriage between fruity osmanthus and the leathery smokiness of longjiing tea, the scent is a sensuous tribute to one of Roitfeld’s favorite far-flung destinations.
The Dubai-inspired fragrance, Lawrence, is also rooted in Roitfeld’s love for cinema — specifically the 1962 British epic Lawrence of Arabia. Rich and irresistible, the scent leads with floral and leather, rounding out with notes of jasmine, oud wood, and tolu tree.
As the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires was a natural pick for Roitfeld, who chose to base her scent Sebastian there. “It’s a very nostalgic city because it has been through many changes politically and socially,” she said. “So there’s a sadness to the place that we brought forth in the perfume’s notes — specifically, the tuberose flower, which never fades.”
Vladmir, the St. Petersburg fragrance, holds a special place in Roitfeld’s heart, as it was named after her son, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, and honors her Russian heritage. Masculine and smoky, the perfume combines notes of amber, orris, and olibanum.
To celebrate the launch of the perfumes, Roitfeld will unveil an immersive pop-up shop, designed by renewed producer Etienne Russo, in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, where shoppers will be able to experience each scent in person and pre-order their favorite.