With a career and a reputation as legendary as it has been, it is normal to wonder everything about what makes Carine Roitfeld tick. But now, we can get even closer to the world-famous editor and stylist, thanks to the release of her ultra-personal new perfume, Carine. It’s also fitting that her latest attempt conjures up the adjectives one might use to describe her: sultry, alluring, powerful, multi-faceted and seductive. With top notes of pink pepper, base notes of patchouli and middle notes of jasmine, gardenia and rose; it is sure that people are wondering who the mysterious bearer is. With this in mind, we called on the Parisian icon herself to find out what’s new in Carine’s universe.
How long have you wanted to create your own perfume?
Ever since I launched 7 Lovers in 2019, I’ve always wanted to do a follow-up that tells the story behind the woman who had 7 Lovers. While the 7 Lovers collection focused on seven fictional and non-fictional men in my life, Carine, as the fragrance is called, reveals the woman behind the story. Of course, during the pandemic, I had more time to reflect on my past and really live with this scent. There’s something so magical about letting perfume take over your life, your home, your clothes, step by step. Once I lived with it for a while and loved it as much as the first day I smelled it, I realized I wanted to share it with everyone who asked me what I wore for several months.
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Emblematic of my constant quest to awaken sensuality and arouse curiosity, the notes of patchouli, jasmine and gardenia in “Carine” underline an emboldened, instinctive and ambiguous femininity.
What do you want to achieve with it? What do you want the wearer to feel?
Patchouli has this forbidden scent. It’s a bit free-spirited, like me. I want to invoke adventure and suddenly make the wearer brave enough to live out their fantasies, which is why I used Patchouli because I believe it has the power to do so.
What surprised you in the process of creating this perfume? Did you have fun?
Creating a perfume or any fragrance that is personal to you requires unconditional trust in the perfumer and being completely vulnerable and honest with your reactions to the ingredients and concoctions created. During the process of creating Carine, I shared my thoughts, dreams, emotions and memories with Dominique Ropion – memories I was not even aware of – to create something unique that people will feel and hopefully will like it.
Tell us why you teamed up with Dominique.
Dominque, the nose behind some of the world’s most iconic fragrances, is a legendary perfumer who can evoke emotions, dreams, vulnerabilities to create something spectacular.
What is the meaning/influence behind the packaging?
I wanted this bottle to be sensual. Its pebble shape makes it easy to kiss. As for its color, khaki is my other black. In keeping with the colorful outfit I wear in the campaign, this time I wanted to offer lighter packaging.
The world is still obsessed with “French girl beauty” – how do French girls like to apply their perfumes?
I don’t know if I’m like all French women, but I apply it at least five times a day: on my neck, my clothes, my wrists, and even before going to bed.
Do you have spring/summer trips planned?
I used to rent a house in Ibiza, all together with my family; it was before the pandemic. I hope we can finally get together there this summer.
Do you enjoy exploring beauty trends in the places you travel?
Yes, the best part of traveling is exploring and finding new inspiration! It can also be educational and allow you to learn about other cultures and ingredients that other countries use in their beauty products.
What else do you like to do when you travel? Are you relaxing or are you an adventurer?
I feel like it all depends on who you’re traveling with. When I’m alone, I put the relaxation mode, but I like adventure!
Would you like to enter other areas of beauty under your own name?
People don’t really separate me from my eye makeup, which is definitely a clue as to what to expect from my brand. However, I don’t see CR exclusively as a beauty brand. New product categories are coming!
This perfume is inspired by your adolescence until today. What would surprise us about Carine as a teenager?
I think she was a lot less shy than me today.
Before leaving, let’s talk about fashion! Who were you watching this PFW closely? Any new creators to report?
I always have high expectations for the Balenciaga show in Demna and this season has definitely been a great success. My most recent obsession is menswear designer Bianca Saunders. I also support Eli Russell Linnetz who was part of this year’s LVMH award.
[Editor’s note: Pssssst! Find the fragrance right here.]
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