It’s official; Christian Louboutin has finally expanded his beauty collection and entered the world of fragrances, resulting in the creation of three perfumes that capture three very different female personalities. “I wanted to celebrate the woman and her desires. I wanted these fragrances to enhance an aspect of her personality or perhaps reveal something about her that no one knew before, maybe not even her… tell a secret, a story,” he explains. “In a way, creating these fragrances is like being a film director. Some directors want to control the acting process, others want to reveal the power of character and personality. This is what I try to evoke with shoes and now with the alchemy of fragrance. I want to give women the means to express themselves and delight in their femininity.”
I want to give women the means to express themselves and delight in their femininity.
The intoxicating scents, which launch today, include ‘Bikini Questra Sera’ that is bursting with jasmine and tuberose to make for a sensual floral fragrance and ‘Tornade Blonde’ that is the next best thing to covering yourself with freshly picked roses. Lastly, ‘Trouble in Heaven’ blends iris, patchouli, amber, and tonka absolut, resulting in the definitive provocative perfume.
The bottles are revolutionary, jointly designed by Louboutin and world-renowned architect Thomas Heatherwick. Look closely and you’ll see there’s no pump inside and no tube drawing the fragrance out. Instead, thanks to the ambitious and innovative design, the fragrance flows inside the glass and a central aperture keeps the liquid alive and moving. Magic.
Sharing an appreciation for craftsmanship, Louboutin and Heatherwick were driven to create a fragrance bottle unlike any other, with the legendary designer drawn to the architect’s desire to create beautiful objects. Read on for exclusive insight into how they started working together as Savoir Flair shares an intimate conversation between the two visionaries.
Louboutin: Our collaboration happened completely by chance. We first met in Italy about two or three years ago.
Heatherwick: It was great to have met you in Italy. I knew a little bit about what you did but I don’t think you particularly knew about my studio.
Louboutin: I knew the UK Pavilion in Shanghai, but I hadn’t made the connection. I didn’t know this was your work. We were a bit like kids showing each other our work. We weren’t looking at photos of our girlfriends like teenagers do, but we were excited about work.
When we met, I was in the beginning stages of thinking about the bottle for my fragrance. When I first started with beauty, I always had the intention to create something beautiful. This was always the starting point for me. I find that, in the beauty industry, we talk about beauty with ugly objects. I love objects, and I think there are enough of them. Like Thomas, you don’t want to just add another ugly object. There are enough of those. So when I thought of doing beauty, I wanted to create really beautiful things. Not just the content but the packaging too.
When I started thinking about creating the fragrance bottle, I met with Oscar Niemeyer. I always idolized him. I met him in Copacabana in Rio when he was almost 100, and I came to his studio and asked him to work on this project with me. I wanted to explore architectural beauty so, of course, I thought about working with an architect. Oscar was very interested in collaborating on this project. He had never done anything in beauty but was very busy, so he said we had to wait… and then he passed away.
When I thought of doing beauty, I wanted to create really beautiful things. Not just the content but the packaging, too.
After that conversation with Oscar, I knew I wanted to work with a fantastic architect, and then we met. When I was thinking of whom I could work with, I couldn’t get your work out of my head. I knew I should ask you. We met at your studio in London, and I came with drawings and samples of the lipsticks and nail polishes that I had created. We started talking about design, which led me to ask you to collaborate on this beauty project.
Heatherwick: It was always exciting to have conversations with you. I enjoyed speaking with someone who is focused on creativity, craftsmanship, and has created a company. I suppose I could feel that you were really open about how you might – in a world where there are so many perfumes – find an angle that could be particular to your vision. Intellectually, that was very interesting to me. There were no boundaries. That’s what was so exciting. We were asking ourselves: What does it means to do this? What do we expect? What would feel different? How can we make it more meaningful?
It was lovely for me – after thinking a lot about concrete, reinforcing bars, people flow, etc. – to think about memory flow. But, at the same time, there is still a functionality to the bottle. It was the best way for a project to begin. I thought that, whatever happens, this collaboration will be a pleasure.