It’s telling that among the first things you’ll notice about a Henry Rose fragrance is either the sleek, minimalist design (in transparent recyclable glass) or the intoxicating blend of botanicals. Less transparent is the fact the five-piece collection is the result of almost a decade of research and development spearheaded by Hollywood actress Michelle Pfeiffer. “I developed Henry Rose to prove you could create a premium product that doesn’t sacrifice luxury over safety,” says Pfeiffer, a closet fragrance devotee who tinkered with the line of genderless scents offering full disclosure of ingredients for years before the range was eventually stocked at Goop. The celebrity fragrance vapour trail might have been paved by J Lo’s Glow or Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely (both wildly successful), but recently it’s taken a sophisticated new turn. Beyond simply lending a well-known face to a campaign, the new guard of celebrity perfume enthusiasts is driving the process from its inception. When US Vogue’s inimitable creative director Grace Coddington departed the magazine in 2016 after more than 25 years, one of her first stand-alone projects was Grace by Grace Coddington, a heady rose juice developed in partnership with Comme des Garçons. It’s a similar story for legendary French editor and stylist Carine Roitfeld. After mixing and wearing her own custom blends for years, in 2019 she debuted Carine Roitfeld Parfums, a concise edit of seven scents inspired by fictional lovers from Roitfeld’s favourite cities. Jen Atkin, who built a dutiful following attending to the tresses of Kardashians, can also add the role of perfumer to her CV. Since launching her millennial-approved hair-care line Ouai in 2016, Atkin knew a stand-alone fragrance would be a natural progression. “What’s the first thing people do in a Sephora or even a drugstore? They open the bottle to smell what’s inside. If they don’t love it, they move on,” says Atkin, who developed two frequently sold-out scents, Melrose Place and North Bondi. “We worked with one of the top perfume houses in France from day one, and spent months fine-tuning. Our goal was to create a sensory experience that wasn’t overly precious or too delicate.” Aside from a slew of famous faces turning their smarts to sillage, perfumers themselves are enjoying a renewed appreciation. Frédéric Malle, Francis Kurkdjian, Byredo’s Ben Gorham and the estate of revered editor Diana Vreeland have pushed olfactory parameters and ushered in a new need for niche. But while fragrance may be increasingly inching towards the abstract, that’s not to say traditional celebrity blockbusters are waning. When Kim Kardashian West launched KKW Fragrance, the entire line sold out in a matter of days, proof that with fragrances, our preference is always personal. This article originally appeared in Vogue Australia’s March 2020 issue.
Original article published by @VogueAustralia >