“The spirit of my apartment in Saint-Germain-des-Près, the Versailles parquet lit by parchment lampshades and golden wood chandeliers, the streamlined wood on the eyre de l’annux chairs. The piles of books on modernist tables. The warmth of an inherently Parisian place…” starts Celine artistic director Hedi Slimane. He is describing L’Inventaire (Inventory), one of six candles that launches a new olfactory journal, an haute parfumerie candle collection.
Like the perfumes before them, the candle range recalls Slimane’s memories. Palimpseste evokes the scent of old roses “in a poisonous black rose spirit,” notes Slimane. Papiers Froissés–“crumpled paper”–speaks to the almost lost ritual of correspondence and wafts with notes of cedar, blackcurrant bud, and cypress. Tambour Noir is a mix of smoky accords with leather, patchouli, and coffee absolute that remind one of the atmosphere of the crystal and art deco carafes at his home in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Grands Lys brings to life his first days as a couturier. “I remember the obsessive and suave fragrance of white lilies during my beginnings and my interiors and creation studios in a 70s Parisian mood,” he notes.
If these five candles are entirely new fragrances and thoughts brought to life at Celine, Nightclubbing is the one scent passed over from the fragrance collection to candles–notably, it is a favorite in the Middle East. “The remembrance of my years of Parisian nights, when I went from Les Bains Douches to the Palace every night of my life,” recalls Slimane of his evenings at iconic Parisian haunts. “The smell of suede, of the nicotine, on a decadent and amber patina, hair on the nape perfumed with vanilla scents. The endlessly reflected image of a boy and a girl on a crimson velvet banquet descending into an unfathomable abyss. In the streets of Paris wandering around until dawn.” A memory shared with the light of a match.
Originally published in the November 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia