For her trip from Saint Tropez to Saint Germain circa the 1970s, as per the house’s spring/summer 2020 show notes, the Celine woman’s packing list comprised handfuls of gold tasseled necklaces to throw on and stack; a lighter strung around a singular chain; and a perfume vial, too, hanging off a naval-grazing neck charm. Cue the magpies seated on the sidelines craning their necks to get a closer look at the miniature bottles, which held the first fragrances to come out of the Celine Haute Parfumerie in 50 years.
All the models swished down the runway in a cloud of “Reptile”, the debut evening scent within the collection of 11 that Slimane developed himself, and which evoke moments, places and people that are dear to him. The notes of each unisex fragrance are emblematic of French perfumeries in the 1960s and 1970s – think iris, rose, tree moss and chypre – and, along with the bottle shape, which is in keeping with French glassmaking – chime with the complex characterisation of Slimane’s Celine woman. The designer is fanatical about his research, and operates with a laser-focused precision that ensures each component of his vision feels authentic.
The fragrances will be available in Celine boutiques from 31 October, and the perfectly-formed vial necklaces will hit accessories counters next season, giving Slimane acolytes time to find the scent that suits their skin – from “Parade”, “La Peau Nue” and “Black Tie” to “Nightclubbing”. Like each powdery perfume, they present an entry point into the house, and the new era of the bohemian Celine woman. A cult accessory is born.