He’s the master of the iconic red heel whose love for colour and sensual textures has also played out in his eponymous line of killer lipsticks and nail varnishes. Now, Monsieur Christian Louboutin seduces us with Loubiworld, a collection of seven new fragrances with seven stories, that launches exclusively at Tangs in Singapore on November 1, 2020.
The olfactive manifestation of personal memories, fantasies and dreams, Louboutin called on longtime friend and collaborator, Hélène Tran, whose ethereal designs echo both the poetry and humour of each universe, with each flacon crowned with a whimsical touch that hints at the juice within. He worked with notable perfumers, Nicolas Beaulieu, Daphné Bugey, Marie Salamagne, and Christophe Raynaud to bring these scent stories to life, sharing that each fragrance was “born from a creative impulse: an image, a scent, a feeling or a memory that stood out to me, compelling me to express it.
“They were able to translate my vision into fragrance, and we would go back and forth until each one was an authentic representation of the world in my imagination. For me, this collaboration with the perfumers is such a crucial creative relationship because of the specificity of fragrance: it is invisible, like an aura that surrounds you. It’s a bit mysterious and open to interpretation and discovery. And it’s a very intimate form of expression,” says Christian Louboutin.
How did the Loubiworld collection come about?
“Creativity is a work of the five senses. Smell is a powerful way to express a universe, and I love how it does that by using our emotions, memories and associations. The Loubiworld collection is particularly personal to me because these aren’t just any universes we’re talking about. These are my influences, and they are specific worlds that are in my mind. I go there naturally, to dream and to re-energise. It really means a lot to be able to share these private dream worlds with the real world.
“This collection is a bit like following me inside my mind. The fragrances are based on seven different quasi-imaginary lands, and each one presents itself to me with its own scent, colour, shape and materials. These lands are my own unique creation, they’re neither 100 per cent real nor 100 per cent fantastical. Often they are born from a memory that has lingered in my mind, usually sparked by a voyage, a story or a scent that I just couldn’t forget. This is what I shared with the perfumers who helped create a fragrance for each of these places: the scent, the feeling, the memory that I have when I visit them in my imagination.”
“Creativity is a work of the five senses. Smell is a powerful way to express a universe, and I love how it does that by using our emotions, memories and associations.”
How did the romance of travel and exploration shape these perfumes?
“Travel is one of my greatest joys, and foreign cultures have always fascinated and inspired me. Certain voyages spark my imagination and encourage my mind to drift and dream. In that way, Loubiworld is like the frontier between reality and imaginary. These seven fragrances are based on quasi-imaginary lands, like dream worlds, though you can perceive the essence of cultures that have left an imprint on my mind. The fragrances incorporate those visual and olfactive memories from all the people I’ve met, all those stories they’ve told me, the scents I discovered while visiting extraordinary gardens. The real and the imaginary—it’s all very dear to me.”
The idea of imaginary lands is also a big part of this collection. Where does this curiosity stem from?
“Exoticism is a vast concept. There is no one exoticism, there are only multiple possibilities. It takes different forms, and it looks different for each one of us. It’s the things that don’t belong to our own personal experience. It’s often linked to where we were born or grew up, our culture, our education. And it can take the shape of different behaviours, objects, voyages, landscapes and more. The definition is boundless, panoramic. For me, exoticism is definitely based on objects and places where I felt since I was a kid that I could escape in an imaginary world.
“If you like exoticism, it implies you love people, which is definitely my case. I’ve dreamt about travels from a very young age, first going to arty theatres where I discovered Indian and Egyptian cinemas and also thanks to a museum named Le Palais de la Porte Dorée which is a few blocks away from where I grew up. At that time, it was the Le Musée des Arts Océaniens et Africains. I heard for the first time about regions like Haute Volta or Dahomey, discovered cultures, objects, artisanship I had never heard about. From there, I started dreaming about all these places, these people, these savoir-faire, and I’ve been lucky enough to make this dream my life.”
Tell us about the powerful olfactive memories from your youth. What scents evoke the fondest memories?
“It’s funny, but my early memories are not at all linked with perfumes. It’s actually the scents of nature that have marked my childhood: gardens, the smell just after it rained or leaves in the hot heat. I have fond memories of the scents of flowers, and of discussing scents. It’s probably why so many notes in the Loubiworld fragrances are based in nature, Ibecause there’s something about them that draws me in. The rose and blackcurrant in Loubifunk, Loubikiss’ bouquet of jasmine, the cypriol and sandalwood in Loubicroc, Loubiraj’s cedar and suede… Speaking of this last one, it makes me think of the scents that have marked my life since adolescence. They are linked to my work, of course: the smells of wax, glue and leather.”
The Loubiworld collection consists of 7 fragrances available in 90ml, $440 each; exclusively available at Tangs from November 1, 2020.
1 / 7
Loubifunk: an exuberant floral rose
“Loubifunk makes me think of an orangerie (indoor orange garden), an enclosed one that’s attached to a home. The light is beautiful and inviting, making you want to stay. It’s a very green scent, like plants growing protected in a greenhouse,” says Christian Louboutin.
Its nose, Nicolas Beaulieu—the perfumer behind Jimmy Choo‘s Creative Flower and Clinique‘s Aromatics in White—created an exuberant Floral Rose with a fiesta of rose, sweet blackcurrant, and patchouli. It’s an invitation to dance, live light, and participate in the sheer joy of living.
2 / 7
Loubidoo: a fruity, floral lucky charm
“For me, Loubidoo is very feminine,” says Louboutin. “It leaves a trace, like the fragrance of someone you don’t really know, but that person’s scent lingers in your mind.”
Perfumer Daphné Bugey—the nose who famously gave the world Le Labo‘s Rose 31 and Lys 41—created a blend of effervescent strawberry notes grounded with opulent rose and cedar, topped with a lucky charm to bring its wearer great fortune.
3 / 7
Loubikiss: a hypnotic, white flowered ode to love
“Loubikiss is addictive, almost narcotic. It makes its presence known, but there’s a lightness. It’s persistent, but without overpowering,” explains Louboutin.
Another bewitching creation by Daphné Bugey, Loubikiss is an ode to eternal love and is composed of a white flower bouquet comprising of jasmine, tuberose, and musk. Crowning the bottle: a calavera skull as bold and captivating as the fragrance within.
4 / 7
Loubirouge: the spicy oriental for magical days and heady nights
“A secret perfume—that’s what Loubirouge is! Like the scent of a Parisian woman who doesn’t want to reveal the fragrance she’s wearing; the perfume suits her identity so well that she doesn’t want to share her secret. It’s a little bit selfish!”
Loubirouge is an oriental spicy cabaret, created by Marie Salamagne, known as the nose for Giorgio Armani’s Rose Milano and a host of Jo Malone and Maison Martin Margiela fragrances. Inspired by high heels, cabaret and the glamour of Paris, it leaves a trail of cardamom, iris and vanilla in its wake.
5 / 7
Loubiraj: a beguiling woody, leather scent
“Loubiraj evokes something ceremonial, mysterious, almost sacred. It’s like a gentle version of the scents you could find in ceremonial places,” says Louboutin.
Described as majestic and wild, Daphné Bugey offers us a full-bodied blend of suede, cedar and curious pink pepper in a scent as bright as it is hypnotic.
6 / 7
Loubicroc: the mythic spicy oriental perfume
“In my mind, Loubicroc is linked to sacred dancers in pharaonic temples. Smelling it, I think of goddesses within temples, and women wearing a peplos like in the film Cleopatra.”
As guardian of the secrets of the pyramids, Daphné Bugey’s intense elixir, compromising of myrrh, cypriol and seductive sandalwood, is at once mysterious and mesmerising.
7 / 7
Loubicrown: a regal woody oriental
“At first scent, Loubicrown makes me think of fabric, a royal tapestry. It makes you wonder where the scent comes from. An object? A fabric? A drape? You want to know more. There’s something intriguing, almost like an old book of spells, a castle that has long been enclosed, or furniture that has lived a full life. You feel something when you smell it—an imprint, like the spirit of a place.”
Imagined by nose Christophe Raynaud who has created fragrances for the likes of Guerlain, Kenzo, and Lancôme to name but a few houses, Loubicrown plays up the aristocratic nobility of cedar with irreverent patchouli and tonka bean.