The year is 1966. You’re a fashion editor seated on the front row of Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent’s fall/winter 1966-1967 haute couture show, witnessing one of fashion’s most radical moments in history—the unveiling of Le Smoking, the first tuxedo designed exclusively for a woman. A powerful statement delivered in a time where women were refused entry to restaurants and hotels simply for wearing trousers, the revolutionary, gender-bending Le Smoking was and is an ensemble of female liberation, and a mark of Saint Laurent’s allyship to establishing a future where women no longer had to ask, “if he can, why can’t I?”
The Fragrance of Freedom
Fifty-five years on, the late couturier’s fight for female freedom and empowerment lives on, this time in YSL Beauty’s latest feminine fragrance: Libre. Dubbed the scent of freedom, Libre (the French word for ‘free’) pays homage to the maison’s quintessential retailoring of a traditionally masculine structure to fit the powerful feminine spirit. Just as Saint Laurent remastered the tuxedo for women, Libre by YSL Beauty is a gender-bending take on the fougère, a classically masculine fragrance category. Seven years in the making, and over 1,500 variations later, freedom now has an it-conic fragrance.
Fleshing out the femininity of the fougère structure, the master perfumers, Anne Flipo and Carlos Benaïm, deconstructs the fougère’s key ingredient of herbaceous lavender to assemble only the warmest, sweetest fractions of the essence one finds in Diva Lavender Heart, a proprietary note exclusive to YSL Beauty. A hybrid of two different lavenders, the hand-harvested and sustainably sourced flowers are elaborately reconstructed as a fresher, more floral reiteration of the fougère.
The French lavender then blends seamlessly with a bouquet of opulent, hyper-concentrated Moroccan orange blossom and jasmine, culminating in an inimitable floral fusion. But the fruity, floral facade later gives way to a smoldering, glowing base of Madagascan vanilla and woody, musky ambergris. It is light, yet lush. Sweet, yet sensuous and sophisticated. Powerful yet ultra-feminine—just like the wearer.
Opt for a fresher, more playful reiteration of the iconic Libre Eau de Parfum with Libre Eau de Toilette. This reinterpretation trades in the warmer notes of the musk accord for a cool, androgynous white tea accord and the lavish golden essence for a romantic rose-gold juice.
Libre Eau de Parfum (30ml)
Libre Eau de Toilette (30ml)
Breaking the codes of the Cassandre
Wrapping around Libre, the iconic monogram of Yves Saint Laurent’s three intertwined initials—the Cassandre—is not in her usual, upright orientation. In an edgy, code-breaking move, designer Suzanne Dalton flips the oversized Cassandre on its side to trail the sharp angles of the covetable bottle. Cutting into the glass, the geometric, precision-cut glass V accentuates the décolltage of the Y, playing to the fragrance’s interplay between masculinity and femininity. Working your way up, the statement golden chains that coil around its neck meet the asymmetrical black lacquered cap—la touche finale to this structural couture manifesto of irreverence and freedom.
Experience your scent of freedom
To wear Yves Saint Laurent is to be empowered, liberated, and free—free to dance to your own beat and live by your own rules. An essential word in the Maison’s semantics, come experience your scent of freedom at all YSL Beauty stores. “I am aware that I made fashion progress, and that I allowed women to access a world of freedom that was prohibited to them until then,” said the late Yves Saint Laurent.
Immortalise the experience in a personalised poem about freedom and what it means to you when you visit YSL Beauty at ION Orchard from the 28 to 29 August 2021*.
YSL Beauty is available at ION Orchard, Isetan Scotts, Raffles City Shopping Centre, Metro Paragon, TANGS at TANG Plaza, BHG Bugis, and Takashimaya S.C., online at tangs.com, metro.com.sg, isetan.com.sg, store.takashimaya.com.sg, bhgsingapore.com.sg and via their WhatsApp Delivery platform to order.
*Terms and conditions apply.
Editor-in-chief: Norman Tan
Beauty Director: Alli Sim
Creative Director: Vanessa Caitlin
Co-Directors: Terence Lee & Zac Tan / Collabtive
Director of Photography: Adriel Manoe / Collabtive
Beauty Editor: Dana Koh
Manicurist: Dulcia Lim
Video Editor: Hazirah Rahim
Production Assistant and Additional Footage: David Bay
Camera Assistant: Tammy Koh
Model: Kyla Zhao