Aurélien by Aurélien Guichard for Carine Roitfeld: Of Opium and orange blossom
You’d swear you’ve always known this fragrance. You’ve
got its name on the tip of your tongue… But unless you’ve rubbed shoulders with
Carine Roitfeld, who long concocted her own signature scent by layering Yves
Saint Laurent’s Opium with Serge Lutens’ Fleur d’Oranger, you
haven’t. The blend, once you smell it, makes utter, stylish sense. In Aurélien
Guichard’s crucible, the two classics merge. Spice-laced orange blossom
lustrous with aldehydes in myrrh’s black mirror, sooty with patchouli and castoreum
– a reflection in Roitfeld’s trademark smoky eye. Deflowered. Beneath the
wreaths of Opium, the specter of L’Heure bleue, swapping its
Belle Époque frou-frous for stilettos and a patent-leather pencil skirt. More
than a tribute to its inspiration, the scent whose code name during its development
was “Black Panther” is a true olfactory signature.
I am a writer and translator based in Ottawa, as well as the perfume editor for Citizen K and a writer for NEZ, the olfactive magazine. My book The Perfume Lover, A Personal History of Scent is published by Harper Collins (UK), St. Martin's Press (USA) and Penguin (Canada). The perfume linked to the book,Séville à l'aube, was composed by Bertrand Duchaufour for L'Artisan Parfumeur.