Hedi Slimane’s latest perfume for CELINE is an olfactory tribute to Arthur Rimbaud
“At 14, after our lessons, my friends and I recited [Arthur] “Le Dormeur Du Val” by Rimbaud, lying in the grass”, recalls Hedi Slimane. “Like others before and after us, we were fascinated by the fragility and grace of the young poet, and felt his torments as if they were our own.”
Many years later, Slimane still feels the influence of the libertine poet whose transgressive work, carried out for the most part before the age of 20, has left an indelible mark on literary culture. Created as a tribute to Rimbaud, his latest fragrance for CELINE seeks to capture the poet’s essence by drawing inspiration from a photo of the young Rimbaud that Slimane kept with him “religiously”. “Already, it seemed to me to be the image of eternal and universal youth,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to create a fragrance that evokes utopia, the very essence of youth.”
It’s no surprise that Slimane’s latest olfactory portrait takes after his photographic portraits; many of the most iconic images of youth were captured through his lens, a vision that has developed over 30 years of image making. Through his discovery of emerging musicians and artists, Slimane has defined and redefined the aesthetic of independent youth imagery – a theme he began exploring through his online photo journal, and continues to explore. expand with fashion collections celebrating young subcultures. With his latest perfume for CELINE, Slimane wanted to distil the essence of youth in a perfume, a sort of “olfactory fragility, suspended, timeless, touching the skin… The grace, the introspection of adolescence”.