With a career and reputation as legendary as she has had, it’s only normal that we would wonder everything about what makes Carine Roitfeld tick. But now, we can get even closer to the world-famous editor and stylist, thanks to the release of her ultra personal new fragrance, Carine. It’s only fitting too that her latest endeavor would bring to mind the adjectives one might use to describe her: sensual, seductive, powerful, multi-faceted, and alluring. With top notes of pink pepper, base notes of Patchouli, and heart notes of Jasmine, Gardenia, and Rose; it’s sure to make people wonder who the mysterious wearer is. With that in mind, we called up the Parisienne icon herself to get the lowdown on what’s new in the world of Carine.
How long have you been wanting to create your own fragrance for?
Since I launched 7 Lovers in 2019, I always wanted to do a follow-up that told the story behind the woman who had 7 Lovers. While the 7 Lovers collection focused on seven fictional and non-fictional men from my life, Carine, as the scent is called, reveals the woman behind the story. Of course, during the pandemic, I had more time to reflect on my past and live with this fragrance truly. There’s something so magical about letting the scent take part of your life, your home, your clothes, step by step. Once I lived with it for some time and loved it just as much as the first day I smelled it, I realized I wanted to share it with all the people who had been asking me what I was wearing over the last several months.
Can you describe it in just one sentence?
Emblematic of my abiding quest to arouse sensuality and stir curiosity, ‘Carine’s’ notes of Patchouli, jasmine, and gardenia emphasize emboldened, instinctive, and ambiguous femininity.
What do you want to achieve with it? What do you want the wearer to feel?
Patchouli has this forbidden scent to it. It’s a bit free-spired, like me. I want to invoke adventure and suddenly make the wearer brave enough to live out their fantasies, which is why I used Patchouli because I feel it has the power to do that.
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What surprised you about the process of creating this scent? Did you have fun?
Creating a perfume or any scent personal to you demands an unconditional trust to the perfumer and being completely vulnerable and honest with your reactions to the ingredients and concoctions created. In the process of creating Carine, I shared my thoughts, dreams, emotions, and memories with Dominique Ropion—memories that I didn’t even realize I had— to create something unique that people will smell and hopefully love.
Tell us why you teamed up with Dominique.
Dominque, the nose behind some of the world’s most iconic scents, is a legendary perfumer that can conjure up emotions, dreams, vulnerabilities to create something spectacular.
What’s the meaning/influence behind the packaging?
I wanted this bottle to be sensual. Its pebble-shape makes it easy to embrace. When it comes to its color, khaki is my other black. As per the colorful outfit I’m wearing in the campaign, I wanted to come up with lighter packaging this time.
The world is always obsessed with ‘French girl beauty’—how do French girls like to apply their fragrances?
I don’t know if I’m like every other French girl, but I apply it at least five times a day: on my neck, my clothes, my wrists, and even before going to bed.
Do you have spring/summer travel planned?
I used to rent a house in Ibiza, all together with my family; that was before the pandemic. I hope we finally get to reunite there this summer.
Do you like to explore beauty trends in the places you travel to?
Yes, the best part about traveling is exploring and discovering new inspirations! It can also be educational where you get to learn about other cultures and ingredients that other countries use in their beauty products.
What else do you like to do when you travel? Do you relax or are you an adventurer?
I feel like it all depends who you’re traveling with. When on my own, I put on the relax mode, but I do love an adventure!
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Would you ever branch into other areas of beauty under your name?
People don’t really dissociate me from my eye make-up, which is definitely a clue as to what to expect from my brand. However, I don’t see CR exclusively as a beauty brand. New product categories are coming!
This fragrance takes inspiration from your teenage years through now. What’s one thing that would surprise us about Carine as a teenager?
I think she was way less shy than I am today.
Before we go, let’s talk fashion! Who were you watching closely this PFW? Any new designers to note?
I always hold great expectations for Demna’s Balenciaga show and this season definitely was a major hit. My most recent obsession is menswear designer Bianca Saunders. I also root for Eli Russell Linnetz who was a part of this year’s LVMH Prize.
[Editor’s note: Pssssst! Find the fragrance right here.]