Last week, I had the pleasure of popping to Libery London to
celebrate the launch of Diane Pernet’s four unisex fragrances in London. I
caught up with Diane about her new venture to find out more about the perfumes
and their inspiration.
RR: As one of the most prominent fashion
visionaries, what drew you to scent? What did you want to communicate?
DP: I started off
in the industry as a fashion designer and over the years have become a fashion
curator, blogger, filmmaker…there are so many dimensions I enjoy in fashion. I
have always loved perfumes and the time was just right. I created my blog ten
years ago on 5th February 2005 and then progressed to A Shaded View
Of Fashion, a product was the next step. I met Celso Fadelli, CEO of Intertrade
Group, four years ago in Florence and we have been developing the fragrance for
RR: How did you
approach creating your first set of fragrances?
DP: It was a very
long process but we wanted to get it right. We started with three noses then
narrowed it down to one and developed each fragrance one at a time. I have over
100 trial perfumes – I don’t know what I’m going to do with them all!
RR: What was the most
interesting part of the process?
DP: The whole
process actually, it’s like alchemy, you’re creating a dream and making it a
reality. My fragrances are very personal; it’s almost like giving away a part
RR: How would you describe
To Be Honest, Wanted, In Pursuit of Magic and Shaded?
DP: They are all
different but complementary, to suit different parts of your personality. To Be
Honest and Wanted are both woody. To Be Honest is more spiritual, inspired by
old churches in Italy and their heavy incense scent. Wanted is more carnal and sensual
with notes of leather. In Pursuit of Magic is lighter with citrus and patchouli
notes and Shaded is slightly marine, like the memory of salt on your skin. It’s
my nocturnal scent.
inspiration behind each scent?
RR: What was the
DP: To Be Honest
is inspired by the city person who still yearns for and appreciates the concept
of nature; it brings the feeling of nature to the city. Wanted is sensual, inspired
by Oriental gardens in Japan, very tranquil and still…almost like a graveyard
but not that dark! I wanted In Pursuit of Magic to be invigorating and hypnotic
but wearable and Shaded is my signature, a heavier scent for evening inspired
by being on the beach at nighttime.
RR: The boundaries
between gender are becoming increasingly blurred in fashion and each of your
scents is unisex, what do you think of this shift?
DP: I never liked
wearing women’s fragrances; I wore Comme des Garcons unisex fragrance for years
and also Guerlain’s Vetiver for men. I like the notion of genderless fragrance.
incredibly varied career, from journalist and blogger to critic, filmmaker and
now perfumer. How has fashion evolved in this time?
DP: I was a
designer for thirteen years, starting in the 1980s. It was a real power period,
there was an energetic mood. In the 1990s, we moved to a more deconstructed
look, channelling the Japanese aesthetic. The 2000s were about looking to the
past for inspiration, the same as now. There is so much pressure on designers
now, much more than before. The cost of putting on a show is so high but it’s
expected and you have to work so hard just to break even, so the shift is
towards being commercial. Creativity has suffered.
RR: What drew you to
collaborate with Liberty?
DP: I just love
Liberty; it’s been my favourite store for decades. It’s a store like no other,
it has a beautiful heritage yet it’s innovative and almost noble.
Liberty, what are your favourite places in London?
DP: When I’m in
London, I really enjoy spending time with my friends but my favourite places to
eat are the Rose Bakery at Dover Street Market and Yautacha.
RR: Finally, what’s
next for your brand?
DP: Well, we do
have a new perfume in the making. I really love it, it’s been such a fantastic
journey and I can’t wait to share it.
Wanted, Shades, In Pursuit of Magic and To be Honest are
available exclusively at Liberty.
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