When it comes to writing about beauty, there are certain tricks of the trade to describe the experience with a product. It’s usually meant to evoke the experience you’ll have while using it. However, every once in a while, I come across a product that can best be describe in visual, which has been my experience with one of the most amazing fragrances I’ve come across in a very long time: Une Voix Noir Eau de Parfum by Serge Lutens.
I was invited to meet Hasaan Saad, the brand director for Serge Lutens, at a private one-on-one session at Barneys New York, to experience it for myself. This is one of those moments as an editor for which you live: an exclusive opportunity to get a minute alone to experience something that could be extraordinary.
For those not familiar with Serge Lutens’ work, he’s sort of a legend in the beauty industry, with decades of luxury cosmetics (his Ultimate Red Collection Lip Palette is not to be missed.) He also has a particular talent of fragrance crafting. Serge Lutens fragrances evoke emotions and memory recall with layers and layers of scent that can literally transport you to another place.
What he’s done with this amazing fragrance is capture a moment with its inspiration, legendary jazz and blues singer Billie Holiday (“Une Voix Noire” literally means “A black voice” in French.) And when I mean capture a moment, once you catch a mere whiff of the fragrance, you’re literally transported to another time, a place where Billie would perform: the gardenia in her hair, the smoke that hangs suspended in the air from entranced patrons, the sweetness of rum in the glasses, the dry down ending with the richness of the wooden floors, aged perfectly by the liquor that’s soaked in over time. It smells sweet, smoky, rich and lovely.
The liquid even looks like honey, the tone of her legendary voice.
In a world where fragrances are too mass produced and where everyone is starting to smell the same, I encourage you to experience fragrance made by a master, inspired by a woman who was painfully too big for this world.
Une Voix Noire Eau de Parfum is part of Lutens’ Palais Royal Exclusive Fragrance collection, with 1-2 fragrances issued each year since 1992. It’s sold exclusively at Barneys New York in store as well as the newly-launched Serge Lutens website. Experience the magic of a beauty that is – these days, at least – rare, exquisite and beautiful.