ANGELES — When actor, artist and fashion designer Greg
Lauren unveiled his foray into the world of fragrance in
Hollywood late last month, he did it with a stroke of
a backdrop of olive-drab Army tents and paint-splattered
plywood floors, a paintbrush-wielding gentleman near the
entrance generously anointed guests with a baptismal
swath of blue paint.
inside, the guests, who had been provided white Greg
Lauren overshirts on arrival, removed them and hung them
on racks to dry and were given claim tickets so they
could take their creations with them as they left.
wanted everyone to immediately and interactively engage
in the artistic spirit," Lauren said. "To have
fun and feel what it’s like to be the bottle."
was referring to the paint-splattered fragrance bottles,
each one distressed by Lauren himself — a torn label
here, a bit of hand-sanding there — and labeled with a
piece of masking tape on which he’d written his name
with a black Sharpie pen.
wanted each person to feel like they were getting a
little piece of art — a little jewel," he said.
"so that they’d think, ‘Wow, a person really
the scent itself — a collaboration with Barneys New
York — Lauren turned to renowned perfumer Ralf
Schweiger (whose past efforts include Marc Jacobs Men
and Yves St. Laurent Baby Doll), asking him to craft a
fragrance that reflected some of the common themes in
the artist’s work.
wanted the contradictory themes of strength and
vulnerability, pain and beauty," Lauren said.
"I literally asked (Schweiger) if there was a scent
that we could find that would make you cry and make you
smile at the same time. That’s what I wanted."
result is a unisex fragrance described as "a
combination of tonka beans, vanilla and marine
it was because Lauren had mentioned crying, but our
first sniff gave us a distinct impression of salty and
sweet and evoked the image of one’s true love sitting
in a scented bubble bath, warm tears streaming down her
face and pooling atop a vanilla sundae.
Lauren for Barneys New York is the second in the
retailer’s designer fragrance collection. The 2,500
limited-edition 100-milliliter bottles are priced at