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Diane Pernet by Alan Gelati - Copy

Just recently, one of my closest friends has begun attending events for me in London now that I don’t live there any more. Her name is Lindsay, and I spoke about her once before on here, how she got me into make-up and together we spent our pocket money at beauty counters on products way beyond our years, and we shopped for clothes and jewellery for about eight hours straight every weekend, taking the longest bus route home that we could just so we could look at all our stuff! Linds was and is elegance, and I’m a bit more indie, grungey, music-influenced, but we have forever overlapped on the beauty products. I am so, so pleased she’ll be contributing to Way Out Wedding: she is an expert on the finer things in the cosmetics world, and will give the blog a classy edge!

A couple of weeks ago, Lindsay, a fragrance fanatic (I honestly think she knows everything about it…), attended the launch of Diane Pernet’s perfume range at one of our most favourite places, Liberty London. Diane is a fashion industry superstar, a revered critic and video journalist, who has pushed the boundaries of how we experience our fashion and style. She has pioneered the evolution of fashion from the beloved two-dimensional page to the realm of digital media, namely through her site A Shaded View on Fashion, which provides an arena for fashion film makers to push themselves creatively in its fashion film competition. Film really is where something as fluid and living as fashion ought to also dwell in complement to still photography. After all, the artistry of clothes owes much to movement. You can’t see the dance of fabrics and cut via the paper page…

I shall hand over to Lindsay…

Diane Pernet Paris-groupshot - Copy

Something new or something that’s really you? Should we wear our signature perfume on our wedding day or is this the perfect opportunity to try something different to mark a new beginning? I met with perfumer and fashion blogger Diane Pernet at Liberty London to get her thoughts on this and to discuss the mystical world of perfume.

My first impression of Diane was that she is a serene and accomplished lady. Her soft, gentle voice is a deep contrast to her signature long black gown, black shades and spider-adorned headdress. Liberty is showcasing her four one-of-kind fragrances for a limited period, and I was eager to find out more – and have a good sniff!

Sweet beginnings

Having been initiated into the world of fine perfumes at the tender age of 14 – yes, far too young to be wearing Chanel but hey ho – I have been an addict ever since. I was curious to know what Diane’s first perfume was and whether it was the beginning of a lifetime love affair or one to be consigned to the fragrant graveyard of perfumes past. It was the latter. “I used to really love those sickeningly sweet perfumes and my first fragrance was Guerlain’s ‘Shalimar’” she says. “But I can’t stand it anymore – or any of those sweet vanilla-heavy perfumes.”


Perfume – a journey

Somewhere along the way, Diane developed a preference for scents containing vetiver and lemon verbena, and now she loves incense-based fragrances. I asked her what she thinks brings about such changes and what perfume means to a woman. She believes that scent is a very personal, intimate way of expressing ourselves as it is something we wear on our skin. “It evokes an emotion and there are all kinds of dimensions of your own personality that you might feel at different times” she says. “That’s why I thought it was fun to create four perfumes. I hadn’t thought of doing four at first,” she continues, “I just wanted to do one. But it’s fun. We are multi-dimensional – sometimes you feel like you want to be really serene, almost mystical. Another time you might be feeling more carnal and another time you just want to feel really energised, so each one references a different dimension.”

The perfect wedding fragrance

I wanted to turn the conversation towards weddings – and it wasn’t difficult – Diane has been married four times and believes wholeheartedly in the magic of weddings! Now, we’ve all been told not to try something drastically different when it comes to our wedding day, but does this also apply to perfumes? “It could go both ways,” says Diane, “you could try something new because it represents a step towards a new part of your life, but on the other hand, you might wear something that’s really you.” Diane’s a typical Libra – so she thinks both are right! I cheekily asked her what perfume she wore to each of her weddings. For her first, Diane was really into Gardenias and she not only wore a Gardenia scent, but wove fresh flowers into her hair. “I was in heaven,” she says. The choice for her second, third and fourth weddings was Vetiver by Guerlain.

Diane Pernet Paris_details shot - Copy

Diane’s perfume collection

When it comes to her signature perfumes (created with Celso Fadelli), Diane likes to think of her four creations as four different aspects of a woman. “The idea was to create a collection that could stimulate each mood. One woman could wear all four because we have different dimensions.” ‘To be honest’ is a woman who is serene and spiritual and who likes noble materials and purity. Diane believes this will be the classic. ‘Wanted’ is more raw. The woman who wears this feels sexy and sensual – “think Charlotte Rampling in The Night Porter, or 50 Shades of Grey,” laughs Diane. ‘In pursuit of magic’ is the name that captures me the most. Diane says that this is for a fun-loving and hypnotic female as it’s an invigorating scent – perfect for sporty types, she thinks. “When you wear this, you feel like you’re in a parallel universe and anything could happen.” The final perfume in the collection is ‘Shaded,’ a sophisticated, evening marine for an elegant woman with refined taste.

So does Diane have a personal favourite? “They are like my four children” she says “I love them all!” She was wearing ‘To be honest’ when I met her and to be honest, she smelt divine!


The Perfumes…

Time to confess. Be bold. Brave. And utterly reckless.
‘To be honest’ captures the experience of stumbling upon an ancient church while walking through the woods. The green and woody fragrance follows you inside. Candles burn silently, their lights still flickering. A waft of incense lingers high above the altar as if the congregation has just vanished. There are notes of myrrh, black pepper, cedar wood, patchouli, vetiver and amber.

Yearn. Crave. Worship me. But leave me breathless.
‘Wanted’ is reminiscent of an oriental garden as the mist rolls in. Slightly dishevelled and overgrown, moss clings to stone statues obscured by twisting trees and shrubs. Bursts of exotic scents are elevated by a delicate cloud of steam. There are notes of clove, juniper, leather and nutmeg with a little musk accord in the air.

Beyond convention. In another dimension. Spellbound.
‘In Pursuit of Magic’ makes you feel as if you’ve entered a familiar yet parallel world. Standing atop a hillside temple, time is lost in a moment of sensory overload. The refreshing citrus air simultaneously invigorates and purifies you. Tart, clean, intense, restored and protected. 

Lose yourself. Infinitely. Intimately. Into the darkness.
‘Shaded’ evokes a nocturnal bath in the sea. The salt on your skin, a subtle incense and new-found sensations await a secret lover’s encounter. Lightly caressed in the ocean mist, every feeling is shaded by an intense plume of vetiver and surrounded by the deepest touch of musk and guiac wood.

Gallery of Launch Event

Which perfume will you be wearing on your wedding day? Will you be sticking to your signature fragrance, or will you be wearing ‘something new’?

Photography Credit
Alan Gelati Photography for first image only