Ahead of her namesake brand's 25th anniversary, Monique Lhuillier is launching her first fragrance. The Filipino-American designer has long been a household name, best known for her ultra-feminine gowns worn by A-list celebrities on the red carpet and down the aisle. So it's no surprise that Lhuillier, a purveyor of beauty and elegance, is stepping into the fragrance world. But what took her so long?
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"In my head I had formulated what I wanted [the fragrance] to evoke," she says. "But the thing is, it took me a while to find the right partner to do it with. The partnership with [The Premiere Group], the company that helped me put this together, came about a year ago. Next year is our 25th year anniversary in business, so it was important for me to have this in the collection already [as] a staple of the brand."
The namesake fragrance features a blend of hyacinth, bergamot, cassis, freesia, lily of the valley, and centifolia rose for an initial floral scent that warms into a combination of lace wood, violet musks, and patchouli. It took a year to develop, with Lhuillier enlisting French perfumer Maurice Roucel of fragrance house Symrise.
"There was a learning curve for me through it," she explains. "When I work with my fashions, I can see it come to life in front of my eyes. [With a fragrance,] I was like, I don't know how it's going to feel in my hands. Then we made mock ups and it was just a different process, but it was delightful along the way."
As for the bottle, Lhuillier looked to her own designs for inspiration. "When people think Monique Lhuillier, it's feminine, it's elegant, it's timeless with a modern twist. That's why I came up with this concept of doing a sculptural flower. It's also in our signature color of blush pink."
Monique Lhuillier is available in Monique Lhuillier flagship salons, Nordstrom.com, and select locations of Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor and Von Maur. The 100 ml and 30 ml bottles are $175 and $85 respectively, and the travel mini is $30.
Fragrance is just the beginning for Lhuillier, who will be launching lotion and body lotion at the end of March. As for what's next? "I would love to see it a color palette at some point," she hints. "Even if it starts with lips. I just feel like I would love to do that."
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