Celine’s latest fragrance is an ode to visionary French poet Arthur Rimbaud

When in 2019, Hedi Slimane took over as creative director of Celine, he gave new life to the iconic French Maison. That same year, he also introduced the Celine Haute Parfumerie Collection, featuring nine high-end fragrances. This year the collection is joined by the tenth: Rimbaud, a fragrance named after the French poet Arthur Rimbaud.

Named Rimbaud, the scent is a ‘hypersensitive portrait of a seventeen-year-old poet that Hedi Slimane discovered as a teenager’. With notes of lavender, neroli, orris butter, musk and vanilla, the scent mirrors that ‘taut and fragile’ chapter between childhood and adulthood – echoing Rimbaud’s life: he started publishing poems at sixteen and had finished with poetry by the time he was twenty-one.

As a young man in France, Slimane would read the writings of Rimbaud with friends and was fascinated by his images of eternal youth. Slimane has long been attracted to Rimbaud’s poetic romanticism, referencing the final stanza of his poem ‘Le Dormeur du Val’ in the show notes for his SS02 Dior Homme collection, while the designer borrowed ‘Parade’ from Rimbaud’s seminal ‘Les Illuminations’ collection for his Celine FW21 womenswear title. One of Celine’s nine Haute Parfumerie fragrances is also named after Parade (Neroli).

Look through Slimane’s work celebrating nascent musicians and artists carving their own path and his relationship with Rimbaud’s life and work is clear. Rejecting stuffy French literature, Rimbaud lived as a vagabond, running away from home repeatedly.

Rejecting God, the army, and convention, Rimbaud instead opted for a life of spontaneity, hedonism and obscenity: before leaving from Charleville for Paris, he scrawled ‘Shit on God’ across the town walls, smoked, grew his hair out, and mocked a priest with an homage to his unholy bowel movements – read ‘Squattings’.

Through his poetry, this runaway romantic translated his bohemian experiences via fantastical verses that take the reader on journeys through visionary realms, creating a powerful mystique that still seduces today: bottled in Celine’s fragrance ode.

Now, as a courturier, Slimane has dedicated an entire chapter of his Olfactory Journal to the poet. Rimbaud is a scent that illustrates Silmane’s personal view of Rimbaud and his writings, as well as a fragrance that defines the photographs he has taken of French men and women over the last 30 years. 

A hypersensitive portrait, both intimate and symbolic. The portrait of a a 17-year-old poet that Hedi Slimane discovered as a teenager and that of an entire generation of young people photgraphed by the couturier over the past thirty years.

Rimboud is all about duality, a play between light and dark. Inspired by the themes of contrast and revisitation in neo-classic literature, Slimane selected lavender and orris, or the rhizomes of iris, as the two floral scents that make up the perfume. Lavender, a main choice for most masculine fragrances, combines with orris, a more feminine and powdery fragrance, to create a gender-neutral scent. Rimbaud features notes of neroli, wheat accord, musk, and vanilla in conjunction with lavender and orris butter. Stylish yet unassuming, it’s like the fragrance epitome of a crisp white shirt.

Recently, Thai rapper, singer and dancer Lisa, a member of the South Korean girl group Blackpink, was chosen as the face of the first advertising campaign for the Celine Haute Parfumerie collection, photographed by the creative director himself.

The ‘tres chic’ perfume box is adorned in paper with a ‘grain de poudre’ feel, embossed with ‘grand siècle’ moldings, and tied with a black ottoman ribbon. Topped with a black lacquered cap and adorned with 17th century white moldings, the Celine flacon is massive glass affirms its modernist lines and Art Deco fluting. The Maison’s emblem, the ‘Triumphe’ is engraved on the top of the cap.

The new Celine Rimbaud perfume is available three different sizes: 100 ml, 200 ml, and a 15 ml refillable flacon for the new Travel Spray Line, at the Celine Haute Parfumerie Boutique, at 390 rue Saint-Honoré, Paris and at selected stores worldwide. Come into the beautiful world of Celine.

Hedi Slimane Debuts Celine’s Perfumes With A New Haute Parfumerie Line


With the appointment of Hedi Slimane as Celine’s artistic, creative and image director in 2018, a new era of the French Maison was birthed. From the replacement of the previous accented logo (that received mixed reviews from critics) to the debut of the fashion house first male collection, Slimane has been dedicated to steering the brand in a fresh, new direction.

After a 55-year lull period from fragrances, Celine returns with its Haute Parfumerie Collection with Hedi Slimane at the helm.

And now, the man is reintroducing fragrances to Celine’s offerings. Since its first perfume in 1964 called Vent Fou, fragrances have taken a backseat at the French Maison. Come October, the brand will be opening the doors of its first Haute Parfumerie Boutique at 390 Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris. It will house this 11-piece fragrance line that’s suitable for daytime and evening wear.


The reinterpreted fragrance line will be nothing like its predecessors. While the Vent Fou was a floral-scented scent made for women only, Slimane’s Haute Parfumerie collection will feature modern, gender-neutral fragrances that deliberately steer away from traditionally masculine and feminine notes in its accords and compositions.

15 Years after the creation of Maison Christian Dior Perfume Collection, Hedi Slimane presents his Haute Parfumerie Collection for Maison Celine.

This seems only natural coming from Slimane, what with the man’s penchant for questioning the societal norms of gender through his collections and photographs.


Expect the fragrances to be stamped with Slimane’s powdery signature, which informed his olfactory creations in 2004 when he reigned as Dior Homme’s creative director too. Slimane also meant for this faceted (see: not basic like short compositions) collection to reflect the classicism and sophistication of the Parisian spirit.

Just as at home on the wrist of a man as they are a woman’s, the scents utilise classic notes found in French perfumery of the Sixties and Seventies. The faceted accords and compositions in the collection deliberately make no distinction or separation between traditional masculine and feminine notes.

How? He does so by playing on emblematic notes of French perfumery from the ’60s and ’70s such as tree moss, iris, rose or chypre accords – since they are seen as timeless markers of perfumes back then. From Parade and Dans Paris to Eau de Californie, Reptile and Night Clubbing, there is a perfume for every inclination and event, each one as timeless as the next.


The flacon is also made to reflect a certain French sense of je ne sais quoi. Designed by Slimane himself, the clean, minimalistic design evokes both the Art Deco era and the art of French glass blowing, thanks to its long, strong lines and lacquered black top.


Here’s the full list of Celine’s 11 Haute Parfumerie perfumes.

Celine Haute Parfumerie Parade
Celine Haute Parfumerie Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Celine Haute Parfumerie Dans Paris
Celine Haute Parfumerie Cologne Française
Celine Haute Parfumerie Bois Dormant (launching in 2020)
Celine Haute Parfumerie La Peau Nue
Celine Haute Parfumerie Rimbaud (launching in 2020)
Celine Haute Parfumerie Eau De Californie

For Evening:
Celine Haute Parfumerie Reptile
Celine Haute Parfumerie Black Tie
Celine Haute Parfumerie Nightclubbing

Celine’s Haute Parfumerie Collection will be available at Celine’s Haute Parfumerie Boutique (from October), and you’ll be able to take a sniff of nine of the perfumes at Celine Boutiques worldwide from October 31, and the remaining two in 2020 – as if you needed another excuse to visit.

Come into the beautiful world of Celine.