Born in France in 1942, the multi-talented Serge Lutens began a creative career at the age of fourteen, apprenticed in a hair salon in his home town of Lille. Fashion photography and experimenting with cosmetics were hobbies until, in 1962, he moved to Paris and began styling hair and make up for Vogue magazine. Lutens worked with some of the most celebrated photographers and models of the time and, in 1967, was commissioned by Christian Dior to produce a line of cosmetics. He became recognised for his work in both photography and film-making.
His first foray into the world of fragrance came in 1982, when he created Nombre Noir in collaboration with Shiseido, for whom he was now working, redesigning their cosmetics, including the packaging and an award-winning advertising campaign. Ten years later came his most famous fragrance, Fémininité du Bois, created for him by Christopher Sheldrake, with whom he worked for a number of years, and Pierre Bourdon.
In the early 1990s he launched Les Salons du Palais Royal, to market creations by himself and Shiseido. In a sharp contrast to the trends of the early 1990s, Lutens took his inspiration from his home in Marrakesh. The archetypal niche perfumer, Lutens work is independent of fashion; he says: "A perfume can only emanate from a memory, from something you have known earlier on, or from a cultural path."
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