W magazine goes inside perfumer Serge Lutens's secret Moroccan hideout in the heart of the Marrakesh medina, asks questions (via Christopher Bagley) and posts a pleiad of gorgeous photos (by Patric Nagel) in their June issue. Curiously, the hideout of the grand master of artistic direction is just that ~a secret hideout. It's been constructed for the last 35 years, yet it hasn't been lived in yet! Lutens has trouble coming up with a clear explanation, attributing it to filling the “awful, horrible emptiness that we all have.” He says, “There are times where you just have to be completely occupied; otherwise you fall apart".
The house is respendid with orientalised motifs, Berber jewellery and fibulae, Syrian chairs and paneled coloured windows alongside an impressive memento mori desk. All around a big walled garden full of exotic blooms like daturas, tuberoses and brigmansias. Anyone who knows the admiration Perfume Shrine holds for the Lutensian universe knows we're thrilled...
The interview includes such Lutensian gems as “I felt like the director of the pyramid at Cheops” (on the 500 people working on it), “You could call it obsession. But obsession is a necessary part of creation” (on getting carried away on the building process) and “It’s happened very quickly, like a hysteria. Everything’s a hysteria with me” (on his amassing moody Orientalist art-pieces from the middle of the 1980s onwards).
But maybe the most interesting of them all (and the most romantic) concerns smells: The greatest perfumers of them all aren't perfumers, but rather the bees, the winds, the rivers, carrying and mixing scents in space...In a home like this one, this is tangible reality more than poetic fantasy.
Visit this link to read and see the Serge Lutens slideshow.
And might we remind you that two new fragrances by Serge Lutens are coming up soon: Boxeuses and Bas de Soie. You can read about them here.
Photographs by Patric Nagel for W Magazine.