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Beauty
April 05, 2017

Carolina Herrera de Baez Pays Tribute To Her Mother’s Favourite Fragrance

Text by Aparrna Gupta

What better way to mark the 35th anniversary of the House of Herrera…

Legendary designer Carolina Herrera is known for her timeless style, and the brand that she built is a direct reflection of that. To celebrate its journey, her daughter Carolina Herrera de Baez, creative director, House of Herrera fragrances, wanted to craft something iconic, a bridge between the past and the future. In an exclusive interaction with Verve, she talks about her connection with fragrances.

Down memory lane
“Carolina Herrera New York perfectly embodies what my mother stands for; it immediately reminds me of her. Ever since I can remember, her scent signature has always been a blend of jasmine and tuberose. I could not think of a better tribute for this anniversary than to rework and elevate that perfume. We worked together with master perfumer Carlos Benaim who made the original one. Together we tried to give it a modern twist but without changing the main accords. The 35th anniversary edition has more volume; it is like an explosive bouquet. We also decided to give the bottle a new, more exclusive look. We opted for the same one as the Herrera Confidential Collection.”

Notes from childhood
“I grew up in Caracas in a house surrounded by a garden filled with every type of flower and beautiful trees. I have very vivid memories of that place: my father gardening, my mother looking after the flowers and my sisters and I playing around. Smelling roses, tuberose and especially jasmine, reminds me of that time. Before my mother launched her first fragrance, she used to mix essences herself to create her signature scent. When we moved to New York, I remember that I would accompany her to ‘The Perfume Workshop’ at Bloomingdale’s, from where she would buy oils and essences.”

Olfactory connection
“I have always been fond of scents and flowers. But I could not imagine that making perfumes would become my job. The idea came much later in 1996 when my mother asked me to help her design a fragrance to celebrate New York and its lifestyle. It was only supposed to be a summer job and here I am 20 years later, working as creative director of Carolina Herrera Fragrances!”

Mum’s the word
“I always see her as my mother first and not as Carolina Herrera the designer and style icon. But of course, I love her taste! She likes classic and feminine clothes, elegant and timeless pieces. She is always refined and sophisticated without overdoing it. She taught me that less is definitely more! You should always dress according to what suits you and not what you see on models and celebrities or in the magazines. To dress well, to be elegant, a woman must have her own sense of style, be natural and stay true to herself. She shouldn’t follow every trend.”

Modes of expression
“Many women actually consider perfumes as accessories. Fashion and fragrances complement one another perfectly. Both are ways to express yourself, your personality and your lifestyle. Sometimes it is a dress or an accessory that inspires a scent; and other times, the opposite happens. For instance, we have done several capsule collections of CH Carolina Herrera based on specific fragrances of the range. I would not say that we must always connect the two, but it comes very naturally. Every time we create something — whether it is a piece of clothing or a fragrance — it embodies the codes and values of the brand, making it even easier to connect both worlds.”

Moving forward
“Although you have to adapt to changing times, you have to remain true to your values and the codes of the brand. It is exactly what we try to do with the fragrances of the House of Herrera. I always try to create a perfume that is modern and unique and turn it into a classic, something timeless, just like my mother has been doing for the past 35 years. And look how successful she has been!”

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