“Feminine. Masculine. Why Choose?” LUI, the genderless fragrance by Guerlain, revamps the idea of tradition by blending the lines between femininity and masculinity.
Inspired initially by the emerge of gender fluidity in the twenties, when women wore trousers, cut their hair short and smoked, then further encouraged by the same gender fluidity that prevails today. The act of “breaking free from traditional divides and shaking up stereotypes” to seek freedom is what gave Guerlain the idea for the universal scent.
LUI is not entirely feminine or masculine, but is both at once. Created by Delphine Jelk, Guerlain Perfumer, under the creative direction of Thierry Wasser, Guerlain’s Master Perfumer, the fragrance is floral, spicy and woody. Based on benzoin, the scent opens with soft pear and clove, following closely is the benzoin, which intertwines with the powdery and spicy elements of the carnation, before the fragrance becomes darker and more intense with leathery and smoky base notes, accompanied by vanilla and white musk.
The black lacquered bottle that holds the fragrance, and the name of the scent, both pay homage to Guerlain’s heritage; reflecting the floral aldehyde “Lui”, created by Jacques Guerlian in 1929, a compound that “wrapped women’s emancipation in the scent of freedom”.
LUI’s uniqueness is best revealed upon contact with the skin, where different segments of its complexity come through depending on the individual themselves. “LUI is always true to form, but never the same.”
£145 for 50ml from Harrods and or Selfridges in the UK.