You can thank Marc Jacobs for the grunge trend we’re seeing in makeup and fashion now, only that he set it in motion over 20 years ago in 1993. You see, as the youngest designer to ever win the CFDA Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent he is a revolutionary powerhouse when it comes to fashion, accessories, and naturally, fragrance.
Marc went to the esteemed Parsons School of Design in the early eighties, where his inspired work caught the attention of boutique owners and executives. They began carrying his one-of-a-kind sweaters, and his career took off. After briefly working alongside Tom Ford at Perry Ellis, Jacobs was named Louis Vuitton’s creative director in 1997, and with the company’s financial backing he was also able to expand his own label simultaneously. After 16 years as the king of fashion, he announced he was leaving LV to pursue his other projects, and though he’ll be missed dearly at his old position I think we can expect lots of great things from the Geogrrey Beene Lifetime Achievement prize winner in the future.
His involvement in cosmetics began in 2006, when he began offering a line of body-splash fragrances distributed by Coty, Inc. His partnership with the company lives on, and they presently manufacture all of his scents. His cosmetics line, currently exclusive to Sephora, is made by Kendo, a relatively new yet exciting company that also owns the Kat Von D, Ole Henriksen, Bite, Elizabeth & James, and Formula X lines.
Perhaps his best-known fragrance to date is Daisy (100 ml, $96*) from 2007, an interesting juice that never really spoke to me but has done consistently well since it launched. It has three free-standing flankers on sale at the time of writing, including the newest Daisy Dream Forever (50 ml, $88*). The best thing about the particular range, I always think, is the pretty bottles. Indeed, Daisy doesn’t interest me as much as Honey (100 ml, $52.99*) from 2013 by Axe–maven Ann Gottlieb and Puredistance Master Perfumes-favorite Annie Buzantian. Honey comes in the most adorable bottle ever, a tribute to Marc’s love of polka dots. Interestingly, the juice inside doesn’t have a traditional honey note (Thierry Mugler’s Pure Havane, Demeter Fragrance Library’s Honey, Giorgio Armani’s Code or Women, etc.) but a fruity floral concoction of punch, pear, and honeysuckle. It is a sweet scent without being especially girly, and perfect for the summer season.
Besides the questionable Dot (100 ml, $115*), Honey’s other little-known sibling is Violet (50 ml, $52.99*). Released in 2015, this beautiful bottle can only be found at select duty free shops across the globe’s airports. This makes it especially hard to find, but like the other fragrances featured today it can be bought directly from FragranceNet.com for up to 70% off MSRP – that’ll save you big bucks on a plane ticket (shhh!). Violet’s bottle is a stunning holographic purple topped with a pearly cap and translucent-winged butterfly. Announced as a delectable modern chypre, Violet does not disappoint with notes of green apple and bergamot, powdery white florals and a gourmand vanilla base. It is debatably the most unique of the Marc Jacobs fragrances and draws comments every time I put it on. For the fashionable yet fun woman, ideal for winter.
Coty and Marc indeed carved themselves a niche market with their frequent limited-edition flankers, and 2009 pillar scent Lola by Calice Becker (Christian Dior’s J’adore, Tom Ford’s Velvet Orchid) and Yann Vasnier (Adam Levine, Tommy Hilfiger’s Loud) received one such bottle in 2010. Housed in a tall frosted glass flacon topped by the most extravagant, flamboyant, and utterly opalescent velvet-covered petals of all times, Lola Velvet (50 ml, $50.99*) is a powdery, soapy rose and slightly bitter tonka bean. For the old-souls between us, Lola’s timeless elegance will serve well in spring.
Verdict: Be it his romantic scents or richly coloured Le Marc Lip Crème lipsticks (pictured in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – $36* with the Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner – $31*), it is clear that Marc knows how to do beauty. His approach to cosmetics is to create products a character in his mind would use, and this makes it easy for clients to buy into his fantasy. I encourage you to check out his fragrances over at FragranceNet.com and makeup at Sephora, and let me know what you love from this inspiring designer.
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