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50 years men and women perfumery

...presented by the couture label Yves Saint Laurent in a chess game arrangement where black and white are symbolizing men and women. The chess board stands for the provocative style of the legendary designer who questioned gender-culture with pieces like the male tuxedo for women in the mid 60s or revolutionizing ads such as the nude portrait of himself for his first men's perfume 'Pour Homme' in 1971. The famous 'Pour Homme' ad was photographed by Jeanloup Sieff and shows the French couturier naked. Vogue cites Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent's business partner, who said in 1997 about the image of YSL 'Pour Homme': "It was just provocation on the part of Yves Saint Laurent. The picture didn't specifically target the gay population, even though it resonated strongly among them. In any case the photo was hardly published at the time. Just barely in the French press. It was only much later on that it became an almost mythical icon." 'Couturiers naked' is until today a style which can be tracked in men's perfumery such as seen at 'Bang' by Marc Jacobs.

Freedom, independence, love.... are themes of the eight perfume creations (4 for women, 4 for men - image below) by Yves Saint Laurent. YSL was born in 1936 and died on 1st June in 2008. In 1962, he debuted with his first collection under the own label 'Yves Saint Laurent'.

In 1964, the women's scent 'Y' (perfumer Michel Hy; chypre-green) was released. The 'Y' is the initial of his forename Yves. The perfume is an invitation to "women to express their masculine side, to assert themselves with strong, liberated identity." such as it is explained by the label. In the mid 60s, the famous YSL tuxedo for women has written fashion and gender history.

In 1971, the first men's fragrance 'Pour Homme' (perfumer Raymond Chaillan; aromatic citrus-chypre) was originally created exclusively for the couturier and presented to the public with the legendary nude portrait. "Maybe nobody realized it at the time, but 'Pour Homme' was a manifesto, a political act. ... Yves Saint Laurent revealed all in an expression of simplicity and truth, exposing his soul more than his body."

By the way: chypre was in the years of the beginning of gender-culture awareness in the 60s/70s the olfactory symbol for the new movement in society.

fig.: The release of the 50 years collection of the eight YSL perfumes (4 for men and 4 for women) is announced for March 2012.

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