When Dries Van Noten debuted his beauty line in Wallpaper* earlier this year, he asserted that his foray into the beauty-sphere was going to be markedly different from any other make-up or fragrance that had come before. 

‘There’s so much beauty out there. [I asked myself] is there still something we can do?’ he wondered.

‘For me, the answer was yes, we can tell a different story. Because with my fashion collections, I am a storyteller. My clothes make you feel certain associations and connections, because I work with all those contrasts, all those opposites.’ 

Dries Van Noten portrait
As featured in the May 2022 issue of Wallpaper. Photography by Mathilde Hiley.  

That penchant for opposites, or what Van Noten calls ‘impossible combinations’, is the defining quality of the perfumes, lipsticks, and companion accessories – including compact mirrors, combs, and pochettes — that comprise the initial launch of the Dries Van Noten Beauty collection. Since its debut in early March, the beauty line has been available through Van Noten’s stores but, as of this month, the line is also available to purchase online and in-store at Selfridges, London’s historic oasis of cutting-edge retail. 

The collection 

The Dries Van Noten fragrance collection features ten genderless scents, each created by a different perfumer and each its own unorthodox interpretation of traditional floral fragrances. Flowers have been an enduring source of inspiration for Van Noten, with his collections regularly featuring prints, colours and forms informed by his own gardening. Before the noses got to work on the fragrances, Van Noten invited them to explore the sprawling, bucolic garden he maintains on his 19th-century estate outside Antwerp.

Lipstick in green canister
As featured in the May 2022 issue of Wallpaper. Photography by Mathilde Hiley.  

Each of the fragrances comes packaged in a two-tone bottle that juxtaposes patterns drawn directly from Van Noten’s print collection. That style is mirrored in the packaging of the lipsticks, which come in 15 satin shades, ten matte shades, five sheers and one transparent balm. 

It is a singular collection that will appeal to lovers of classic or experimental beauty alike. As Van Noten puts it, ‘what is beautiful for me may be very ugly for you, and vice versa. I like to have strangeness in my beauty.’ §