The flapper and Mr. Right: the faces of Lubin Upper Ten

A dash a Bellini cocktail, a little bit of mystery and a history of 200 years: these are the ingredients that make Lubin fragrance, Upper Ten, so special. “Sometimes it takes a couple of months to finish a perfume. Sometimes it takes years. Sometimes… you just wait the perfect moment”, said to me, at Beautik Haute Parfumerie, the president of Parfums Lubin, Gilles Thevenin. Fortunately, Lubin Upper Ten for Him and for Her are out there, on the shelves. And there are awesome!

Lubin Upper Ten for Him and for Her are available in Beautik Haute Parfumerie (

How did the story of this fragrance started?
The company is over 200 years old. And a couple of years ago, we looked into the archives and we have tried to sort out the old stories. We found out that it was a perfume recorded into the archives called Upper Ten, sold in the 1870. Initially, I didn’t know what it was. Then, I read that the term “Upper Ten” was coined by American poet Nathaniel Parker Willis first, in the middle of the 19th century, meaning the “ten thousand people who created the United States”. The builders of America. Lubin decided to launch a perfume dedicated to them. We found it on the former price lists and in advertising campaigns and we thought that we could use it again. It supposed to be a unisex fragrance, at first. Then we looked at the pictures and we saw this guy, handsome and well dressed, but a little bit too stiff, a little bit too boring… we’ve decided on the spot to create a feminine fragrance. For a woman full of joy and happiness, smoking cigarettes and driving cars and clubbing. A flapper. The perfect company to this serious guy.

Did you keep the initial ingredients?
For this unisex one, yes. It has mainly wood essences. Lubin was an expert in extracting the wood essences. We are using flower essences and spices. You could feel the cinnamon. And that reminds me of typical Central Europe but New York, as well. In the morning, in the coffee shops and on the streets, you can smell the cinnamon. For the feminine fragrance we use the spirit of flapper. She drinks champagne, so it smells a little bit as champagne, she smoked Turkish cigarettes, so we have a little bit of this too, and she drinks Bellini cocktails made with raspberry. So it is a bit fruity. She dances all the night, so the perfume must be fresh.

What is the most difficult part when you have to create a new perfume?
The finishing. “The devil is in the details”, it’s a saying. And it is. The details are the small notes that put together make a perfect fragrances. Because the smell is changing from day to day and you have to follow the perfume. So you make small samples, you wait for two months, then smell them again. I have one perfume waiting on the corridor for eight years. And it is not finished yet. You have to be patient with the perfume.

What is your best market?
USA is doing well, then Germany, Italy, France, even Australia.

Which dress should I wear for this perfume?
A very elegant one, but just perfect for a party.

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Gilles Thevenin and Alina Aliman

Lubin Upper Ten for Him, launched in 2015: top notes are bergamot, saffron, juniper berries and pink pepper; middle notes are cinnamon, cardamom, peach, orange blossom and geranium; base notes are cedar, sandalwood, leather, patchouli, musk and amber.

Lubin Upper Ten for Her: it opens with a sweet, tart blend of Isabella grape and bergamot, spiced up with elemi and artemisia; at its heart is Bulgarian rose, mingled with raspberry liqueur and Sichuan pepper which gives way to base notes of precious wood enriched with amber, frankincense and a hint of dark chocolate.

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