Iman launches his first fragrance inspired by his love affair with David Bowie

Even on a gloomy mid-August afternoon, as heavy storm clouds loom over the valley below, the panoramic view of the Catskill Mountains from Iman’s living room is breathtaking. Watching the verdant landscape through the floor-to-ceiling windows feels like carrying a huge pair of binoculars. “Hmm. I’m not sure we’ll see the sunset today,” says Iman, who is seated at her circular dining table in front of a laptop. She is wearing a long flower print dress. black and saffron yellow reminiscent of the black-eyed Susans that grow along a fieldstone wall outside. It displays a gallery of golden hour images to offer proof of what I miss . “The sight of the beautiful sunset would make me cry,” she said as she flipped through dozens of pictures. “But the crying was more one, Oh, I wish you were there. The minute you think, c is too gray, then comes the sun.

When David Bowie died of liver cancer on January 10, 2016, at the age of 69, the world mourned the death of an icon. A wave of grief from Bowie fans and friends has spread across the world. But for Iman, who suddenly found herself without her husband for 24 years, the pain and loss was confined to the walls of the home the couple shared in upstate New York, just outside of Woodstock, where Bowie finished his last album. “After he left, it was very difficult for me to come here. I was always sad, ”she says, recalling her last important memory with Bowie at home: a Thanksgiving reunion with their then teenage daughter, Lexi, now 20, her son from a previous marriage, Duncan. Jones, and Jones’ wife Rodene. “I would come maybe six days a year. And every time I came, I couldn’t wait to leave, ”adds Iman. But in March 2020, she piled into the car outside her apartment in the West Village with model and activist Bethann Hardison, her longtime friend, and took to the country. As the lockdown widened and her days in the upstate turned into weeks, then months, she was overwhelmed by feelings of unresolved grief. “Being here meant I couldn’t escape what I was feeling. I had to sit down with my grief, face it, go through it, ”she says. “And that’s what this place has done for me.” It literally saved me.


LIFE IS A BEACH
The iconic image of Iman and Bowie stealing a kiss on the Cape Town coast is one of the first things you see upon entering the couple’s home in the upstate. Photographed by Bruce Weber for Vogue, 1995.

The model and beauty entrepreneur has since been on a private road to emotional recovery in the woods. As we stroll along his lawn, Iman stops to show me several small stone columns nestled among the trees: “David always said that in ancient times these towers were used for navigation to let people know. people that they were on the right track ”. it explains the hand-made formations – or cairns, as they are called in Scottish Gaelic. “Stacking them on my walks has become this very soothing ritual every day. It was a way of honoring her memory, but also a reminder that I was in the right place, that this, “she said, pausing,” was my right space. They also inspired Iman’s proudest pandemic productivity fight: an amber glass bottle designed in the shape of a cairn and filled with her first scent, a love letter to her relationship with Bowie. “I have been asked to write about David and our love so many times. But my favorite autobiographer is the one who tells it all. I’m not going to tell you everything, ”she said, adjusting the little gold necklace that bears the name of her late husband. “And so, this is my way.”

Much of Iman and Bowie’s epic romance has been endlessly mythologized. Both extraordinary and almost from another world in their own right, the two seemed destined to intersect. Bowie swore it was love at first sight when introduced to Iman by a mutual friend in 1990, and the courtship that followed was the stuff of a celebrity fairy tale. When he proposed a year later, Bowie rented a boat on the Seine in Paris, secretly arranging for the lights on each bridge to come on as they drifted. Iman also remembers every detail of their wedding in the summer of 1992 – an intimate ceremony held in an unassuming church in Florence that was followed by a reception in a 16th-century Medici mansion – including the spritzes of Fracas de Robert Piguet she was wearing. “I don’t cheat on my perfumes,” says the 66-year-old, whose stunning beauty is still almost breathtaking in person. “The scent is such a touching thing, so when it came to making my first one, it had to be right. “

Love Memoir by IMAN Eau de Parfum

Called Love memory, the eau de parfum, available exclusively on HSN, blends notes that read like a chapter in the life of Iman and Bowie. Vetiver, the pungent scent he wore the day they met and every day after, is balanced with notes of bergamot and blackberry, reminiscent of the Italian countryside where they were married. “Florence was so present in my mind throughout the perfume formulation process because the sunset in the upstate reminded me of the times we spent in Tuscany,” says Iman, who undertook the project with Calvin Klein’s alum and Batallure Beauty co-founder Robin Burns-McNeill. “All the memories have returned,” she continues, noting that the packaging is imprinted with a distinctive sunset scene that she painted herself. There is also a trace of rose, a tribute to Bowie’s British heritage. “You know, he always wanted to go back to England,” she says. “So when we came here I made sure there was a feeling of England – for example nothing in the garden is too structured. “


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