When he created L’Eau d’Issey, Issey Miyake, artist of simplicity and refinement, wanted his very first perfume to capture what was essential. Away from any trends or artifice, he focused the fragrance on the spirituality of water infused with the nobility of rare materials. Thus, the scent of water on a woman’s skin became a new way to experience what really matters. Following the same path, Lili Barbery has also reinvented herself to rise and reach the quintessence of life. Author of two books, she teaches Kundalini yoga, has her own blog and knows the power of a perfume can reconnect somebody to the path of his true self. A kind and gentle soul, the multifaceted Parisian is inspired by a genuine craving: follow the essence of who she is.
On the path to essentiality
Practicing yoga has shown me the way to come back to whom I really am. Yoga means unity, it reminds us that we are one with everything around us. The most important thing for me is to stay in touch with my centre, to accomplish things that only bring me pleasure and joy. Being connected to myself has also allowed me to develop more sophisticated sensorial connections. For example, my sense of taste is stronger and my olfactory sense gets sharper. When I eat in silence, without any screen or distraction, I sit alone with my sensations and food tastes different. I have learned to be present in the moment even when I smell a flower in a garden. Nowadays, I start and end my days by looking at the sky and I need to have a physical contact with the earth. I live in Paris so to fulfil that urge, I go for a walk in a park or I care for the plants on my balcony. It reminds me I come from nature I am one with the elements.
The mystery of fragrance
When I was a journalist for Vogue or M le magazine du Monde, I used to write about beauty and perfume in particular. I followed a training to learn how to smell, spent a lot of time with perfumers in their lab to understand an olfactory work. I acquired a very keen sense of smell that helped me navigate through difficult times. It’s such a pleasurable physical dimension, a wonderful game that connects me to my inner child and some primal emotions. An aroma links me to memories, images, colours, shapes or landscapes. It’s akin to an enigma, and it’s quite an amusing game to imagine the person who is going to wear this fragrance.
Creativity is in the details
Being creative doesn’t have to be limited to art, anyone can be creative in his own way. I need to write everyday, I appreciate cooking too and small things that add beauty to everyday life: setting a nice table or fixing a bunch of flowers. For me, creativity doesn’t have to be a goal, it’s a process that brings me pleasure. So when I write on my blog, – whether it’s about a fragrance or the best place to drink a latte in New York – it’s always about something that makes me feel good, that I want to share with others.
Happiness lays in the quest
I never thought in a million years I would become an author or a yoga teacher. A few years ago, I was going through a personal crisis, what I was doing wasn’t making any sense anymore. My quest for sense brought me to kundalini yoga and writing. I began to care of my body and I understood that mind and body need one other to live in harmony. Yoga was also a revelation to me, it has helped me reach new levels of awareness and get rid of limiting anchored beliefs. It took me 40 years to reconnect to the essence of who I really am and it’s still an on going process that I delight in every day.
Pimp my breakfast, Ed. Marabout
La Réconciliation, Ed. Marabout
Credits photos :
Lili Barbery: header, image 1 (right), image 2
Thibault Stipal: image (left)