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September 2 2014

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Carven Le Parfum: “No Tricks,” All Treat

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carvenRumors of a new Carven fragrance under Guillaume Henry’s creative direction started swirling in 2010, just a year after he took over design duties. For other brands, it might have seemed like a rather quick entrée into beauty, but not for Carven, whose ineffaceable founder had already carved out a formidable fragrance niche with the best-selling Ma Griffe, which was introduced in 1946. Fast-forward sixty-seven years, and the storied French house’s latest coup, Carven Le Parfum, is scheduled to touch down stateside in a few short weeks.

“The brief was very clear because I think the direction Guillaume is giving to the brand is very clear,” famed nose Francis Kurkdjian explained at a launch event in May. “As a perfumer, I just had to follow the path.” That path necessitated something very urban and very Parisian, but also very international, according to Kurkdjian, who set out to create something for “a fresh young woman, [who is] charismatic and very charming.” Icelandic beauty Brynja Jónbjarnardóttir embodies that sentiment in the perfume’s ad campaign, while Kurkdjian’s delicate blend of mandarin blossom, white hyacinth, sweet pea, and jasmine notes, with a subtle yet unforgettable dry down of sandalwood and Indonesian patchouli, seal the deal olfactorily. “A beautiful scent is just a scent that smells good. There are no tricks. You look at the bottle, you look at the ad, and it’s all very coherent,” Kurkdjian insists, pointing out that one of this particular scent’s big selling points is the faint trace that lingers in the wake of the wearer. “What’s important is the trail, because [Carven] is a brand that you remember”—something he can personally attest to. “Carven is very dear to me,” he reveals. “One of the first perfumes that was given to me when I was 16 years old was Vetiver by Carven—that with [Dior's] Eau Sauvage are the two basic fragrances that every man had to have in his wardrobe.” Now there’s something equally iconic for the rest of us.

Carven Le Parfum, available July 17 at Saks Fifth Avenue stores and www.saks.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Carven

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