27 posts tagged "Perfume"
Prada’s latest eau out next month, Candy Florale, revolves around an imaginary flower—its heart described as “a tender bouquet of cosmos.” And for the always-inventive Miuccia Prada, one would expect perfumer Daniela Andrier to go to the moon and back, bringing with her a bloom not of this earth as a souvenir. With a flair for the theatrics (illustrated by the house’s most recent menswear and ready-to-wear shows, separated into two acts) the brand called upon Steven Meisel and Léa Seydoux to bring the scent to life. The French darling plays the role of Candy, a bombshell with bangs who understands the power of seduction, and as exhibited by the brand’s last campaign for Candy L’Eau shot by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, uses it to her full advantage—enchanting not one, but two men. In the latest ad, however, Seydoux appears sans suitors (or clothing, for that matter), floating among graphic, black-and-white flora. In response to working with Meisel, the actress said: “It was the first time that I’d worked on a film with someone who is essentially a photographer—it was a really interesting experience because Steven Meisel has such a precise vision of what he considers to be the perfect image.” Meisel’s in-the-buff interpretation calls to mind another fragrance and blond seductress: Marilyn Monroe famously stated that she wore nothing but Chanel No. 5 to bed, and we imagine Seydoux (donning Candy Florale, of course) does the same.
At their couture comeback in January, Viktor & Rolf wrapped up the show with a surprise reveal of their spring fragrance launch. Above the catwalk appeared a supersized image of model Edita Vilkeviciute, shot by Inez & Vinoodh, wearing nothing but body paint, holding a bow-shaped bottle of Bonbon. “We liked that her skin was becoming clothing in a way,” said Viktor Horsting. “She’s nude but she’s not. She’s dressed in paint. Her skin becomes like a garment. It was a [conceptual] way of saying that perfume could be worn like a garment.” The body art alone took about twelve hours to apply. The couture collection likewise had blurred the lines between skin and clothes, with tattoo-like embellishments such as ruffles and bows hand-painted over flesh-tone latex dresses.
For their latest fragrance, V&R began with an icon from their own lexicon: the bow. “The thing is, a bow doesn’t smell,” noted Rolf Snoeren. “So we started thinking of candy wrappers and bonbons, because they are like bows. And they smell [good].”
To hit the right note, they began by literally raiding candy stores. Working alongside perfumers Serge Majoullier and Cécile Matton, the design duo brought every kind of candy they could get their hands on into the L’Oréal Paris headquarters. “That was a fun exercise. We tested chocolates, caramels—all kinds of sweets. But we immediately became addicted to a specific caramel note. The buttery note of caramel was very sexy,” said Snoeren. “Sweet but also sexy. Grown-up.”
Once Viktor & Rolf zeroed in on their “couture” accord, Matton and Majoullier spun the original idea of candy into an olfactory ode to pleasure. “There are so many directions you could go,” observed Horsting. “We wanted something luxurious. The name might suggest girliness, but it had to be grown-up. It’s not a game of seduction. The attitude is more about being at ease, about self-indulgence and empowerment.”
Although the fragrance at first seems nearly edible, it is anything but facile. “It was important to not just create caramel-à-porter,” explained Matton. “We took the gourmandise aspect to the extreme.” Adds Majoullier, “The tricky thing about caramel is that you have to dress it up without concealing it.”
The perfumers went about addressing the challenge by declining to use patchouli, for one thing. Said Matton, “We were inspired by variations in texture. The caramel changes as the perfume evolves: It’s crackly on top, creamier at the heart, and more concentrated at the base. There’s a clothes-like structure—it’s a representation.”
Ultimately, the Bonbon caramel ventured into a more woody, sensual terrain, rounded out by a sprinkling of fruity notes to break up its richness. The fragrance opens with sparkling notes of mandarin and “Paradise peach,” warming into a sunny jasmine and orange blossom heart before settling into a gently overcooked woody amber base with notes of gaic and cedar.
“Bonbon is not for any one woman,” offered Horsting. “[It’s the same with] Flowerbomb, which had such fantastic reach. We don’t want to create limits.”
To meet Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren (and spritz Bonbon) in person, head to Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City on April 17 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
To spritz or not to spritz, that is the question. Style.com/Arabia critic and perfume industry legend Luca Turin reviews the latest fragrance launches and answers this age-old question.
Name: Guerlain L’Eau du Parfum 68
Notes: Mandarin, rose, benzoin
Nomenclature: Nostalgic oriental
“If, as I firmly believe, smell is a sort of timbre, then it can be said that Guerlain is—thank goodness—bucking a mighty trend by insisting on making perfumes played on real instruments as opposed to ringtones, door chimes, and electronic jingles. Indeed, there is an element of desperate, nostalgic conservatism about 68, as befits the twilight of an era. The first five minutes of 68 are a strange medley, recapitulating a century of great tunes. L’Heure Bleue is there and Shalimar, of course, but also some of the competition: the green glow of Worth’s Je Reviens and, oddly enough, a surprising quotation of Lush’s Dirty. Halfway into the drydown suddenly comes a strange twist: 68 abruptly turns into a luxuriously plush version of one of those dreadful, bare-bones masculines that come with cheap leather bomber jackets and a clapped-out BMW. It is as if Guerlain’s Russian prince now made a living as many real ones did—as a Paris taxi driver. The drydown carries on essentially until your next shower, in a soft, balsamic-salicylate accord which does not even need to be original: The mere fact that it is there and smells good is more than enough. Guerlain’s revenge on shallow, front-loaded, chemical perfumery is complete and, for once, served warm.”
$250; available at Bergdorf Goodman and select Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales locations
For another review from Turin’s bi-monthly column, click here.
The pro: Pauline Rochas, cocreator of Le Premier Parfum by Coolife
The product: “I was a young teenager in Paris when I first discovered Mûre et Musc by L’Artisan Parfumeur. I got a whiff of it from a girl I had a crush on from class. I remember rushing out to the boutique in the seventh arrondissement right after school that day to buy myself a bottle. I especially loved how it started out fruity, sweet, juicy, gourmand, then opened into musky and woody notes—ending with warm and sensual oriental notes. That is exactly how I remember it evolving on my skin. The fruity and woody ingredients in particular transport me back to my younger childhood memories of vacationing in Bordeaux at Château Lagarosse, my family’s castle, plucking fresh wild blackberries, and our travels to Morocco where I was first stirred by the aroma of spices and incense burning. It was then that I started playing alchemist in my bathroom—crushing raw pieces of musk and resins and mixing them with essential oils. Needless to say, this influenced my inconscient collectif [collective unconscious] and the decision to go with a short list of carefully handpicked raw materials with oriental notes for Le Premier Parfum. But when I walk into a perfumery today that carries Mûre et Musc, I still get all excited at the chance of spraying it on and letting the magic of its scent take me back in time.”
Current exhibitions at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris and the Milan furniture fair are celebrating the legendary Orient Express, which is poised to hit the rails anew after a five-year hiatus. For Moynat artistic director Ramesh Nair, it’s a comeback on a silver platter. “I’m really passionate about a return to the experience of travel, the journey rather than the destination as an end in itself,” he said the other day in the house’s Rue Saint-Honoré headquarters. A longtime rail traveler, Nair believes that the only way to truly see India, for example, is by train. “I’m always looking to revisit the past, but in a modern way,” he remarked.
In that spirit, the French heritage leather house, which is owned by Bernard Arnault separately from LVMH, will be offering up some deep-luxury designs created with the Orient Express in mind. For starters, Nair has signed a custom vanity case similar to those favored by well-heeled travelers back in the luxury railroad line’s heyday. It took seven hundred hours to craft this one-of-a-kind piece. Even so, Nair declined to take all the credit. “It really came together over lunch with [Guerlain perfumer] Thierry Wasser,” he explained. “He’s a constant traveler, he picks up inspiration everywhere, and he immediately sensed that Shalimar would be a perfect match for the Orient Express.” Inside the buttery blue trunk: swing-out trays in apple tree wood—a material favored by sculptors for its polish and resilience—that reveal a cascade of Guerlain makeup and four Baccarat bottles of Shalimar nestled at the bottom. Minus the beauty stash, the valise would work just as well as a jewelry box or watchcase. Its price? Let’s just say if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
Meanwhile, New York is about to get its own chance to check out Moynat’s wares: On April 24, “Le Trunk Show” will touch down on the ground floor of the Dover Street Market. Look for a breakfast trunk custom-designed for Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, another designed to display Pierre Hermé’s macarons, and a retro bicycle mounted with a picnic trunk in lieu of a basic basket.