An Evening With Lalique

We head to the Ham Yard Hotel to celebrate historic French perfumery Lalique's latest men's scent - a seductive concoction of lavender, vetiver and rum...

Ever wondered who came up with the idea of making perfume bottles pretty? That would be Lalique. At the beginning of the 20th Century, founder René Lalique was a jewellery designer, living next door to perfumer Francois Coty. After being asked by Coty to create a label for the latter's new cologne L'Effleurt, he went one further and created a bottle and box too, the style of which would go on to influence the iconic perfume bottles of today. The company still create jewellery, art and glassware - as well as producing some stunning scents of their own (Fleur de Cristal is a particular gem). Last week we were back once again at the Ham Yard Hotel to celebrate the launch of their latest scent for the gents: L'Insoumis, which means 'maverick' in French. And you have to admire the handsome bottle, seen below with the 1926 Le Tourbillon vase that inspired it...

Before we got to the scent itself, there were samples of the different 'notes' that said scent was composed of. As well as the usual suspects of men's perfumery (lavender, citrus and black pepper) I was surprised to see rum in the mix - something I'm normally used to mixing with some ice and ginger beer, not dousing myself with out of an atomiser spray... Haiti vetiver caught my eye too - I do love a good vetivert scent (a tall grass which provides a good kick of earthy, smokiness).

And finally we got to sniff L'Insoumis itself. It's the olfactory equivalent of how one probably envisages their ideal candidate for a first date: clean cut and well-presented with a little something mysterious about him. The traditional structure of bergamot, lavender, patchouli and moss make this a perfect scent for gents who don't like to stray too far out of their comfort zone. It's like a perfectly tailored suit with a bright tie - its wild card being the smooth rum notes running through it, making you want to savour it a bit longer. As gents' scents go, this one is a decent chap. 


L'Insoumis by Lalique will be available from September priced at £70 for 100ml EDT and £53 for 50ml EDT.