For the uninitiated, René Lalique is the reason you have such beautiful jewel-like perfume bottles adorning your dressing table –the glassware and jewellery designer invented the concept (before perfumes were housed in medicinal style apothecary bottles). One iconic Lalique creation is Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps – René’s son Marc created the bottle with its iconic stopper bearing the beautiful doves of peace (to commemorate the end of WWII) which he designed in collaboration with Robert Ricci. These doves have provided the motif for the current 130th anniversary celebrations, which has been commemorated with the launch of their latest scent 'Mon Premier Cristal Hirondelles'.
As strange as it sounds, the house of Lalique didn’t start creating their own perfumes until the early 90s, which have proven as huge a hit as their dazzling glass designs. (Anyone looking for a timeless ‘bridal’ scent should try their ‘Fleur de Cristal’.)
Feeling like a bull in a very exquisite china shop, I navigated the delicate glassware creations in Lalique's Mayfair boutique to sniff out their latest scent. For this anniversary number, perfumer Nathalie Lorson serves up a triple-shot of jasmine. (A scent ingredient so seductive, Cleopatra is said to have scented the sails of her ships with it...)
The headlining trio of Egyptian, Indian and Grasse jasmines are backed by a chorus of freesia, gardenia and tuberose, yet nothing about this is too heady or overpowering. It’s a good ‘first date’ scent – alluring without being too upfront. Think of this as the equivalent of an off-the-shoulder cashmere cardi – old-school elegance with with a subtle sex appeal. In true Lalique tradition, the bottle itself doesn’t disappoint - emblazoned with swallows and adorned with black feathers, we can’t imagine the great man René himself could have conjured something better.
Available from March 2018.
Lalique is located at 47 Conduit Street W1S 2YP and at Burlington Arcade, 42 Burlington Gardens, Mayfair W1J 0QJ