Saturday, April 05, 2008

Lalique Le Parfum

This review is for the original Lalique Le Parfum circa 1992. I haven't tried the new version yet. The original Lalique is a little-known beauty for lovers of hypersweet Florals. I've seen it described as a honeysuckle perfume but that's because the perfume came inside the "Honeysuckle Flacon": a legendary flacon, "technical masterpiece; a mouth blown heart embodied in a mass of sculpted crystal". Most people are only able to afford the replica of this flacon. Honeysuckle is not a listed note in the perfume as far as I've seen, although I get a honeysuckle-like sweetness from the scent. To me, the perfume smells very close to Givenchy Amarige and Christian Dior J'adore rolled in one. I smell blackberry with luminous but rich white florals on a wooded vanillic-ambery base. It starts off piercing and dries down soft--hypersweet but refined. If ever a high-pitched fragrance could shatter glass, this would be it, which is oddly fitting for the first fragrance to represent the great French crystal company. The very gifted Art Deco glassmaker René Lalique (1860-1945) was most famous for designing the timeless bottle for Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps (double dove bottle), but he also designed for Coty, Worth, Molinard and many others.

Original and signed luxury crystal Lalique bottles are worth a fortune, but replicas are available in various forms. Today, René Lalique's granddaughter Marie-Claude Lalique is creating original perfumes for the company. The first Lalique perfume was born in 1992. She also conceptualized designing a new flacon for the scent each year, limited and numbered. The glass commercial bottles and Miniature Replicas are an affordable way to enjoy these creations. In fact, by buying one of the miniature sylph collections from the mid-90s or so, I learned that the same sweet Lalique fragrance is in all of the different Lalique miniature presentations.

I will report back when I try the new Lalique Le Parfum (2005) which is also available in a limited edition crystal flacon for a pretty penny. The new one was composed by Dominique Ropion who also was the nose for Givenchy Amarige.

Lalique Le Parfum (1992)
Top Notes: Chinese gardenia, Sicilian mandarin, blackberry
Heart Notes: Grasse magnolia, Tunisian orange blossom, peony, Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang
Base Notes: Reunion Island vanilla, Virginia cedarwood, East Indian sandalwood, Tibetan musk, Colombian amber, Yugoslavian oakmoss