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sábado, 9 de janeiro de 2016

Lalique Or Intemporel 1888 – Golden Bittersweet Gourmand

by: Miguel Matos

From the house of Lalique I can always expect beautiful things. When it's not the bottle that mesmerizes me, it's the juice, or sometimes both. Lalique is one of those brands that I never know how to categorize, for it has the commercial appeal and distribution, but to me it seems more of a niche brand because of the singular and sometimes bold choices they make with their scents. For example: Perles is nothing but a peculiar niche fragrance. And what can we say about the elegant quirkyness ofLiving Lalique? The house never fails to surprise and when we speak of the exclusive Noir Premier collection, well, this is pure refinement and luxury. After the spectacular and slightly menacing favourite of mine, Élegance Animale, the latest edition is Or Intemporel 1888 and again, this is a paradigm of the unusual fragrances this house often releases, a perfect example of the unique character of Lalique perfumes.
“Paris, August 1st 1888 is the date of birth of the house of Lalique. The day when René Lalique registered his hallmark, made up of his initials and a stylized sword, to be stamped on the gold designs produced by his studio. To celebrate its origin myth, the house of Lalique has drawn its inspiration from the most prized of materials with Or Intemporel 1888.” - Lalique press release
The Noir Premier Collection is a tribute to the genious designs made by René Lalique and his successors Marc and Marie-Claude Lalique. The names and dates incribed on these bottles are references, milestones of this story. Symbols of the legacy. The juices inside are contemporary interpretations of these themes with an exigence for high-quality materials and artistic ideas. The bottles for this series of fragrances were inspired by two of René Lalique's iconic designs. First, his very first black perfume bottle, the “Quaitre Aigles” (Four Eagles) model created in 1911. Then the transparent sides of the bottle which are adorned with a wing motif that was inspired by the “Cyclamen” model designed in 1909 for François Coty.
Quatre Aigles original bottle by René LaliqueQuatre Aigles bottle for Ambre d'OrsayCyclamen, Lalique bottle for François Coty
I made an investigation and was able to trace back the inspiration for these bottles of the Noir Premier Collection. The first bottle on the left with the four eagles stopper and the upside down signature on the receding base edge was exhibited in early 1912. It is a forerunner of the Ambre D'Orsay bottle that has a floral stopper and lacks the upside down molded signature found on this example. The image in the middle shows a variant of the earlier Maison Lalique bottle Quatre Aigles, used for the Ambre d'Orsay circa 1914. Source and pictures: At the right: Cyclamen (1909) bottle by Lalique for françois Coty. Image from International Perfume Bottle Association (IPBA)
The series of amazing vertical black bottles with luminous flanks in sculpted glass just gained a new style, this time in gold. Or Intemporel is signed by perfumer Violaine Collas and it was launched in 2015 at the TFWA expo in Cannes. Conceived to depict the richness and luminosity of gold as a precious material, this is a gourmand composition, but it's not as sweet as you would expect from looking at the notes. After smelling this one and Stendhal's Rouge Divin, I am becoming interested in the gourmand style of Violaine Collas and I shall try an interview with her, for this is a real talent that she has.
I am usually not into candy sweet fragrances and tobacco can be a bit too sweet for me, especially when paired with vanilla and coffee, like it says in the perfume description. But rest assured, this is a whole different take on these accords. And it smells delicious.
The tobacco is the same kind that I smell in Lanvin's Avant Garde, neither very sweet nor smoky, rather a balmy kind of tobacco over a prominent woody base (I smell cedramber) and an overall glistening golden vibe of what I feel like being vanilla, benzoin, maple syrup and a touch of cinnamon. It can be the tolu balsam, which has all of these facets. Balancing all of these sweet golden hues, we have a powerful dash of coffee. Black. No sugar. No sweeteners added. Just a punch of bitter, strong coffee with a powder effect. This composition turns out to be a different gourmand, one which is inspired by sweet foody elements but transforms into a non-foody amber/patchouli fragrance of bitter nuances. Rich, balmy and extremely comfortable, Or Intemporel 1888 has a subtle animalic undertone with reminds me of castoreum and styrax (could it be africa stone?), and this gives it not only a darker contrast to the sparkling gold inspiration but also a vintage feeling. This is a wonderful exercise on the depiction of gold (already tried and done by so many brands) with exceptional results. It is also a different take on the gourmand style and a scent of bulletproof sophistication.
Lalique Or Intemporel 1888 – Noir Premier Collection
Top notes: bergamot, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper
Heart notes: Violet, coffee, tobacco
Base notes: vanilla, tolu balsam, patchouli

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