Living Lalique – soar skyward with their irresistible new fragrance

Lalique have truly reached for the skies with the latest offering in their fragrance line – taking the lead from the flight of swallows that is the noble symbol of the house, Living Lalique manages to harmonise the romance and heritage their very name has become a byword for and the modern dreams of contemporary women, that lust for life that can take hold as you stare out the window at the cityscape beneath you and long for the freedom to explore every inch of it…

The imagery of the ad campaigns is, unsurprisingly, sumptuously gorgeous – we see a woman standing in front of three René Lalique-inspired windows, in New York, London and Paris (and we’ll happily move in to each luxurious apartment, just give us the word and our bags will be packed), that open onto these iconic cities and invite the anticipation of adventures to begin.

Living Lalique ny
We’ll get on to the bottles – how could we not, Lalique are renowned for creating some of the most stunning flacons in the world – but first let’s revel in the joy that is the fragrance itself. Using one of the most expensive and rare ingredients in the perfumer’s palette, Iris is allowed to fully reveal its sparkling, powdery splendour in the heart of Living Lalique.

Taking an incredible six years to fully process from planting the flower to extracting the precious orris butter, the woody accents are further enhanced by the rich smokiness of vetiver, softened by a silky layer of sandalwood and warmed to a skin-like blanket-softness with Cashmere wood. Living Lalique’s nose – Richard Ibanez – had us at the effusive opening of sparkling bergamot tempered with aromatic black pepper and sweet nutmeg, but it’s the heart that descends oh so gradually into the long-lasting sillage of a creamy vanilla and almond-scented tonka bean base that would have us following its trail around any city in the world…

Pausing for one moment to unlock our noses from our wrists, we can turn our gaze to the heavy glass bottle, the shape of which sort of puts us in mind of Cinderella’s horse-drawn coach but was actually inspired by the ribbed “Carnette fleur” Art Nouveau-style bottle first created by René Lalique in 1911, though this version is rounder than the original design. The stopper is decorated with the golden swallow pattern, echoing the flight of gold swallows silhouetted against the pure white of the box, and the neck is encircled by a gold ring which bears the name of the fragrance.

There’s no doubting this is one to proudly display on your dressing table, but if you’re feeling ultra-luxe, you can also plump for one of two heart-stoppingly beautiful crystal bottles. We thought the first we were shown was gorgeous enough, four master glassmakers having to work together to create each and every bottle, and – amazingly – five glassmakers just to work on the ‘pressed’ technique to make the stopper. Once the glass is cold, it’s cut and polished like a jewel – indeed the diamond-shaped design for these boxes are inspired by the René Lalique jewel boxes, and feature a concealed tray beneath in which to store your most precious gems…

Living Lalique Prestige
Imagine the gasps, then, when we saw the Prestigious Edition of twelve (that’s a limited edition of twelve in the whole world!) Living Lalique’s, which are further adorned by gold leaf on the backs of the swallows surrounding the bottle and the stylised bouquet of iris on the stopper. These look like something fit for the dressing table of a Queen, true heirloom collector’s pieces to be (carefully) handed down through your family, perhaps from mother to daughter?

Living Lalique £69 for 50ml eau de parfum, £1000 for 120ml Extrait de Parfum, £9500 for 120ml Extrait de Parfum Gold Leaf.
Buy it at Harrods

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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