Map of the Heart, the niche house pulling at our heart strings

‘It is everything pure, good and evil. It aches, it desires, it is who we are.’ This is how Map of the Heart co-founders Sarah Blair and Jeffrey Darling describe the human heart, and a clue to the inspirations behind the fragrances.

With a creative partnership in writing, design and film, it felt like a natural step to take that expression further in to fragrance – a wearable art form – borne out of their collective need to creatively explore ‘the full atlas of the senses’.

Proudly Australian, each fragrance by perfumer Jaques Huclier has a seam of sandalwood at its core, and it throbs life through the perfumed pulse of this niche house’s scents, using indigenously and sustainably sourced Santalum spicatum. Huclier says that for him, the smell is ‘woody and explosive,’ providing ‘a unique signature of sensuality, texture and deepness to the range—it’s the heart of the Hearts, a beat within the fragrances.’encompassing a passion for telling stories and their understanding that scent can transport the wearer just as words, images and films can whisk us to another world. And oh, those bottles!

 

 

Designed by the legendary Pierre Dinand to resemble an anatomical model of the human heart, each piece looks like it’s straight from a gallery of modern art. Each perfume has been carefully crafted to evoke a differing emotion – the perfumer translating the co-founders words and startling imagery in to the notes he uses, the bottle designer evolving the story through the colours that echo the theme. So you will discover that, gilded, brightly coloured or starkly monochrome, the flacons hold juices just as experimental. From burned bush land juxtaposed by snow, forbidden fruits, passion and the essence of bravery, the spirits of rebellion and attraction: all are unique, and utterly wearable.

Map of the Heart fragrances are £150 for 90ml eau de parfum from harrods.com, but we are thrilled to now stock the Map of the Heart Discovery Set in our shop – try the entire collection for only £25!

 

 

Clear Heart v.1 – Australian summer: surfing, swimming, hot days, cool breezes and the salt that hangs in the air promising more.

Black Heart v.2 – Smoky. Impolite. Dangerous. Its smoky heart of mysterious spices is shot through with shards of fresh eucalyptus and citrus to create an impolite mix of opposites.

Red Heart v.3 – Explosive. Seductive. Addictive. A composition of feijoa, tuberose and spices with sensual notes of musk and vanilla.

Gold Heart v.4 – Nurturing. Precious. Ancient. An exotic warm breeze that wraps around to protect and comfort.

Purple Heart v.5 – Brave. Instinctive. Triumphant. Inverting the olfactory pyramid by opening darker and then brightening.

Pink Heart v.6 – Mingles on the skin with the spiciness of the sumac accord and cistus absolute for a mesmerising ride.

White Heart v.7 – The ethereal and sharp opening of French lavender, aldehydes and cardamom coolly invite us into the vast landscape of love.

So now the only thing left for you to wonder is, which fragrance will pull on your heart strings…?

By Suzy Nightingale

Map of the Heart launch White Heart v.7

We’re huge fans of Australian niche house Map of the Heart here at The Perfume Society – from their stunning bottles to the beautiful fragrances inside (each with a seam of sandalwood as their signature), and the creatively engaging imagery – everything they do truly represents a feast for all the senses.

Having just flown back from Pitti Fragranze, the annual fragrance trade show in Florence, and fresh from our first-sniffing of their latest launch, we’re thrilled to be able to share with you White Heart v.7 – The Heart of Love. Scroll down to read our review, and watch the film…

The first thing that struck us was the purity of the bottle, how all the features of the sculptural shape really stand out with the matte finish (a first for the house), and we noticed everyone who came to their stand tenderly stroked the texture as they held the flacon. [N.B: Texture and colour (or the absence of colour) is a hugely emerging trend from what we saw at Pitti.]

Sarah Blair, co-founder of Map of the Heart, told us that White Heart v.7 ‘is all about love: its power and dualities. That love can be hot / cold, tender / wild, innocent / knowing, everything or nothing…’ So the white can be the starkness of juxtaposed emotions, or the blank page on which to write your own story. Fascinatingly, Sarah also explained a deeper inspiration for the white, because ‘…it’s about the purity of emotion, and possibilities. When you refract white light it splits into a rainbow, and at the time we were creating this, we had the equality vote in Australia, so the symbol of rainbows was really important to us.’ The matte finish became the obvious choice, too, because of its ability to ‘draw you in, to make you want to pick it up and hold it, to feel that connection.’

Emotional connections and the imporance of touch are all very well, but of course we were most excited to get our noses on it at last! We’re happy to report it was worth the wait.

What does it smell like? Well, there’s a whoosh of freshness, a cold breeze that tickles like just-poured Champagne bubbles as the exhilarating opening launches French lavender, aldehydes and cardamom and feels like an unsuppressable giggle of pure joy. Into the brightness a bold red umeboshi (Japanese salt plum) accord languorously seeps to fill the space with an almost-booziness – the mad intensity of love that overtakes sense, always. We’re drawn back to purity as sandalwood swirls through radiant gardenia, a natural oud resonating gently in the base like a softly comforting hug that lasts for hours.

Map of the Heart White Heart v.7 £150 for 90ml eau de parfum
Exclusively at harrods.com

PS: Have you tried the other Map of the Heart fragrances yet? The enticing warmth of saffron-infused milk opulently laps within Map of the Heart Gold Heart, and you can try a sample of it in our luxurious Velvet Collection Discovery Box (currently on sale from £19 to just £12, so snap one up while you can!)

Written by Suzy Nightingale

The greatest perfume bottle designer of modern times lands at Liberty in London

Pierre Dinand is a legend. A word that’s oft-used (we’re guilty as charged) – but really and truly applies to the man who brought us the most extraordinary roll-call of perfume bottles.
They include Robert Piguet Fracas, Givenchy Amarige, both Opium and Rive Gauche (with its revolutionary blue and silver tin) for YSL. Clarins Eau Dynamisante and Calvin Klein Obsession. Estée Lauder Pleasures, and Paco Rabanne XS.
It’s a career that began, astonishingly, with the bottle for Madame Rochas back in 1960 and continues today with the bottles for Vilhelm Parfumerie and for Map of the Heart*, showcasing their beautiful fragrances in a bottle based on the most phenomenal piece of ‘design’ of all time: the human heart.
Map of the Heart founder Jeffrey Darling is a filmmaker – and has created the beautiful short movie about Pierre Dinand‘s life and work that you can view below, featuring a rare interview with this tastemaker. (It’s also showcased on mapoftheheart.com, among other really interesting features on their website.)
It begins with an anecdote about Elsa Schiaparelli, who effected his move from the world of advertising to perfume bottle design (though he  a bite from her dog in the process). You’ll discover, too, that the tasseled Opium bottle was originally designed for Kenzo – who passed on it. That originally, Calvin Klein wanted to call Obsession ‘Climax’, but it was considered too overt. And so it goes on…
The film marks a four-day retrospective of just some of Dinand‘s work, at the Liberty department store in London. It opened yesterday – for a frustratingly short few days, closing on Sunday 2nd April 2017.
If you can’t get there – and even if you can – enjoy this encounter with the living legend (sorry!) that is Pierre Dinand
Find the pop-up exhibition in the ‘Disappearing Space’ on the 4th Floor at Liberty London, Regent Street, London W1B 5AH (though actually on Great Marlborough Street).