There are woody perfumes, and there are wooden perfumes. Like actors who plod their lines and distance you from any imagined reality, the latter kind of scent – modern, synthetic creations like ‘Living Lalique’, leave you (or me, at least), feeling not only bored and disinterested, but openly irritated.

On paper, from the blurb and on some tissue, this new release from the fabled crystal makers (and whose Jasmine Award statuette lives in pride of place in the glass cabinet of my parents’ living room – I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds) is quite attractive; an iris boisé, contemporary women’s creation with top notes of bergamot and the requisite pepper that cedes into the admittedly pleasant, if overly short-lived powdery, iris butter and tonka bean heart. All well and good, if rather uninspiring (does the ‘living’ of the title mean ‘living the Lalique life’? or is it referring more to a home store; plywood shelfing wrapped tightly in plastic; functional bedposts; because that’s more what I get from this perfume, a dry, generic sawdust).

The problem for me in this perfume, however, is the base. This is probably due to the fact that I loathe, and I mean just loathe, synthetic woody base molecules in perfumes – here the dreaded cashmeran, used by the bucket load as it is in so many current fragrances- harsh, blocking, and, like a voracious pac man, eating everything around it – the iris, the florals, the balsams – and leaving nothing but that flat, lifeless, wooden note that passes for sexy these days.

I might be wrong about this scent. Writers whose nose I respect seem to like it, seeing something warm, sensual, enveloping, so it is possible that I am missing something (or my cashmeran phobia makes it impossible for me to rational). For me, though, the bottle aside (lovely, obviously), from the uninspiring, DIY depot fragrance, through to the advertising campaign, featuring a spiritually dead-looking model staring out over a backdrop of ‘Paris’, ‘London’, or ‘New York’




Lalique glass pieces placed just so, each apartment as individual and lived in as a vast and empty Hilton suite, this simply isn’t living.


Filed under Flowers

5 responses to “LIVING LALIQUE (20I5)

  1. I know exactly what you mean. So many of these scents start out with the promise of something interesting then they just go straight down the basin when they start to dry down, some even sooner. It is that lackluster and lifeless character that starts weaving its spell. It is not only flat, but it is offensive.
    Why is it that even when the price is exorbitant, well, the fragrance still comes across as unfinished, or just rushed? I am most certain if I were to smell this, which I just might (I am in Vancouver on holiday at the moment), I will probably feel the same about it as you do.
    I will search for it in the shops, probably Holt Renfrew, and let you know how much it offends my olfactory system 😉

    • I love you. I think you will hate it at least as much as I do, and I think you will hate Florabellio as well (no overt apple blossom, incidentally; it really is just an ozonic but I STILL think there is something odd about it that rescues it from the utter tedium that is ‘Living Lalique’ which I think, in truth, is appalling).

      • I love you too dearest and am very much on the same page as you. Unfortunately I was not able to find the Lalique scent in Vancouver, hopefully I will find it in Boston and have a sniff…and probably a gag also. Will have to get back to you on this one.

  2. Holly

    It has recently occurred to me that I am far more clueless than I have previously acknowledged. Honestly, I have no clue what cashmeran smells like. Regardless, my lip curls whenenever I encounter the word. My perception is that it’s an olfactory polyester: slick, viscous, acrid, sweating and anxious. But truthfully, I can’t say I have actually experienced that note for certain. It took me many samples to learn the (for me) hazards of ISO E Super. I have no idea what plumeria and heliotrope smell like. And I have really been spoiled and terrified by aromatherapy.

    • Why terrified by aromatherapy?

      I haven’t smelled cashmeran by itself, or ambroxan, but I have smelled enough perfumes with them in (many many popular recent scents, anything ‘woody’) that I know I despise them.

      I only smelled heliotrope in the flesh a few years ago when we had some growing in our garden. Very unassuming little flowers, but with that sweet almondy, L’Heure Bleue facet. Plumeria: frangipani: tiare – is there any difference?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s