Tobacco and honey go on a head-on collision in Guerlain’s latest expression of its L’Art & La Matière collection. The headiness of raw tobacco (think a woody, almost intoxicating ruggedness) is smoothed over with Calabrian honey (a beloved honey extract of the house), to form a sensual tension of opposites. At the heart of both ingredients is a common warmth that grounds Tobacco Honey. It is ambery in profile, but the concocted tobacco accord—a combination of various raw materials to replicate that distinct tobacco note—is enveloped in vanilla, tonka bean and sesame for a balanced sweetness.
There is no doubt that Tobacco Honey is rich and decadent, reflected by its liquid gold-like colouring of its resulting formulation. And because this is part of Guerlain’s L’Art & La Matière collection, the fragrance’s vessel is just as decadent. Artist Anne Féat Gaiss, whose work involves sculpting paper, created a plate for Tobacco Honey’s cap involving sculpted paper that’s then glided with copper leaf as a beautiful reflection of the fragrance.
One of the oldest known perfume ingredients, myrrh is often considered to have a complex fragrance profile that is difficult to describe. It is earthy in nature, lending a woody and warm aroma that can be pungent and bitter at the same time. In perfumery, it is often used to add depth, based on its complexity alone. In Myrrhe Mystère, Tom Ford Beauty plays on its mysterious profile as its central hero.
Myrrhe Mystère enlists the power and mystique of two myrrh-based elements—myrrh essence and a trademarked myrrh resinoid orpur formulation—that are then combined with its Ultra Vanille accord infused in a number of existing Tom Ford fragrances. The resultant fragrance is one that envelopes with a rich aura. It’s an undoubtedly sophisticated scent meant to act as a provocative and vibrational expression of myrrh. But with the balanced blend of the earthiness of myrrh, the sweetness of vanilla and the woodiness of sandalwood, Myrrhe Mystère evokes a calm serenity.
Yves Saint Laurent Beauty’s Libre series is proving to be a favoured androgynous fragrance. The House expands the tension between masculine and feminine nuances with Libre L’Absolu Platine. Concocted by master perfumers Anne Flip and Carlos Benaïm—the duo behind the original Libre eau de parfum—a new accord that they’re calling “white lavender” gives Libre L’Absolu Platine its piercing scent.
The Libre series is already beloved for its Diva Lavender Heart (crafted specifically for Yves Saint Laurent) that amps up the floral expression of the lavender essence extracted from Diva lavender grown in Provence. The white lavender accord elevates the natural characteristics of lavender with its icy sheen provided by a vegetal aldehyde, polygonum. The result is an almost metallic note that cuts through, bringing about a renewed freshness that’s balanced out with orange blossom—another Libre ingredient. Like the best of tailoring, Libre L’Absolu Platine is sharp while altogether cool and powdery for a fragrance that’s undeniably sexy.
The latest in Louis Vuitton’s Les Extraits collection by master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud is Myriad. Like its five other single-named fragrances in the collection, Myriad is what Louis Vuitton considers its ultimate expression of perfume that breaks free from convention.
Oud is the olfactory ingredient on which Myriad is based. Belletrud looked to the essence of Assam oud selected from a supplier in Bangladesh that is now exclusive to the maison. The strong woody and spicy depth of oud is beautifully balanced with floral notes developed through a combination of different roses. Bulgarian rose and Grasse-sourced May rose are mixed to produce a delectable rose combo that is fresh and rounded. To amplify the leathery nuances of oud, saffron is added to the mix, while cocoa, ambrette, white musk and a note of moss work together to lift the fragrance for a velvety finish. There is intensity and lightness—an unlikely contrast that speaks volumes of the complexity of Myriad. It is topped with a Frank Gehry-designed cap to further accentuate the exceptional level of quality.