PARIS — To help celebrate the 150th anniversary of René Lalique’s birth, the fragrance arm of his eponymous company is pulling out all the stops.
It’s launching scents, limited edition flacons and a commemorative book.
Lalique Parfums will introduce a new women’s fragrance, called Fleur de Cristal, starting Monday. In a newfangled technique for the fragrance industry, the top of the scent’s bottle was produced by injecting fake lily of the valley buds into a layer of Surlyn resin.
Perfumer Raphaël Haury created Fleur de Cristal’s juice, which contains top notes of bergamot from Calabria, pink peppercorn and jasmine sambac. In the heart are lily of the valley, stephanotis and sunflower notes, while the base comprises precious wood, sandalwood and musk notes.
In France, the 50-ml. eau de parfum will retail for 76 euros, or $104.70 at current exchange, and the 100-ml. edp will be 96 euros, or $132.30. Lalique executives would not discuss projections, but industry sources estimate Fleur de Cristal will generate 6 million euros, or $8.3 million, in wholesale revenues during its first six months.
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Also part of the collection are signed and numbered blown crystal bottles with stoppers adorned with carved lily-of-the-valley sprigs. Each contain 150 ml. of the Fleur de Cristal perfume extract and are to sell for 680 euros, or $937.30.
Twelve one-of-a-kind crystal bottles made with the lost wax process will also be available for the holiday period. They contain 100 ml. of the perfume extract and are to be 12,000 euros, or $16,535.70, apiece.
Last month marked the introduction of a book entitled “The Art of René Lalique: Flacons and Powder Boxes,” written by Christie Mayer Lefkowith. It’s about how Lalique, a well-known jeweler and artist, broke into the perfume industry in 1907 at the age of 47, when a modest commission from François Coty inspired Lalique to pursue a second career.
With a generous number of illustrations and photographs, Lefkowith shows how Lalique drew inspiration from art, nature and literature, and how with his creativity he was able to make fragrance flacons and powder boxes into an art form. The 498-page book published in English and in French by Editions Lalique retails for $125 in the U.S.
Also to honor Lalique’s birthday is a limited edition crystal bottle creation called Flacon Serpent. (The snake symbol was chosen since it inspired throughout his career.) The anniversary bottle was made by a newly developed technique by François Schilt and master glassmakers on his team.
As its name suggests, the flacon features a stopper in the shape of a snake’s head, which sits atop the bottle that appears to float in a surrounding crystal arch. It holds a perfume extract composed by Firmenich’s Vincent Schaller that has top notes of clementine, yellow plum and blackcurrant; heart notes of orange blossom, jasmine, heliotrope and ylang-ylang, and a base of vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli, cashmere wood and musk notes.
As has been tradition yearly since 1994, Lalique in mid-November is coming out with a limited edition 2011 crystal flacon containing 100 ml. of the Lalique de Lalique fragrance. There were 1,500 signed and numbered bottles produced with a blown sphere body and a top meant to be reminiscent of butterflies around a poppy. Each will go for 980 euros, or $1,350.40.
“René Lalique’s inspiration was always nature,” said Dominique Daviaud, Lalique Parfums’ managing director.