Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Upcoming Releases & News: Rumours and Facts

What does the upcoming season hide for us? Several houses have some surprises for us and some facts and cross-checking was in order.

According to the Moodie Report, Guerlain has two new men’s fragrances for the upcoming season: Habit Rouge Gentleman Driver and Guerlain Homme L’Eau.

The former, only a seasonal limited edition, bases its inspiration on automobile racing, hence the Gentleman Driver moniker. The press material talks about the (ultra-fetchy) Steve McQueen in Le Mans (with some shades of Bullit no doubt), the Paul Ricard race track and the circuits of Monaco. Yeah, yeah, colour me non impressed. Actually they could have been historically correct and attribute the moniker to the one who really had it: Louis Chiron, the statue of whom stands on the picturesque port of Monaco. One of the great pre-war Formula One racing drivers and a serious contributor to the Bugatti legend (model 18/3 Chiron is named after him), he is the only Monegasque to win Monaco Grand Prix and one of the curves is named in his honour. It seems to me this is Frencher than quoting McQueen, but I think we know who they're targeting eh? "The juice is a reworked version of the original Habit Rouge Sport*, and features bamboo, pink pepper, bitter orange, jasmine, woods and musks. It is presented in a translucent red flacon, adorned with a metal plaque bearing the Habit Rouge Sport logo and engraved with the name of the edition: Gentleman Driver. The outer carton is a matching red and metallic mix".

*Come again?? Flanker of a flanker?

For women, Guerlain is proposing the latest Aqua Allegoria, Flora Nymphea, this coming spring, to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the Aqua Allegoria line, and for the occasion a 3D animated film will be presented in which a nymph named Flora Nymphea will tell the story of flowers and scents led by a bee, symbol of the brand (the film lasts a minute and will be broadcast online this coming March). Guerlain called on French singer Olivia Ruiz to narrate the story. Created by Thierry Wasser, the scent features syringa (lilac), African orange blossom and honey notes, encased as always in the gilted-honeycomb glass bottles of the line.

On the other hand, things are more exciting elsewhere: The in house perfumer for L'Artisan Parfumeur, Bertrand Duchaufour, has been held on record saying "I am working on several projects for L'Artisan Parfumeur, including a Vetiver, a Tuberose and an Amber-Oriental" (The news had been first broken in an excellent interview on fragrantica by Michelyn Camen back in August 2009). It is confirmed that L'Artisan and Duchaufour are issuing their tuberose this upcoming spring. Let's not forget that Bertrand is no stranger to the carnal blossom, as the heart of Fleur de Liane is also a soft coupling of tuberose and magnolia (let's not sidetrack his man-eating floral Amaranthine for Penhaligon's either, speaking of carnality), while L'Artisan has an under-the-radar cult buttery but uncomplicated tuberose already in the line called Tubereuse. The new one will be a stand-alone permanent addition. Whether this will signal discontinuation of the older in favour of the newer, as we had announced concerning their Vanilia while reviewing their Havana Vanille last August remains to be seen. Personally I don't see the older Tubereuse moving much commercially and my strong suspicion is that newer is always preferable in this dance macabre of reformulations, so you know what you should do.

Hermès is issuing their newest unisex this coming April, a scent which will not be part of either Les Jardins, nor the Hermessences, nor the Cologne series (which they promised me they will implement with more instalments soon). Termed Voyage d'd'Hermès, the new fragrance breaks with the tradition of the house's bottle designs as well, taking the shape of one of the petite marocinnerie products into a glass shape that will hide the spray mechanism under a metal "pochette" designed by Phillipe Mouquet. According to a Vogue insider the release is NOT a mainstream launch, this is a special product for travelers, hence the clever packaging and will be exclusively sold at Hermes boutiques, which according to official info so far is a mainstream distribution product (boutiques and department stores). The scent will feature mainly musks with fresh and woody notes in the Jean Claude Ellena style.
ETA: Official info tells me the bottle is refillable offered in 35ml and 100ml and official launch is April 2010.

And let's not forget the re-issue of the previously limited edition Calèche Fleurs de Méditerranée centered on mimosa, which we had announced a while ago.
Interestingly, according to, "It was also announced in late December that the French label plans to launch a new brand in China, called Shang Xia. The goal is to play a bigger role in the Chinese market by creating items and styles using materials rooted in the Chinese culture". An interesting development to watch in relation and perspective to the markets catered by Hermes already and their future strategies.

To the delight of several Hermesophiliacs, the exclusive Hermessences are finally online, a rumour which we had entertained for a long while but is now reality. Interestingly, however, it is only the big bottles which are available for online purchase and not the discovery travel sets (those contained four mini-sprayers of 15ml/0.5oz in either four assorted fragrances, actually the original quartet introduced, or 4 of the same fragrance). You can visit the American site on this link. Although there are a few mentioned there, the international sites stock more of the line. Nevertheles Brin de Reglisse is lacking from all of them!! I hesitate to attribute it to a sudden omniplacent lack of stock, as it wouldn't make sense when the others are all at the ready. It would be perhaps be more indicative of the truth if I hypothesized that the ratio of natural lavender in Brin de Reglisse (an aromatic material extended to its natural extremetieis approaching licorice notes) required adjustment in view of the upcoming IFRA restrictions. Either that or...But let's not rain on anyone's parade with similar dishearteaning news as the Lutens discontinuations. I trust that Brin de Reglisse will be soon back online proving it's not chopped off the line.

Related reading on PerfumeShrine: Upcoming Releases, News from the Industry, Guerlain series

pics via moodiereport, and hermes


  1. By the way, you are now allowed to mix and match the scents for the Hermessence travel sets which is very handy.

  2. The increased availability of the Hermessences is great to hear about - thanks!
    (I'm glad there's some good news out there for you to bring us!)

  3. Anonymous14:35

    I am most excited to try the Voyage d'Hermes. Can't wait to see what the bottle looks like in person. Thanks for the update.


  4. Abyss,

    good to know, thanks! Here they haven't introduced this option yet (any day now, I presume)

  5. P,

    it lessens some of the...exclusivity aspect. Remember how them (originally, they were the first) and the Chanels were ONLY available at the boutiques as a luxe positioning? Now as soon as the Chanels are online, here come the Hermes too. ;-)

  6. D,

    it's lovely, indeed.
    You're welcome, hope to review them in the near future.

  7. Really looking forward to that new tuberose scent! I just tested the existing L'A Tubereuse this week, and was Not Impressed. It's nice but undistinctive.

    I do love Amaranthine, but I continue to be surprised at how un-naughty I find it. It's relaxed, smooth, creamy-green, beautiful - but not naughty. It does have a lovely skin-like warmth to it, but I interpret that as sensually pleasing, not sexually enticing. I seem to be in the minority, though; most people do find it sexy.

    I think that I'm also in the minority of people unsurprised and untroubled about the Lutens discontinuations. If a house is going to continue to debut new scents, it is sensible (in terms of business) to make room in the line by discontinuing those that sell poorly or that are difficult to bring into conformity with regulation. But please take my opinion with a grain of salt, because I only love one Lutens (La Myrrhe), and it's not on the chopping block. That does make a difference.

  8. Mike Perez16:37

    I was under the impression the new Hermes was a full scale release - not a boutique-only scent. Interesting...

  9. At one point, Brin de Reglisse was in stock online so I wouldn't worry about it too much, yet. Things tend to go in and out of stock on on a daily basis. (I browse there too frequently, apparently.) The only thing that hasn't been in stock anywhere yet is the leather-bound version of Osmanthe Yunnan, which annoys me because I would like to know the leather type/color combination. Oh well!

    I also find it interesting that the new fragrance will be boutique-only.

  10. Mals,

    I can't say I find the older Tubereuse too complicated either.
    As to the carnality of the Amaranthine, it's more of a floral mantrap than an animalic vibe, and it is rather "shocking" since it's a Penhaligon's, not exactly the bastion of improper smells. I'm not an easy one to suffer "naughty" overload either ;-) And compared to some vintage scents, definitely anything modern rarely surpasses the dirty parts.

    Re: the Lutens, get your point and you have excellent taste for your one pick, I must say! La Myrrhe was probably my first true love in the line and I grabbed the bell jar without any hesitation. It's kept me good company. *sigh*
    Somehow the SL brand has become something of a totem though, so it's shocking from that perspective.

  11. Mike,

    that was my info. I don't know whether it might be a travel-exclusive concept, so that it might be only Hermes boutiques in airports (a la VpE by Guerlain) that might have it. This point wasn't clarified to me. :/

  12. Justin,

    re: the boutique only issue, please see above comment.

    Thanks for clarifying about Brin de Reglisse. It would be strange if only one out of them presented a problem and besides JCE is very careful, working well below dosages restricted in general. It made an impression to me that it was out of stock EVERYWHERE. I never really pegged it as one of the popular ones in the Hermessences. Were it AN or OY, I might gulp it down without a care in the world. But I'm hopefuly you're right.

    Now the Osmanthe Yunnan cuir colour scheme. I understand the case reprises the colour of the caps, which in this case is a nice cherry red.
    Image here And another one here, top bottle on the left.


  13. Liisa10:16

    There should be also Habit Rouge Beau Cavalier in a cool metal bottle. Just sayin'.

  14. terrible Guerlain names- excited about a L'Artisan Vetiver- always excited about a new Elena of course. Great round up!

  15. L,

    oh there is a Beau Cavalier! I don't recall the exact packaging, but they go for all sorts of LEs all the time. Not likely they'd miss a chance... ;-)

  16. K,

    the too long names which take an established frag name and "flowerify" it with other adjectives/denominators usually irritates me. The funny thing is when the reference is French but the image is American (like here!), as I explained on the post.

    Let's see what L'artisan and Ellena have in store for us ;-)

  17. Perhaps for April fools we should run posts about new fragrances coming out with ridiculous names- we would probably find some of them being used by next year!

    Yes SO excited about new ones from those two :-)

  18. K,

    that's a great idea actually! Maybe I'll take you up on it. ;-)


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