Blog post by Gwen

HOMMAGE a l’Homme – woody and animalic and smooth


Photo: perfumnice

When Lalique Parfums wanted to commemorate their 20th anniversary with a new fragrance, the brief given to perfumers Mathilde Bijaoui and Christine Nagel was, well, brief: ‘man’, ‘travel’ and ‘Orient Express’. From this they created the stunning HOMMAGE a l’Homme.

OK, ‘man’ I get and ‘travel’ I get but ‘Orient Express’ requires a bit of an explanation.

Lalique and the Orient Express share a history. René Lalique designed the interiors of the legendary train that ran from Paris to Istanbul from 1883 to1997. It soon became the very definition of luxury travel. It’s a history Lalique likes to promote, and HOMMAGE a l’Homme is an olfactory expression of it.

At this point I have to say, any fragrance created by noses like Bijaoui and Nagel with that brief is near the top of my “I gotta smell that” list and from there it was a short journey to my “I gotta have that” list because there is no other men’s fragrance like HOMMAGE a l’Homme. Period.

It opens with sharp bitter bergamot followed by metallic and green violet leaf and soft leathery, earthy saffron. The saffron has a delicious bittersweet aspect that always makes me pause when I sniff it. Right off the top, HOMMAGE a l’Homme smells manly. As it develops, the bitterness of the saffron is echoed at the heart by chili leaf which beautifully sets up the cool earthy violet that blooms there. And then the magic happens – oud appears, deep, dark and woody. Deftly handled, it’s not pungent nor is it too sweet thanks to the addition of spicy black pepper. Oud is usually paired with rose, so to see it paired with violet here is a surprise. It’s the back and forth interplay between the cool violet and the warm woody oud that makes HOMMAGE a l’Homme unique. Cistus and musk at the base make the drydown woody, slightly sweet, anilmalic and smooth.

HOMMAGE a l’Homme is a beautiful interpretation of a ride on the Orient Express, from the manly start, to the journey from Paris (violets) to Istanbul (oud) through to the debonair, urbane and sophisticated drydown. But I think this journey has another destination... to a place called Manville.

Check out HOMMAGE a l’Homme in our Shop.