Lalique Hommage a l’Homme : Fragrance Review

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The combination of violet and oud is like a romance between Doris Day and Cary Grant—one is wholesome and innocent, the other is dark and smoldering. Yet, just as Day and Grant set the screen on fire in the comedy, “That Touch of Mink,” violet and oud can be an irresistible pairing as I discovered through Lalique Hommage à l’homme.

Hommage à l’homme is the newest Lalique perfume created by perfumers Christine Nagel and Mathilde Bijaoui. It’s a masculine fragrance, and while it’s much too virile for me personally, I would gladly smell it on men around me. You will not find typical masculine cologne elements wrapped into the elegant shape of Hommage à l’homme. It’s the fragrance equivalent of a leading man in a classic Hollywood film—dashing, suave, and sophisticated. Hommage à l’homme smells like something worn by Cary Grant, whether he dashes around the French Riviera with Grace Kelly or tries to woo Doris Day with mink coats and champagne.

Its fresh top notes are crisp violet leaf and black pepper, with a bitter twist of bergamot. When the violet petals begin to unfold, they are velvety and sweet and oh so Doris Day. But wait a moment, and you will notice that Hommage à l’homme is laced with enough woody and spicy notes to read on skin as piquant.

On cue, the dark and handsome stranger enters the room, and things get much more exciting. The honeyed warmth of oud takes over Hommage à l’homme slowly, but once it does, the fragrance becomes rich and complex. The violet remains a strong accent, and smelling its soft floral note against the smoldering darkness of oud, I wonder why this combination isn’t explored more often. It has enough contrasts to be interesting, but it’s also elegant and polished.

All other details simply highlight the violet-oud union–the sweet amber, the leathery saffron, the sheer green jasmine and warm musk. Hommage à l’homme is to violet what Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit is to rose—a reinterpretation of a familiar flower as manly and robust. It feels exciting, because it’s so unexpected. Another fragrance that puts me in the same mood is Tom Ford Oud Wood. Oud Wood treats oud not as a heavy, animalic note, but as a woody, luminous decoration. In the unexciting sea of masculine scents, Hommage à l’homme stands out for its charm and ability to surprise.

Lalique Hommage à l’homme includes notes of bergamot, saffron, violet, chili pepper, oud, musk, amber. Available in the limited edition crystal collector bottle (1200€, pictured above), or in 50ml (65€) and 100 ml bottles (85€) from escentual.com and other Lalique retailers.

Sample: my own acquisition

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14 Comments

  • Jessica: I love the film-narrative you’ve woven for this one. Also, that bottle!! Classic Lalique. June 18, 2012 at 10:11am Reply

    • Victoria: Glad that you liked it! Yes, the bottle is stunning. But even the regular bottle looks very nice in photos. June 18, 2012 at 10:54am Reply

  • Nikki: Lovely bottle! Christine Nagel is a wonderful perfumer. I really like Christine Nagel’s Mauboussin perfume, stunning. My mother and I get stopped wherever when we wear this one, she in Europe and I am even wearing it to Costco where the male checkers always ask me: what are you wearing? June 18, 2012 at 12:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: Mauboussin is such a wonderful line, but I haven’t tried anything new from them. Histoire d’Eau (alas, discontinued) was a take-no-prisoners, sultry oriental. Just wonderful!
      Did you wear Mauboussin that was launched in 2000, the one in an iridescent bottle? June 18, 2012 at 4:18pm Reply

      • Nikki: Victoria, I wear the one in the silver and purple box. The flacon is tetrahedral and it came out in 2000. I haven’t tried Eau de Mauboussin, but I take your word for it and will buy a bottle…Mauboussin is just so sensuous, sweet, but not too sweet, smells a little like fall and dried fruits but at the same time seems to envelop one in warmth and femininity. It is really a great perfume, not quite right for the heat in the desert where I live, alas! Although I don’t like Tabu much, this one has as much sillage as Tabu, just so sophisticated. Try it, you will really like it, I am sure of it. June 19, 2012 at 9:42am Reply

        • Victoria: That dried fruit note is what I love the most in Mauboussin. In general, I love dessert with rum soaked fruit (like rum raisin ice cream!), so whenever something reminds me of that treat, I’m happy. 🙂 June 19, 2012 at 12:00pm Reply

  • minette: wow – sounds like something i would want to wear, even with the violets (i sometimes find the violet note in perfume unsettlingly present). and i’m not overly into bottles, but this one is so gorgeous i wouldn’t mind having it whether i liked the scent or not! June 18, 2012 at 3:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: If I didn’t move so much, I would want a big display of Lalique bottles! They are stunning and impeccably crafted.

      This fragrance is a great addition to Lalique’s masculines. Encre Noire is another fragrance that I love (although that one I happily wear myself). June 18, 2012 at 4:20pm Reply

  • Charu Kumar: Seems like a wonderful brand having pleasant fragrance. Will try for sure… June 19, 2012 at 5:24am Reply

    • Victoria: I like Lalique in general–great presentation, elegant, nicely crafted scents. June 19, 2012 at 5:53am Reply

  • Natalie: This sounds just delightful. I must try to lay my hands on some and test it on Mr. APB. 🙂 June 19, 2012 at 11:51am Reply

    • Victoria: Mr. BdJ has been wearing it almost daily. 🙂 Who knew that violet and oud could work so well together! June 19, 2012 at 12:01pm Reply

  • Diana: wonderful Review Victoria!! 🙂

    Hommage on my skin smell so peppery for long time , and dry down is warm Honey sweet flavored. it`s a timeless fragrance September 25, 2012 at 7:29am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Diana! I’m glad to hear that Hommage is getting some love, because I didn’t see much of it in the States. September 25, 2012 at 10:29am Reply

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