Stop the clocks! My dears, I think we have found it. We may be in the coldest, harshest Spring that Britain has on record, but Carven’s latest release ‘Le Parfum’ is enough to kick start spring more than the sight of gambolling lambs and swaying daffodils. In short, this is the classiest, modern-with-a-classic twist Spring release that we have encountered for a long time.
It shouldn’t really surprise me. After all, Creative Director, Guillame Henry (ex Givenchy and Paule Ka), has been making waves for a few seasons on the catwalk, turning the house of Carven on its dainty little head while taking his historical lead from the archives of Madame Carven (who is still alive at 101 years old), zsuching up this brand. What has emerged is a lean, clean Carven that’s pretty, confident, contemporary and colourfully relevant, aimed at emerging young (and older) women who like clothes to be seasonless and are more concerned with building a good wardrobe than an ode to trend driven mores.
Enter Francis Kurkdjian, the doyen of all that’s good in modern perfumery. Monsieur Kurkdjian has a history of successes behind him including Elie Saab’s Le Parfum, Acqua di Parma’s Iris Nobile, Dior’s Eau Noire and Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male as well as the exemplary releases from his own house, Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
The merging of Kurkdjian and Carven, two classic French icons who are all about style and taste, veering in their own idiosyncratic directions is masterful.
What results is clearly one of the most beautifully classic, buoyant releases that’s redolent of nothing or no-one else. In fact, Carven’s Le Parfum is created in sync with the house’s Ma Griffe one of-a-kind distinctiveness and class.
Firstly, it’s look. The heavy weight, pretty, opaque glass bottle with its Carven white ribbon is topped with an oblong perspex stopper atop gold rings. The font used is modern enough to compete with the Balenciagas of this world while using old skool sophistication that relays femininity without any frou-frou. This is a graceful and joyous little perfume that’s character will develop over over the years with its new legion of admirers.
Kurkdjian has majestically encapsulated Carven’s current and future vision. A resurrected old house that’s been spruced up by Henry’s insight and youthful touch has just had Kurkdjian add a whisper of spirited young bourgeois in scent form.
Captivating from first spray, Carven Le Parfum’s sprightliness frolicks in leaps and bounds. Says Kurkdjian,”I wanted to play with the Carven values in a feminine mode: timeless elegance that also seems absolutely effortless. I wanted a fragrance that would resemble a huge bouquet of freshly cut flowers, with temperament and a lingering silage.”
What occurs is more than a sum of the parts. Carven Le Parfum is not only beautifully tight-bud floral, it is clean. Too much is attributed to ‘floral freshness’ but Le Parfum actually delivers a scent vision of a Parisienne flower market street dappled in sunlight and sprayed with mist to heighten the colours and the scents of new dawn. Carven Le Parfum is a new chic for a new age.
Big white whiffs of hyacinth collide with mandarin blossom while the fast, excitable heart explodes with the scent and colour of jasmine, sweet pea and ylang-ylang.
This majestic ingenue also has depth to her character by way of white sandalwood, osmanthus and Indonesian Patchouli. But, it is the succulent clash and array of sweet peas that leaves a lasting impression. There’s also a riveting feel of greenness, fresh sap and new beginnings; which is pretty apt for the new dawn of this chic little brand. This clever perfume works, though, by appealing to the heart, not the mind. Carven Le Parfum has heaps of feeling as well as waves of character that will charm for years.
Note well this release. Carven Le Parfum has just resurrected and reaffirmed Carven’s ability to deliver greatness.
Carven Le Parfum launches on 5th May 2013 exclusively at Harrods and is available throughout the UK from 5th June 2012. Prices for the Eau de Parfum spray are £38 (30ml), £55 (50ml) and £72 (100ml). Deodorant spray (150ml) is £24, Perfumed Bath & Shower Gel (200ml) is £24 and Body Milk (200ml) is £32.