The other day I had the pleasure of meeting Givaudan’s Shyamala Maisondieu, the nose behind the brand new Lanvin men’s fragrance. What struck me whilst talking to her was her obvious passion for her creation and how clear an image of the ‘Lanvin Man’ she had in her mind (she painted such an evocative picture of a busy, sophisticated, well-travelled man kicking back in front of a roaring fire I nearly asked if I should pop out and get some more logs!).
In an age of fragrance-by-focus-group it was great to see something created with genuine art and passion (she very kindly helped me unravel the secrets of my own fragrance collection, too, but more about that another time).
Avant Garde itself is an oriental woody fragrance, bursting with exotic spices (as a child Shyamala loved the smell of cardamon so it’s included here), along with woody and tobacco notes and a hint of beeswax, which gives it a sweet, edible honey inflection.
So is it any good? Well, it’s much gentler and warmer than I expected and sweet in an Mugler A*Men kinda way (but not nearly as pungent obviously). With evidence to suggest women are especially attracted to sensual woody oriental fragrances and to sweet notes it’s very much a fragrance they’ll love to smell on men. Which is no bad thing right?
P.S. The bottle is amazing and feels like a smooth and sensual black pebble!
Lanvin Avant Garde is available from Harvey Nichols, priced £49 for 100ml eau de toilette.