The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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More than just keeping up appearances

Marie Benoît Sunday, 18 February 2024, 08:30 Last update: about 3 months ago

Researches have recreated an Egyptian perfume thought to have been worn by  Cleopatra. She used perfume to enhance her attractiveness, which she used for her political advantage as we know from our history lessons.

The Roman historian Plutarch mentions perfume when detailng Cleopatra's seduction of Anthony. Who can forget the film with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and which made Elizabeth Taylor a star. Perfume no doubt played an important role in the film, too. I wonder which perfume she was wearing at the time of the filming. She was eventually to create her own.

Scent is powerful, effects our moods, emotions and memories. They can also be a reminder that fragrance has the ability to touch our hearts and souls in a way that nothing else can. Consider Proust and his famous novel here. Seven volumes of remembering the past partly through his sense of smell.

Tom Ford, the designer, said that "Good manners and good cologne is what transforms the man into a gentleman."

Men and women are sold the idea that by wearing a good perfume, they will be irresistible.  This may not always be true but perfume certainly helps.

A week or so ago, Ta'Xbiex Perfumery launched a new men's fragrance by the famous French glassmaker, Lalique, at Palazzo de La Salle, which has become so popular for so many events.

The event mostly happened in the Sala dei Cavalieri which was added to the palazzo in 1732 by the brothers de La Salle in a space which had previously been an open terrace.


As the most lavish room within the palace, it was probably used for official and special events. The style of its decoration is 18th Century Baroque Manner. The Hall includes a life-size gilded sculpture of St John the Baptist and gilded busts of various Grandmasters. The oil paintings depicting different Grandmasters are the later work of Domenico Micallef and dated 1926-29. The portrait of Enrico de La Salle is a copy of the original found in St Catherine's Convent further up in Republic Street. This already beautiful sala, was enhanced by two enormous bouquets of arum lilies. So appropriate for the launch of a scent. Oh to smell like an arum lily always.


Once upon a time perfume was considered a luxury item but now it is impossible to go out without wearing a perfume. I know many, men and women, who upon realising they have forgotten to wear perfume, return home. Others leave it in their car making certain it is always at hand.

Directors Victoria Muscat, her son and daughter, James and Veronique gave us a warm welcome in the courtyard, as we were handed drinks and canapés by smiling waiters.  They introduced us to Eliezer Cordovez, Vice President

Sales, Lalique Beauty, Southern Europe who came from Switzerland for the occasion as did Laura Mongin who gave a most interesting presentation upstairs.


Lalique's Encre Indigo, which was launched that evening honours the spirit of René Lalique, transposing the artist's ingenuity and vision into a luminous, yet intense fragrance for a man who thrives on living life in motion.

Today with Encre Indigo, Lalique once more opens up an In the early decades of the 20th century, René Lalique revolutionized the world of glassmaking by infusing his creations with a unique sense of fluidity and radiance. He often made use of unexpected and humble materials, each one brought to life with captivating skill and craftsmanship. Experiments with colour, light and shape gave Lalique's work added texture, resonance and relief that were astonishing, making him an icon of Art Nouveau and Art Deco.


Encre Indigo's vibrant character pays tribute to the pioneers and iconoclasts who embrace creativity and adventure wherever it may be found - just as one might venture boldly into untamed blue waters. This new  Lalique fragrance is an invitation to dive in.


The scent's spirit of innovation carries over to the Encre Indigo flaçon which is inspired by René Lalique's iconic Biches inkwell in matte coloured glass from 1913.


We sampled Encre Indigo in that beautiful hall after the presentation. And other Lalique fragrances, too.

It was fun, beautifully organised and we smelt heavenly by the end of the evening.


We all went home, after a lovely reception back in the covered courtyard, with Encre Indigo clinging to us. Of course unisex perfumes already exist. I believe this new fragrance could easily be worn by women, too. In fact M.Cordovez told me that Lalique already have a line called Lalique Noir Premier which includes some women's fragrances and some unisex perfumes.


There can never be enough perfumes as far as I am concerned. I will be taking to my grave the last bottle of a perfume by the couturier, Worth, my beloved husband bought me. It is called Je Reviens. I hope so. How knows. We may see each other again.


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