Lalique White (2008) sort of gets looked upon now as being a bit boring or beige, and I guess if looked upon with the perspective of comparing it to everything that has released in its wake, one could easily reach that conclusion. There is nothing terribly exciting or complex about Lalique White when you look at things like Parfums de Marly Galloway (2014) or cK All (2017) that have tread similar citric floral territory since, and have also been called boringly pleasant or serviceable too, but in 2008 there wasn't much like this being sold to men either. Now, I'm not implying that being first to invent an unexciting but pleasant style of peppery floral for men should make you immune to criticism whether you get copied and become an exploited trope or not, because regardless of success or failure on a commercial scale, white bread is still white bread. However, if you're going to eat white bread, I assume you'd want a really low-cost and high-quality one baked with a little bit of pride and signature flair to it, which is what this is. I'm not often a white bread guy either, but when I want it, I just go for always-consistent Wonder Bread rather than one of its 2000 dicey imitators.
Christine Nagel made this for Lalique before she was snatched up to replace Jean-Claude Ellena at Hermès and it shows. Her style at times echoes Ellena's but also at times seems to go in even more abstract simplified directions, with evidence of the latter here in Lalique White. The opening is bright lemon verbena, tamarind, and a flurry of ionones and hedione that identify violet and some other abstract floral notes that then get dotted with pepper, cardamom, and nutmeg to add some spicy dustiness. Connections to the later Galloway and cK All are evident here, but this is a bit spicier and more floral than them. There is a pencil shavings cedar not present in them too, as they go with a more-modern ambroxan-type base. A bit of Oscar de La Renta Gentleman (2017) can also be extrapolated from this 2000's forerunner, and then some light amber, oakmoss, and galaxolide musks round things out. Clean, peppery, citric, floral, woody, and just about as crisp white shirt of a scent as you could ask for, at a time when those kinds of things weren't in vogue, just yet. Best use is in an office but you could also rock this casually in temperate weather outside with performance right down the middle, and this could also lean unisex too.
Lalique just had another forward-thinking masculine fragrance success with the Nathalie Lorson composition Encre Noire (2006), so it makes sense that they would do something "equal opposite" and keep pushing further into the realms of modernism. Their more classically-minded Lalique pour Homme (1997), while an extraordinary Maurice Roucel composition that breathed life into a sagging fougère genre, was not what Lalique needed to maintain relevance with its mostly over-30 white-collar male buyer, as not all of them wanted to smell like a variation of Gordon Gekko. Lalique White was the answer to that probably unvoiced concern, and even seems to share a bottle with Lalique pour Homme sans the embossed animal head (for a storied glass maker, they sure re-use a lot of bottles). Lalique White is good even if not very engaging with its "budget Creed" vibe, because its just different and interesting enough to go "hey, I'm here" throughout the day, rather than being another depressing aquatic or fresh fougère exercise which had by 2008 become olfactive white noise at the office. Now that a lot of companies bake their white bread like Lalique first did, it can get lost among the loaves, some actually higher-priced for making virtually the same sandwich. Thumbs up
The bergamot with the tamarind appear form the first moment of the opening blast on, and make for a slightly unusual opening, especially when the violet as well as the lemon arrive a bit later too - of the latter two I am getting mainly the aroma of the leaves. A bright and friendly opening.
The drydown adds a restrainedly spicy triad; with the white peppers in the foreground and merging with the top notes. A touch of nutmeg with sone cardamom elaborate the spicy side, but it is a very domesticated and fairly smooth type of spiciness I am encountering here. At this stage the whole mix develops quite a bit of a green character.
The base with a generic woodsiness - only here and then do I get a bit of an ambery cedar - and a spill of white musks is a bit of a turn to well-trodden routine finishes.
I get moderate sillage, very good projection, and six hours of longevity on my skin.
A nice scent for cooler summer days, with some originality and crafted well. The first stages are quite interesting, but base is surprisingly generic. Overall 3/5.
What a gorgeous fragrance! Based on some of the reviews it's obviously not for everyone but I blind bought a bottle of this for under $24 and I LOVE it! Lalique really has a way of creating gorgeous and very original fragrances that appeal to those that want to smell different than everyone else. It opens with a blast of freshness and I can definitely detect the cedar right way. Oddly enough, there's something that reminds me of pine in this as well albeit very subtle. I don't envision this to be a sillage monster, but who cares? Let those that want to get close to you smell it on your skin ... as they undoubtedly will. In the genre of clean and fresh, Lalique (a la Christine Nagel) have created yet another masterpiece.
When you have tried so many fragrances for years, a new test usually smells familiar, like something you already have. As soon as I smelled White I thought of Burberry, the classic one. To me, it is spicy, peppery. I do not get clean soapy like so many others. It is a less intense Burberry, peppery, spicy, and a bit of cedar playing in the background. I give it a neutral because it smells unoriginal, and I was hoping for something else. So, this is not a problem with the fragrance but my perception. After reading the reviews on BN, I found a deal online and took a blind chance.
Clean done right. Soapy clean. Dry in the opening with the white pepper and cedar in the dry down. Smells better than its price, read here smoother and less astringent. Dryer sheets is not a bad comparison. Projection on point for the genre, but would have preferred a bit more staying power out of the laundry musks. Well done overall. Points down for subpar performance, points back up for price point. Keeps this as a average sized thumbs up.
As the name suggests, Lalique White is somewhat unexciting by design, a clean floral and woody scent that's not entirely unlike an artfully made fabric softener.
The actual architecture of this Christine Nagel scent is impressive and and elegant and some of its details are unique, but Lalique White doesn't impress itself upon you; it wears light and if you want to pay attention to its effects you'll need to fixate upon it. It evokes no particular season, but it'd be nicely suited to warmer months.