I have a few updates to share with you regarding LVMH’s shutdown of the Monsieur Guerlain website and his associated social media accounts. Monsieur Guerlain has clarified a few points about the matter, I was given some information on Guerlain, and I’ve done some digging into the law. To me, those new facts indicate a very different situation both legally and factually than what I had initially thought. In my opinion, they demonstrate that the issue is not the trademark/copyright issue of using the Guerlain brand name that everyone had thought. There is much more going on.
[UPDATE: 2/10 — LVMH has issued a response to the situation in a comment on its Facebook page, and I will discuss their response in an updated section at the end.]
I was stunned to wake up this morning to news that LVMH, the parent company of Guerlain, has shut down the Monsieur Guerlain website, as well as his Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube account. The news was reported by the perfume blog, PerseFume, in a post on its Facebook page. It states that the action was taken without any notice or prior warning by LVMH to Monsieur Guerlain. The news of the shut-down has been confirmed elsewhere.
Royal Leather, the latest fragrance from By Kilian, was a surprise. I thought it was actually interesting, and that’s not a word I think I’ve ever used for a Kilian fragrance. It’s a brand that, in all honesty, does little for me as a general rule because its signature seems to be mere smoothness and refinement rather than originality or bold character. But Royal Leather doesn’t follow the usual Kilian pattern of taking a typical, conventional bouquet and simply making it smoother than things from other brands. It’s bolder than many of its siblings and a little more interesting in its composition as well because it forgoes the usual Russian style of endlessly smoky, tarry birch leather and adds a few quirky twists, like juxtaposing hawthorn with heliotrope. Admittedly, the end result still resembles a smoother form of one or two fragrances from other perfume houses, but those scents are outliers from the typical leathers I encounter. And, I have to say, Royal Leather has a killer drydown.
Al-Kimiya is the latest brand from Sergio Momo, the founder of Xerjoff, Casamorati, and Sospiro. In America, Luckyscent calls it Kemi, but that seems to be the exception to the rule. “Al-Kimiya” means “alchemy” in Arabic, and the house launched in 2014 with eight fragrances, each bearing a name derived from alchemical or Arabic traditions. (As a side note, “Al-Kimiya” is also the name of an unrelated collection from Parfums d’Orsay.) Out of Al-Kimiya or Kemi’s eight fragrances, four are eau de parfums, two are parfums, and two are attars or concentrated perfume oils (CPOs). Tempest is one of the attars, while Layla is one of the eau de parfums. I’ll take a look at each in turn.