I think it is an atavistic urge to enjoy being somewhere you’re not supposed to be. Like when you were left at home without a babysitter for the first time and you were able to explore the areas of the house you normally didn’t walk into without fear of getting caught. Certainly the “Home Alone” movies mined that concept. The idea of being in a museum after closing; walking among the exhibits by yourself is another familiar forbidden fantasy common to movies. The one I imagine every reader would love is the opportunity to walk the aisles of a luxury department store in the middle of the night; trying on clothes, checking out the accessories, and of course smelling all the perfume. If there was one store I would want to have this experience in it would be Harrod’s. From the Louis Vuitton on the ground floor to the Haute Parfumerie on the Fifth Floor and everything in between, to have the store to myself would be a real dream. Joe Garces of Robert Piguet Parfums must also think this way as well for the brief he gave perfumer Aurelien Guichard was as simple as it could be, “Imagine what Harrod’s smells like at 2AM.” From that simple idea M. Guichard has created the best of the new Robert Piguet Parfums fragrances that have been released to date and he has also made my favorite fragrance of the first half of 2013. That perfume is Knightsbridge de Robert Piguet.
For a simple concept M. Guichard also kept the composition simple with three well matched duets for each phase of Knightsbridge. Rose & Nutmeg, Orris & Sandalwood, Leather & Tonka; all of these ingredients are also of the highest quality reflecting the ideal of Harrod’s as one of the greatest luxury department stores in the world. Like it would be progressing through the floors of Harrod’s after hours so does each pair feel separate but also as part of a fantastic whole.
Haute Parfumerie at Harrod's
For this imaginary stroll I picture waking up on the Fifth Floor and as I walk towards the Haute Parfumerie the last lingering persistent note of a day of perfumistas sampling the wares is that of a rose. The rose has a bit of nutmeg to accentuate the spicy facets within the rose. As I realize I’m alone I begin to wander downstairs and as I pass through the beauty section I smell the iris in the powder. M. Guichard has something richer in mind and he captures the iris with a completely decadent orris butter that is so rooty and opulent you just don’t want it to end. Paired with a creamy sandalwood this is what luxury means as this feels like the finest silk sliding through my hand with a frisson on my fingertips. Before I get to the front of the store I stop and breathe deep at the Louis Vuitton display and the smell of the finest leather meets me. I try on a pair of gloves and bring it to my face inhaling deep. The choice of tonka to support the leather accord makes a perfect ending to my night alone in Harrod’s.
Knightsbridge has overnight longevity and average sillage.
Knightsbridge is the most complete composition M. Guichard has done for a long time. I am generally a fan of his creations but Knightsbridge might be the best fragrance he has ever made. It will take a little more time and perspective to confirm that. The one thing I am sure of is Knightsbridge de Robert Piguet is my best new perfume of the first half of 2013.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Robert Piguet Parfums.
–Mark Behnke, Managing Editor
Editor’s Note: According to Mr. Garces, Knightsbridge de Robert Piguet will only ever be sold at Harrod’s and will remain exclusive to that store in perpetuity. It is available now at Harrod’s.