What I find really interesting about this fragrance is its journey to becoming an iconic perfume. It’s already proving to be a hit at Selfridges, but there is so much more to it than a simple scent. Yes, it’s formulated for a broad appeal with notes of vanilla, iris and patchouli that are a crowd-pleaser, but its surrounding marketing materials are something else.

Namely, the creation of the mysterious La Petite Robe Noire girl by illustrators, Kuntzel and Deygas; part Jessie J, part Audrey Hepburn, part Josephine Baker – she is an incredibly clever amalgamation of style that’s not identifiable to any age or era and yet somehow encompasses many decades of fashion. You never see her face, so she looks however you want her to.

Imagine then, how well this anonymous yet familiar illustration will translate to all aspects of the La Petite Robe Noire arm of Guerlain; lipstick, mascara, highlighters, body products, further versions of La Petite Robe – she is pretty well suitable for everything from urban graffiti to snowglobes. It’s very, very clever. 

I notice too that in-store fragrance spritzing is being done on fabric Guerlain labels and the bottle wound with a fabric ribbon. This addition of fabric gives a further fashion element to the brand; who knows? Bags, velvet cosmetic cases or silk cushions.. the list goes on and the possibilities are endless. 

Although there have been cosmetic ‘girls’ before, namely the no-nose Stila girl (no nose to give her no defined nationality or personality), I think La Petite Robe Noire is set to be one of the most identifiable brand icons of all time. 

La Petite Robe Noire is £42 (30ml) at Selfridges HERE and nationwide from July 24th.

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