A beautiful insect with translucent wings, the dragonfly is a real lucky charm for Lalique. This year the damselfly is coming to rest on the precious 2013 Limited Edition bottle, just above the surface of the water, on an expanse of crystal decorated with waves.
René Lalique owes his most beautiful jewels to “damselflies”. He depicted this insect – a favourite theme of the Art Nouveau style – many times over, giving free rein to his imagination. Signed René Lalique, the “Dragonfly Pectoral” was presented at the 1900 World’s Fair. Worn by Sarah Bernhardt, this precious ornament was acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian and is today on display in his museum in Lisbon.
In 1928, the Art Deco spirit reinterpreted the dragonfly in its turn with two major creations by the artist, one with folded wings and the other with outspread wings; both ready for the conquest of an ephemeral world. In addition to jewellery, the dragonfly also took the form of a mascot at Lalique, decorating the radiator caps of the cars of the time (1928), along with powder boxes, vases, bowls and other glass pieces...
The dragonfly is an enchanting insect that only spends a few weeks in the splendour of its adulthood. Its lightweight, fragile appearance and the elegance of its flight link it to freedom. In America, it is the messenger of dreams, while it gives Japan the poetic nickname of Dragonfly Island. However, its shimmering and shiny wings can also represent an illusory reality... Beautifully deceptive, the dragonfly is also known as the “devil’s horse”!
For this 2013 Limited Edition, the bottle showcases an extraordinary Dragonfly cloaked in black. The generously sculpted clear bottle is decorated with delicately hand-polished concentric circles, repeated waves of water on which the body of the beautiful dragonfly rests, plunging into the delicious fragrant nectar. A double pair of gracefully outstretched wings draws on an alternating interplay of shine and matte crystal. This entire satin finishing paired with the geometry of the wings creates a veil of crystal in the Art Deco style.
The “hot glass” workshop requires four glassmakers using the handcrafted hot mould technique to fashion the bottle. Taken up at 1150°, the crystal is formed in a wooden shaping block and then placed into a cast-iron mould heated to 400° and annealed for seven hours. For the stopper, the so-called “pressed” technique requires five glassmakers. The cutting and polishing steps are then performed cold. The decorative elements on the dragonfly’s wings and the waves of the bottle are subsequently sandblasted. To adjust the stopper’s fit, it is paired with its bottle and ground with emery to ensure a leaktight finish.
Finally, in the ultimate finishing touch, the baudruchage seal and gold thread are added to the signed and numbered bottle.
The complexity of this bottle’s craftsmanship arises not only from its form, but also from the work on the black crystal. Technically, the black is obtained with very dark blue pigments that, with the density of the crystal, colour the molten material “black”. More liquid and more difficult to produce, this black crystal will only reveal its flaws on cooling, when the mirror effect of this very subtle colour can be seen. It is therefore ruthlessly selected to ensure a perfect Dragonfly that comes to life in crystal.
One of the house’s great timeless classics, Lalique de Lalique is a majestic pure floral. The fragrance takes shape from the sumptuous and radiant opening notes. An opulent bouquet of smooth Bulgarian rose, sensual jasmine, spicy wallflower and powdery iris unfolds; an abundance of flowers in varied tones. Soft fruity notes then appear with deliciously gourmand accents of blackcurrant leaves, wild blackberry and pear. The base blends soft, voluptuous and sensual woody aromas. Delicately milky Mysore sandalwood, smooth Bourbon vanilla, white musk and amber notes create an endless sillage.
The Dragonfly has adjourned its gracious flight at a crystal watering place and come to rest, enchanting and poetic, on the fragrance.