- Bentley is launching a new line of premium men's fragrances, available from select retail outlets beginning in April.
- The collection will include a $4,600 limited-edition fragrance, housed in a crystal bottle crafted by prominent French glassmaker Lalique.
- Other products in the line will include colognes, hair and body wash, and aftershave balm, with prices ranging from about $37-$108.
CREWE, England &mdash Following on the heels of other famous automobile names like BMW, Cadillac, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Mustang and Porsche, luxury carmaker Bentley is launching a new line of premium men's fragrances, available from select retail outlets beginning in April.
The collection will include the Lalique for Bentley Crystal Edition, presented in a decorative crystal bottle featuring the famous Bentley "Flying B." The container was created by French glassmaker Lalique, best known in automotive circles for its highly prized hood ornaments. Since the 1920s these pieces of art have adorned cars by manufacturers like Packard, Rolls-Royce, Hispano Suiza and Bugatti.
Bentley's special Lalique crystal edition, created by Mylène Alran, from the French perfume house Robertet, will retail for about $4,600, and only 999 examples will be produced. But there will be lower-cost alternatives, including Bentley for Men and Bentley for Men Intense, from French designer Nathalie Lorson of Swiss perfumers Firmenich SA. Products in these lines include hair and body wash, cologne and aftershave balm, with prices ranging from about $37-$108.
So, what do they smell like? Bentley says the crystal edition is "a fitting elixir of fine woody notes and exquisite leather" infused with a hint of orris butter (a sweet, woody ester, according to a botanicals Web site), giving it "a sensual and charismatic character."
Bentley for Men also relies on wood and leather for its unique aroma, as well as patchouli, chosen for "its sensual depth and natural elegance," says designer Lorson. The Intense version is similar but adds African geranium to the mix.
Although the fragrances are certain to be distinctive, Bentley is hardly unique in commissioning a line of custom scents. In fact, more than a dozen automakers have beaten them to it, including such premium brands as Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes, Jaguar, Cadillac, Bugatti, Aston Martin, BMW and Lexus. But there's also a Chevrolet line, with a separate collection devoted to the Corvette. And Ford also got into the act with an array of Mustang fragrances.
Of course, the link between automobiles and aroma goes beyond cologne. For years buyers have reveled in the "new-car smell," and many brands of air fresheners are available to try and re-create that fresh-from-the-showroom scent. Other car air fresheners smell like everything from berries to citrus fruits, not to mention the little pine-scented trees dangling from rearview mirrors.
Nissan added a twist when it launched its "brand smell" at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. As part of what it calls "a complete experience for visitors," the company contracted with Air Aroma, an Australian firm that specializes in scent marketing, to come up with a unique fragrance to be pumped into its 2013 auto show display. Nissan described the aroma as "quite a modern smell — a bit Oriental." In addition to auto shows, Nissan plans to roll out its signature scent to dealerships this year.
Edmunds says: For many car enthusiasts, the inside of a Continental GT might be perfume enough, but others may appreciate the opportunity to own a Bentley in a bottle.