When I was with Pierre Guillaume at Esxence back in March he gave me a preview of all six perfumes in the Collection Croisiere. The previous five releases have been M. Guillaume’s perfumed version of a resort collection. They all carried aquatic, beachy themes. By the time I had gone through those I probably had an impression in my mind what was coming next. For the recently released sixth member of the Collection Croisiere, Metal Hurlant, it is a very different type of cruising M. Guillaume is talking about.
When I met my wife she was a motorcycle rider. I never caught the bug but I did accompany her on many of her trips, following behind in the car. These were invariably summer trips and when we would get to our destination there was a distinctive accord to the crowd. It smelled of gasoline, the leather of the riding wear, and the human musk of having sweated through a day’s ride. There are a number of unusual smells I find appealing; gasoline is one of them. I don’t know if it is the chemist that draws me to the smell of refined petroleum but I have always found it pleasant. M. Guillaume must also find it so, as well. Metal Hurlant is the smell of the open highway astride a motorcycle with nothing left out.
Metal Hurlant opens with that gasoline accord. Trust me when I say this is a realistic gasoline accord. If the smell of gasoline is unpleasant to you the first minutes of Metal Hurlant will be a tedium. If you want a perfume which presents something different this gasoline accord is most definitely that. This isn’t the smell of gas in a tank. Instead it is the smell of a bit splashed on the chrome fuel tank evaporating into the air. It has all the acrid facets you would imagine to be there. But because it an expansive version it makes it more approachable. The expansion of the accord over the first few minutes was completely fascinating on the days I wore Metal Hurlant. Soon enough I was slipping on my riding leathers. This is a leather accord of well-used leather. It is the raw transformed into something semi-refined over years of wearing it. The leather becomes the primary horsepower in Metal Hurlant but the gas is not gone. The final bits are the animalic musks. If you’ve ever sweated underneath a leather jacket when you finally take it off there is that unmistakable smell of musk and leather. That is what M. Guillaume captures over the last few hours.
Metal Hurlant has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
After five very pleasant releases I was overjoyed that M’ Guillaume decided to move away from the beach and straddle a motorcycle. Metal Hurlant captures all the smells which represent cruising between the white lines of the highway. If you are looking for a different perfume experience take Metal Hurlant out for a ride.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample from Pierre Guillaume at Pitti Fragranze 2015.