Taking inspiration from the evocative world of British motoring design, ICON the latest fragrance from British luxury menswear house dunhill is a signature masculine scent which marks the beginning of a new era for dunhill’s fragrance category- with a brand focus on the ethos of a self-assured, sophisticated urban gentleman.

dunhill have laid some deep foundations with this flagship fragrance, seriously considering not just the scent within ICON but the bottle, story and the way in which it represents the brand as a whole. Ape to Gentleman explore each aspect below and were lucky enough to be offered time to ask a few key questions of each ‘craftsmen’ responsible for said aspect.

Conceptualised by legendary Master Perfumer, Carlos Benaim, ICON opens with a blend of rare and expensive ingredients. Top notes of Italian Bergamot and Neroli Absolute with black pepper fuse the mid-notes of cardamom and Lavender de Provence. At the base, you feel the warmth of smokey Oud wood, and an Oris-leather accord noted for its depth, blended with earthy Vetiver and a hint of oak moss. An audacious, stylish scent that embodies a union of strength and sensitivity.

CB: Did the dunhill heritage and the name immediately suggest particular notes?

Carlos Benaim: Yes. To translate dunhill’s timeless and luxurious heritage I used classic and noble ingredients such as Vetiver and Neroli as well as the Orris-Leather accord. To express dunhill’s classic yet modern heritage, I contrasted the rich elegance, depth and warm texture of the background with the exhilarating and bold energy of the top notes.

The name ICON, is apt in that it captures the essence of the brand and will likely become the brands iconic signature scent. The reason for this is not purely the fragrance itself as mentioned, but the complete package, which started with the arrival in 2012 of Creative Director, John Ray, heralding a renewed sense of creativity for the heritage brand. dunhill as a whole, right through to this fragrance centres around ‘The dunhill Man’ who proffers, “classic masculinity with a witty and energetic approach to life. Informal, intelligent, a powerful leader with an interest in international events and affairs.”

CB: Can you describe the fragrance in a few words? What do you want the smell of the new fragrance to evoke?

John Ray: dunhill Icon is the perfect expression of effortless sophistication, combining dunhill’s luxurious and classic heritage with a modern edge.

The ethos of a self-assured, sophisticated urban gentleman is again present, this time in the bottle design where dunhill really have left no stone unturned. Conceptualised by renowned designer Mark Eisen, the bottle carries a decidedly handsome engine-turned pattern, a functional and decorative technique in which a very precise, intricate repetitive pattern is engraved into the underlying material.

CB: What do you try to achieve when creating perfume bottles?

Mark Eisen: fragrance bottle should first be an amazing object-an object of desire-a mix of functional and decorative art. My dream is to create a bottle of timeless style-a perfect mix of history and modernity and taste. It must represent the DNA and emotion of the brand. A bottle, like so many of dunhill’s collection, should appeal and be very relevant for over 100 years.

£73.00/ €91.00 100ml EDT and £55.00/ €69.00 50ml EDT at selected department stores from 30th March 2015.