A red-letter day for Guerlain and Baccarat

To celebrate the 110th anniversary of their Champs-Elysées boutique, Guerlain has a surprise. The French perfume maker is giving the ‘Tortue’ bottle a well-deserved make-over, this reptile also hailing from 1914. The intricately crafted new vessel is fiery red, Baccarat’s signature colour, and filled with delicious aromas.

By Florence Halimi

Guerlain and Baccarat, the tale of a perfume bottle

Exactly one hundred years ago, Guerlain set up its boutique at 68 avenue des Champs-Élysées, but by that time it was already a major actor of high perfumery – the Maison was established in 1828.

The famed Flacon Tortue shapeshifts into an incredible Métier d’Art edition (32 limited and numbered collection pieces).

The Guerlain family is no stranger to high society who have praised their work over the last two hundred years, including Eugénie Bonaparte, Balzac, the Prince of Wales, and other European monarchs. When Jacques Guerlain opened his boutique on the Champs-Élysées, he called upon Baccarat, the fine crystal manufacturer, to design the vessel for the perfume that would accompany the ribbon cutting.

This crystalline masterpiece was entirely handmade by the craftsmen of the Baccarat maison.

Guerlain decided that the turtle was a befitting shape for the bottle, as the construction work prior to the opening of the boutique were long-drawn-out and the organic curves fit into the Art Nouveau movement, which was all the rage at the time.

A gorgeous vessel for a unique fragrance

This bottle represents the symbiosis of perfume and crystal.

Guerlain and Baccarat celebrate this historic date 110 years later with a one-litre Tortue bottle, dyed a glorious ruby red – Baccarats signature colour – and born of a fusion between clear crystal and 24 carat gold powder. This limited edition, 32-piece (numbered) Métier d’Art bottle is a fitting vessel for the legendary perfume ‘Champs-Elysées’. The fragrance is a sweet blend of currants and berries that enhance the floral essence of rose and mimosa before ushering in the musky and woody smells of hibiscus and almond seeds.

Polishing is an essential step in the process of creating the Tortue de Guerlain bottle.

This masterpiece is entirely handmade and cements the union of the two maisons who have collaborated for more than a century. This fine fusion of crystal and fragrance is also a gift to one another.

This vessel is the culmination of technical mastery serving creativity. It brings together the superb technique of the master glassmakers at Baccarat who cut and polished the 88 facets of the turtle’s shell and head and the fine work of the Dames de Table Guerlain whose ‘barbichage’ – or feathering – garnishes the vessel. Tradition is the core of the Dame de Table’s craft, as they paint the silk treads which adorn the neck of the bottle one by one, creating an ever-lasting Albizia flower. It truly is a sight to behold!

Flacon Tortue Red Edition by Baccarat – €25,000