Wes Anderson Has a New Cologne. It Smells Like Panache.

Slate’s design blog.
Feb. 20 2014 12:07 PM

Eau de Wes Anderson

L'Air de Panache is a concept scent created by French perfumers Nose for the Paris premiere of Wes Anderson's new film Grand Budapest Hotel.

Courtesy of Nose

In Wes Anderson’s new film Grand Budapest Hotel, set at a Central European hotel between the two world wars, the concierge M. Gustave H. (played by Ralph Fiennes) has a penchant for dousing himself with a cologne called L’Air de Panache.

“It has a Russian quality, like Orthodox incense,” Anderson told the New York Observer when asked to describe the scent at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this month, where the film screened to rave reviews. “Plus, something collected from the erogenous zones of rare animals.”

The reporter identified the perfume as “fictional.” But for the lucky few who will attend tonight’s Paris premiere of the film, Anderson and distributor Fox Searchlight Pictures commissioned perfumer Mark Buxton, co-founder of French perfume boutique Nose, to create a concept scent. The Nose website describes L’Air de Panache as a primarily “woody, citrus” scent that ultimately takes an olfactory journey that is a metaphorical “return to the wild forest.”

From left to right: Nose florist Baptiste Pitou, Wes Anderson, Nicolas Cloutier, Mark Buxton, Mr. Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), Zero (Tony Revolori).

Courtesy of Nose


“The idea was to bring fiction to reality,” Nose president and co-founder Nicolas Cloutier told me in a phone interview. Anderson and Fox Searchlight asked the perfumers to submit a proposal in which they attempted to translate details from the film into an intoxicating and complex aroma to bring one of the film’s signature gags to life.

“[I]t’s an interpretation of the film in the image of what we do as a perfume store that carries noncommercial brands,” Cloutier said. “There was no marketing bullshit or brief whatsoever.”

Cloutier said that Anderson gave them complete creative license. They included top notes of aldehyde to reflect the kinds of scents that the older women guests Gustave H. catered to (and bedded) might have worn in the 1930s.

They also included a note of green apple in a nod to a painting called "Boy With Apple," bequeathed to Gustave H. by one of his lady friends, and a hint of the “rose worn by the most refined dandies.”

“It starts out very much like a traditional cologne,” Cloutier said, “then five or 10 minutes later it moves to a very woody and animalic scent, very modern.”

L’Air de Panache isn't available for purchase––for now––but those in Paris can stop by the Nose boutique in the 2nd arrondissement for a whiff, and the scent will also be on display at the film’s roster of international premieres. “It’s not a commercial project,” Cloutier said. “We don’t care if everyone likes it or not.”



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.