I am always interested when a fashion brand’s creative director chooses to take a part in the fragrance piece. Most just contract it out to a licensee. Previous creative director at Burberry, Christopher Bailey oversaw the fragrances from 2000-2015. During that time the brand became known for making some of the better designer fragrances. For the last five years it has been under the stewardship of their partners at Coty. This has been a span where the brand has been chasing trends. Mostly buying into the transparent style. These have been better than average but nothing overly exciting.
Riccardo Tisci took over as Burberry Creative Director in 2018. He has spent most of the last three years finding that sweet spot where fashion appeals to TikTok trendsetters and the older demographic they have always appealed to. On that front it is a fascinating work in progress. His collections have been fascinating to watch evolve. Earlier this year Sig. Tisci announced he was going to be creative director for the new summer release, Burberry Hero. If he was aiming for the same intersection this could be equally as interesting as the fashion.
He chose to work with perfumer Aurelien Guichard. What they produced is a fragrance more pointed towards a younger demographic. Hero continues to hew to the transparent way of designing perfume.
Right from the first moments you understand what Hero is about, cedar. A very fresh accord of three sources of cedar is the beginning, middle, and end of Hero. I received my sample in the summer and cedar works really well for me in the heat. It did the same here. There is a clean woodiness which makes it such a pleasing ingredient. As it develops there is an interesting piece of time where black pepper and astringent juniper berry find some space in the solid woody construction. This is when Hero is at its best. Eventually they fade away and the cedar returns to finish things.
Burberry Hero has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
It isn’t obvious to me where Sig. Tischi’s hand is apparent in Hero. If I didn’t have the press release, I’d be hard pressed to see it as different from the last few years. It falls into that better than average cedar perfume that has become the current standard. Just as his fashion is an evolving aesthetic perhaps the same might happen if he returns to oversee a second fragrance. For now it is just more of the same.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Bloomingdale’s.