Burberry Hero: Riccardo Tisci’s Captivating First Men’s Pillar Fragrance

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Photograph courtesy Burberry Beauty

A blend of three earthy cedarwoods combined with the addictively bitter splash of bergamot extract and an off-key spice, Burberry Hero is a distinctly alluring modern scent

Born and raised in the world’s perfume capital Grasse on the French Riviera, and to a perfumer father and sculptor mother, olfactory master Aurélien Guichard’s choice of craft was perhaps inevitable. An alumnus of the prestigious Givaudan Perfumery School, Guichard has created fragrances for an impressive roster of names, running the gamut from niche to mass for brands like Jean Paul Gaultier, Robert Piguet, Narciso Rodriguez and Issey Miyake, not to mention his own perfume house Matière Première, which highlights single key ingredients in a series of powerful scent soliloquies.

Burberry Hero, Guichard’s latest creation, channels both his parents’ professions. Here his father’s craft is present, naturally, but his mother’s penchant for texture plays a particularly heightened role. For the label’s first men’s fragrance pillar designed under chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci, Guichard constructed a fragrance that embodied the texture of a Burberry trench coat. Using a combination of three cedarwoods – carefully sourced from the Atlas Mountains, Virginia and the Himalayas for the distinctive properties of each – that harmonise in a truly unique cedar note, the juice is creamy and smooth but with a smoky and a terse underlying weave. A fragrance with a 'what-is-that?' quality, it is as enticing as it is elusive.

Having grown up on his family plot of rosa centifolia, jasmine and verbena fields – the product of which was harvested for fellow perfumers – Guichard has a keen nose for impeccable ingredients. Thus he blended those woody cedars with the unexpected juicy bitterness of bergamot, and added juniper and black pepper for a gritty pep. The result is a paradoxically fresh wood fragrance – aquatic, almost, with the contrasting smokeyness of roasted spices, which catch at the back of the cologne. It’s muscular and taut, but with an irrepressible heartbeat – a truly refreshing notion of a hero fragrance, made complete by its totemic but clean modern packaging. 

Burberry Hero is available now.