Archive for the ‘Guerlain’ Category

Guerlain Cologne du 68 Review

June 20, 2009

Cologne du 68 was launched in 2006, it takes it’s name from 68 Champs-Elysées, Guerlain’s Paris address. Taking inspiration from the address, perfumer Sophia Labbé decided to base it around 68 different notes. It could be a confused mess, but thankfully it is a masterful composition that suggests hints of several Guerlain creations. It became widely available last year at Guerlain counters.

Cologne du 6868 opens with a lush citrus mixture, Tangerine and Clementine are the standouts, with Lemon. It is powdery, mossy, reminiscent of Praline, and simultaneously warm and cold. 68 is inviting and intoxicating, and makes you want to keep sniffing to see where it goes – which is every which way. Most important to note about 68 is that it is powdery. If you are not a fan of powder, it is probably not for you.
Sweet and (shock) powdery Heliotrope, Violet, Berries and Iris (a cold Iris, like Dior Homme) remind of L’Heure Bleue, as well as the more recent My Insolence and the hints of spice create a sweetness that is familiar to me from Kenzo Power. The Vanilla that Guerlain became famous for is present for most of the duration of the fragrance. Sometimes, there is a green, watery vegetable like note, which reminds me of cutting peppers/Capsicum. On other occasions, there is a prominent Tonka with Violet, Iris and a truffle or mushroom note, surrounded by lightly Anisic Almond Blossom, as well as Neroli.
Cologne du 68 doesn’t settle anywhere too long, except it’s Praline centric drydown, which is supported by the light resins. Yet it remains lightly powdery at all times.
It’s ideal as a summer cologne if you are looking for something with more depth than a traditional Eau de Cologne, like the classic 4711.

Notes (taken from the bottle): Bergamot, Green Tangerine, Lemon, Clementine, Cedrat, Orange, Blood Orange, Lime, Grapefruit Leaf, Basil, Fennel, Star Anise, Lavender, Bay Laurel, Cypress, Elemi, Thyme, Myrtle, Bigarade Petitgrain, Tangerine Petitgrain, Lemon Tree Petitgrain, Pear, Violet Leaf, Ivy Leaf, Gentian, Sap, Blackcurrant, Freesia, Lily of the Valley, Hazelnut Leaf, Cyclamen, Cardamom, Coriander, Black Pepper, Pink Peppercorn, Nutmeg, Ginger, Frangipani, Magnolia Flower, Orange Blossom, Peony, Rose, Carnation, Ylang-Ylang, Lychee, Fig, Blackberry, Immortelle, Mastic, Opoponax, Amber, Benzoin, Vanilla, Cistus Labdanum, Heliotrope, Iris, Tonka, Sage, Musk, Patchouli, Agarwood, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Vegetal musk, Praline, Myrrh, Lichen

Guerlain My Insolence Review

May 5, 2009

My Insolence is the first flanker of Guerlain’s newest female “star” fragrance, Insolence. It was released in 2007. I wore it for Sniff n Speak day “Fruity” over at Basenotes.

myinsolenceMy Insolence begins with a mixture I wouldn’t put together: Fig, Raspberries, Iris and the off-key Hairspray note famous in the original Insolence. It works incredibly well.
The fruit note is the star of the whole fragrance, and the heart surrounds it with Vanilla and Almond notes – which together remind me of a blossom that grows on the trees near my grandparents home every spring. It creates the illusion of a Raspberry Tart dessert. It is joined by a marshmallow like sweetness, with powdery floral notes, similar to Ghost Sweetheart (Iris, Heliotrope).
The drydown is still sweet and fruity, with hints of the Guerlainade- dusty soft Vanilla!
The whole effect is fun, girly and innocent, and entirely captivating. Even though it’s somewhat girly, it’s still perfectly wearable by a man.

Top: Raspberry, Citrusy Note
Middle: Jasmine, Almond Blossom
Base: Patchouli, Vanilla, Tonka Bean

L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Eau Extreme Review

April 1, 2009

L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Eau Extreme is the Eau de Parfum concentration of L’Instant Pour Homme, a review of which can be found here.

linstantexExtreme opens with a bright, loud boozy Anise and Chocolate accord – it could well be a chocolote liquer. The opening is quite brash and unashamed, hangs about for a while, and is very similar in style to Dior Homme Intense.
The dusty note from L’Instant and the classic Guerlain fragrances is abundant in the heart, as is a dirty Jasmine flower with Chocolate smeared on the petals.
Like L’Instant, it reminds me of Midnight Poison Elixir, but without the burned smoky caramel but instead a Chocolate fountain, into which the other ingredients have been dipped. There is an animalic note from the sweaty Patchouli and Ambrette combination, making it much darker than L’Instant. Perhaps A*Men would smell like Extreme if it didn’t have as much Tar and Coffee. Extreme is a much more delicious take on L’Instant.

Top: Citrus Crystals, Star Anise, Elemi
Middle: Neroli, Patchouli Flowers, Jasmine
Base: Cedar, Sandalwood, Lapsang Tea, Bitter Cocoa, Patchouli, Hibiscus Seeds

L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Review

March 23, 2009

L’Instant launched in 2004, a year after the feminine. It has been better received than Guerlain’s newest men’s offering, Homme. Directed by Sylvaine Delacourte – Guerlain’s Artistic Director, who claims to draw inspiration from her travels, such as her Mojito in Cuba for Homme, L’Instant was inspired by a Moroccan Pastilla. If it tastes as good as L’Instant smells, I’m off to Morocco.

linstantOpens with a sweet, sweaty, Cumin-like note with Patchouli in the background. It’s green for a few moments, until citrus appears, Lemon and Bergamot with a sprinkling of Guerlain’s famous Vanilla dust – demonstrated best in Habit Rouge and Shalimar. The citrus note is shortlived, and the Patchouli re-emerges with the sweet dust coating the leaves.
As it unfolds, it feels remarkably similar to Dior’s Midnight Poison Elixir, with it’s “foody” associations, and Prada Amber (the feminine) with it’s warm Ambery Patchouli. A smoky note hangs around for most of the heart.
A boozy feeling note appears as it heads toward the drydown, with the intoxicating Patchouli still ever-potent. It dries to a warm, musky and dirty Jasmine with Ambrette, which is sweet and animal smelling – and almost brings sweaty armpits to mind. It’s even related to Comme des Garcons 8 88 in the drydown.
L’Instant won me over from a sample, and I quickly bought a bottle.

Top: Lemon, Bergamot, Badian Crystal, Pepper, Elemi
Middle: Jasmine Petals, Mysore Sandalwood, Lapsang Tea, Bitter Cocoa Bean
Base: Hibiscus Seeds, Patchouli

Guerlain Homme Review

March 12, 2009

Guerlain Homme has gotten a lot of stick from the Perfumista community. It’s not “Guerlain” enough for them. For the mainstream consumer, it’s too different. So who exactly is it aimed at? I guess, since it became one of my favourites from the first sniff at the pre-release training for it last year, it’s aimed at me. Instead of being based on a normal ‘top-to-bottom’ development, it’s a trio of accords, Mojito, Fresh Floral and Green Woody, that interact and come in and out of play. All of which I was lucky enough to smell separately – I can’t describe the beauty of the Fresh Floral accord, but I would wear that alone.

guerlainhommeThe atomizer lets out a shiny, bright Mojito. Sugar and Lime with Mint and Rum. This is very realisitc, quite sweet, and not at all like toothpaste or alcohol like you might expect.
A light herbal floral accord is underneath the Mojito. Citrus shines through, the mixture of Bergamot and Lime, with a light tea note and Mint and Geranium creating a strange olfactory effect.
The soft woods in the drydown are given a tart edge from the Rhubarb. The Mint returns with the green floral heart in on and off puffs, like a plug in room deodoriser, and the Lime persists all the way to the drydown.

Top: Bergamot, Lime, Key Lime, Pelargonium
Middle: Green Tea, Mint Leaves, Geranium, Rhubarb
Base: Cedar, Vetiver, Rum, Sugar Cane

Guerlain Vetiver Review

March 9, 2009

Guerlain’s Vetiver was originally created in 1959, and was relaunched in 2000. This review is of the relaunched (and apparently reformulated) version. There is a great deal of fuss created over the ‘vintage’ scent, but as I’ve never smelled it and love the current version, I don’t think I’m missing out. Vetiver is a staple to many men’s wardrobe, and is used by many women too.

vetiverVetiver is tough, bitter, astringent and woodsy through a floral and citrus opening. Clean and green, with a slightly soapy feeling, but at the same time earthy and dirty.
The soap feeling is gentlemanly, and not girly, as in it’s not related to an aldehydic scented soap like No 5, I think it’s the combination of Neroli and Vetiver that create this image of ‘man soap’ – the same effect is present in Zara’s much less complex Vetiver.
The heart has a spicy edge which is similar to Yatagan, but this is softened by the green feeling which is maintained throughout the life of the fragrance. The Cedar and Sandalwood create warm and comforting feeling.
It dries down to an earthy, dirty, Hay-like Tobacco and Vetiver base, which is slightly honeyed but not at all sweet, and the Pepper note creates a spiciness. The Nutmeg is present, but only just, the grassy Vetiver note is what is meant to shine throughout the fragrance and Jean-Paul Guerlain did a fantastic job keeping the focus on it.

Top: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Coriander
Middle: Vetiver, Cedar, Clary Sage, Carnation, Sandalwood
Base: Tobacco, Nutmeg, Pepper, Tonka Bean, Capsicum

“Best of ’08” Insolence EdP Review

January 6, 2009

I have said which my favourite masculines were from the last years new releases, but not feminines. Pick of the crop for me are Guerlain’s Insolence Eau de Parfum, and Chanel’s No 5 Eau Premiere. Both are wildly beautiful, but for completely different reasons.

Insolence launched back in 2006 as an Eau de Toilette. The problem with the EdT is that it smells of hairspray right away. Making a customer wait about 30 seconds for that to disappear is hard work – I speak from experience. It went from Hairspray, to Parma Violets to Bubblegum, to a very girly Berries and Musk drydown. Insolence in its EdT form is nice.

The Eau de Parfum, on the other hand, is the Berries with other fruits amped up in the top notes – I’m convinced I smell insolenceedpPineapple up top. EdP smells immediately warm, smooth and creamy. The top also gives a tease of Iris and a floral accord. Intensely bright, or radiant, this projects quite a distance. The card I sprayed last week still smells strongly of violets.

The heart notes are both radioactive in intensity (don’t look directly at it!) and incredibly persistent, dry and soft Iris, sweet and rich Vanilla, sugar-coated Violets with dirty and indolic Jasmine lurking in the background.

The Violets are ever-present in Insolence, sat on top of a warm, sensual Musk note. The drydown of Violets, Iris and Tonka remains incredibly brash and ballsy – I believe it’s very much the perfume for a sex kitten.

To me, Insolence EdP is the perfect floral-fruity fragrance. I think it should be the full stop to the genre. Time for the industry to move elsewhere.

Top: Violet, Red Berries
Middle: Violet, Iris
Base: Tonka Bean, Blond Woods, Vanilla, Sandalwood