Guerlain Parure : Perfume Review

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Parure means a matching set of necklace and earrings. The fragrance was created by Jean-Paul Guerlain in 1975 for a woman who loved jewelry but could not find a scent she liked. Thus, he created a scintillating perfumed necklace to adorn her.

Par

Sensual and elegant, Parure opens up on the dark richness of plum and rose, accented with bergamot. The musky jasmine fills out the heart of Parure, while the bittersweet moss and spicy woods form a plush base. Parure in extrait de parfum (now discontinued) is richer and more voluptuous that the eau de toilette, with the plum note more assertive and pronounced.

Parure includes notes of plum, bergamot, greens, fruits and hesperides; lily of the valley, rose, orris, plum, lilac, jasmine, jonquil and narcissus; oakmoss, spices, amber, leather and patchouli.

Chypre Classification

A little bit on the chypre fragrance family: The origins of the term are conventionally attributed to François Coty’s Chypre (1917), which was inspired by the scented flora of the island of Cyprus (Chypre, in French). While Chypre disappeared a few years after its inception, the trend was set by Coty and the term became a generic one. The term is usually reserved for compositions featuring bergamot in the top notes and oakmoss as well as iris, musk and amber—and some might argue patchouli as well–in the base, which lends them an interesting interplay of sensations. The group has evolved to include chypre floral animalic, chypre fruity, chypre floral and chypre green categories.

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9 Comments

  • Robin: I love chypres, but all of the Guerlain chypres are heavy fragrances, and have a particular note that is hard for me to take. I would almost call it “musty”, although I’m sure there is a better word. Probably the only really heavy chypre I love is Houbigant Apercu. May 27, 2005 at 9:59am Reply

  • mreenymo: Hello, darling Victoria! In anticipation of your review of Parure, I spritzed it all over my body this morning and am in “Parure heaven.”

    Of course, I am referring to the EDT version, but it’s one of the few classic Guerlains that I love in EDT. I have actually seen the EDT and the parfum at a nearby Nordstrom in Arcadia, California. It’s been about a year or so, but maybe they still have those pieces.

    I did a brief check of discount etailers, and Parure EDT is available. I, also, saw a one oz. parfum “splash” of Apres L’Ondee (my first Guerlain love from way back!) on the 1st perfume site for (gasp!) $299. EDT sprays of Apres L’Ondee were, also, available on various etailer sites. So, these wonderful fragrances can be found if you have lots of spare change for a parfum or can settle for EDT versions.

    Anyway, on my body, I find Parure to be a sweet, yet aloof cloud of elegance that swirls around me like a beautiful pearl necklace. The pearl is round, soft in its creamy color, yet hard and cold at first touch. I picture a cool, beautifully dressed Grace Kelly (Philadelphia’s ultimate Main Line princess) wearing this fragrance. Its sweetness belies a cold, aloof, even slightly dark side. I love this fragrance for its duplicitous nature. It confirms that nothing in life is ever as it seems.

    Enjoy your weekend, V! I look forward to your next review. Hugs!!! May 27, 2005 at 11:59am Reply

  • N aka parislondres: Hello V! Hope all went well last night sweetie! I go through phases where I adore chypres and then detest them for a while and love them deeply all over again. Guess i cannot wear them all the time and I am so moody when it comes to perfumes (and other things).

    xoxo May 27, 2005 at 11:55am Reply

  • KS: Victoria: a WONDERFUL week on your blog. I was thrilled to discover it via nowsmellthis.com. Then I realized (am I right?) you are THE Victoria I “consult” on MUA. I have been imagining all these Guerlain scents as you’ve explored them online…so many disappeared, weakened, altered! Pox on LVMH indeed. I wear du Coq, Imperiale, Habit Rouge, Vetyver and Jicky by Guerlain (wasn’t Jicky REALLY named after the little nephew of its creator? NOT some amour in England?) As I’ve read about the reissues to come this summer I was wondering about Mouchoir de Monsieur. Is the summer reissue of this scent different than what’s been available in Paris all along? K May 27, 2005 at 6:30pm Reply

  • N aka parislondres: I am so moved by dearest Robin from LA’s description of Parure. I had to apply some – an ignored bottle! I loved it very much a few years ago. I have tested the parfum – it was beautiful. I guess Apres L’Ondee, Parure and Chant d’Aromes are all gorgeous in the extrait versions. However as we know by now – Chant d’Aromes maybe avaiblabe as parfum soon.

    Hugs to V and R!

    xoxo May 27, 2005 at 3:02pm Reply

  • LaureAnne: I love Parure for the first few minutes–I keep waiting for it to evolve the way l’Heure Bleue and Vol de Nuit do. And it doesn’t. Strange and disappointing. May 27, 2005 at 7:23pm Reply

  • joyce teman: how does pronounce “chypre” January 24, 2006 at 4:21pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Joyce, it is sheep-ra. I hope that this makes sense. My phonetical writing is rusty. January 24, 2006 at 11:47pm Reply

  • d.herbert: When I was at school abroad in the late 1950’s I used to buy a sent NAMED Chypre, not sure if from Guerlain…When I tried to re-purchase on a European trip in the 1960’s, I had to special order it in Paris – as I remember – from their special reserve stock as no longer over the counter. Does anyone else remember it/know whose it was/if still available? April 8, 2007 at 1:35pm Reply

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