Guerlain Angelique Noire : Perfume Review

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Prudon4

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Angélique Noire created by Daniela Andrier is one of the three new fragrances released by the house of Guerlain for the reopening of their 68 Champs Elysées boutique. The compositions of these fragrances are radiant and refined, recalling the elegant precision of classical Guerlains as well as elements that are rather un-Guerlainesque. The resulting aura of these fragrances is redolent of neoclassism and heightened by some modern touches.

In a neoclassisist attempt, Angélique Noire takes up the bergamot-vanilla pairing of classical Guerlains and builds the composition around it. It opens with a spicy accord jeweled by tart sharpness of bergamot, which fades into the milky bitterness of almond. The peppery austerity of the top notes contrasts beautifully with the honeyed undercurrent that rises up to enfold the heart. Creamy vanilla punctuated by a dark citrus note is what forms the main facet of Angélique Noire. Its somber richness is transparent enough to notice a swirl of almond and spicy sugared angelica, with a whisper of bergamot lightening the vanillic veil. While Andrier did not create another Shalimar, the fragrance possesses a soft and gentle character, creating a sensation of warm silk and hot flower petals. Therefore, perhaps, it is more correct to classify Angélique Noire as a Romantic composition, rather than a Neoclassisist one, in its hazy and sensitive handling of the notes.

Currently, the fragrances are exclusive to 68 Champs Elysées boutique, however they can be ordered by emailing Antoine-Olivier Metz, the store manager, at aometz@guerlain.fr. 75ml is priced at 140 euros.

Painting: One of the neoclassisists, Pierre-Paul Prud’hon. Head of the Virgin for Annunciation. 1811. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia. abcgallery.com

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16 Comments

  • Laura: This sounds delightful! The Guerlain boutique will be among my first stops in October! I love reading your blog, V, and yet I can’t help but feel it is bad for my health. Somehow. August 25, 2005 at 5:26am Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, your description sounds very interesting 🙂 What do you personally think about Angelique Noir? Do you like it? Is there only one size? Do you think there might be a possibility that Paris boutique ships samples? Oh, a lot of questions today ;D August 25, 2005 at 6:27am Reply

  • Lost in Jersey: My dear V – I am not sure your blog is good for my wallet. Thank you for introducing me to a Guerlain I simply must try. My hope is that when the Guerlain boutique reopens in Bergdorf’s that this is in the collection. If not, I will certainly seek this out next time I am in Paris. August 25, 2005 at 9:29am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear L, I do not wish to do anything to impair your health. 🙂 However, I am glad to hear that you like my writing. August 25, 2005 at 9:41am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear C,
    Oh, I like it! It is a creamy, slightly dark vanilla, with a pleasant almondy accord. Yes, there is only one size, and I doubt that samples are available. August 25, 2005 at 9:44am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear F, I recall asking ladies at Bergdorf about it, and I think they mentioned getting new fragrances at some point, however I am not sure which ones. I even recall putting down my name for something. At any rate, I am sure that if not in the States, you will find them in Paris. They should definitely be sampled, because they are very well-done. August 25, 2005 at 9:46am Reply

  • Robin: V, is this the nicest of the 3 new ones? August 25, 2005 at 10:31am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I also really liked Rose Barbare, but keep in mind that I love rose in shape and guise. All three are very well composed, but Angelique Noire is closer to what I imagine Guerlain tradition is like. August 25, 2005 at 11:19am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, you are very kind. Thank you for making my morning! xoxo August 25, 2005 at 11:20am Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, I think it´s always so sad when you can´t order a sample. Of course, a lot of fragrances are expensive & perhaps that´s also a reason why they aren´t so generous with samples. But if a fragrance is only available in Paris & I´m interested in it, I cannot simply order a bottle hoping to like it without having smelled it.
    Certainly, there are a lot of other scents waiting to be discovered, but the ones that are hard to get always sound the most interesting – I just had to write that 😉 August 25, 2005 at 12:58pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear C, I cannot agree more. Sampling something before purchasing is very important, if only because a fragrance is like a work of art, it has to be felt. A mere description simply does not suffice. I was lucky to obtain samples from a dear friend.

    Perhaps, you should ask at the boutique for samples (call or email). You never know what response you may get. The fragrances are worth it. August 25, 2005 at 1:03pm Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, I´ll email them for sure. Sometimes I already had luck when I didn´t expect it at all. I´ll let you know when (if) they answered! August 25, 2005 at 1:39pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: C, please do! I wish you best of luck in this pursuit. 🙂 August 25, 2005 at 1:42pm Reply

  • mireille: “…jeweled by tart sharpness of bergamot…” That phrase alone was reason enough to get up this morning! xoxo August 25, 2005 at 10:41am Reply

  • Edward: Hello Victoria! I hope all is well on your end. 🙂

    Have you ever experienced finding a perfume that you are willing to give up all the other bottles or samples in your drawer because that one perfume you found is worth giving up the rest? This is exactly how I felt when I discovered this perfume just today, or 8 years after it was launched!

    Finally, my HOLY GRAIL perfume.

    Regards,
    Edward October 2, 2013 at 6:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: Après l’ondee makes me feel this way on some days, Bois de Violette on others. But I still love to explore.

      Finding something that touches you this much is such an exhilarating experience! October 3, 2013 at 12:16am Reply

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