Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Nuit d’Amour is the latest limited edition from Guerlain, which follows the 2005 launch of Plus Que Jamais. The fragrance was inspired by Gustav Klimt’s Lady with Hat and Feather Boa (Dame au Chapeau et Boa de Plumes). I am rather at a loss as to what about the flat floral oriental blend is meant to evoke a beautiful Art Noveau painting depicting a flushed redhead tightly wrapping a dark feather boa around her shoulders. Although Plus Que Jamais was a level below the classical Guerlains and their depth and complexity, it nevertheless captured the opulence and romance marking the house’s creations. Nuit d’Amour, on the other hand, veers too far into territory that has already been well explored and exploited. …
The pink fruity sparkle of the top notes in Nuit d’Amour gives way to peach tinged rose, a combination that recalls the plush sweetness of Lancôme’s Trésor. The bright fruity note remains obvious against the florals, offering a rather disconcerting contrast. The heart itself does not develop beyond the murky arrangement, where one glimpses a hint of rose, a powdery touch of violet, and a shrill murmur of an indistinct white floral. The musky woods of the base do not lend anything else interesting to the composition other than a significant heft. While Nuit d’Amour is plush and thick, it is more akin to synthetic carpeting, rather than a handmade Persian masterpiece.
I have been wearing Nuit d’Amour on and off for the past couple of weeks trying to decide what I feel about it and what it means to me as a Guerlain fragrance. If I were to make a list of my favorite fragrances, Guerlain’s creations would make up the bulk. I find everything about the house fascinating, from its history as a perfumery inspired by the elegance of English fragrances to its signature accord of iris, tonka bean, rose and vanilla. I can appreciate the commercial pressure to offer fragrances that play with successful modern themes. I do not blame the house for reformulating its masterpieces (even if the very thought of this pains me), because new regulations and the disappearance of raw materials have left them little choice in the matter. Yet, the scent of Nuit d’Amour does not even conjure shadows of Guerlain’s classical glory. It simply feels vacuous and passionless, as if it is far too exhausted for the night of love it promised.
Nuit d’Amour includes notes of pink pepper, lychee, rose, violet, iris, sandalwood, musk. It is available from Bergdorf Goodman and directly from Guerlain boutique in Paris. Nuit d’Amour Baccarat Crystal Flacon will be priced at $2600; the 60 ml size is $390.