Thierry Wasser: 25 posts

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Flora Rosa : Perfume Review


Roses have been on my mind a lot lately, and not simply in the form of rose jam and rose tea. I received a small challenge to compile a list of fruity rose perfumes for a project, and the trail behind me has been rose scented for the past two weeks. It was a challenge, because rose paired with fruit is such a common pairing that any comprehensive list means hundreds of fragrance tests. Why so? Rose essence naturally contains many nuances reminiscent of raspberries, strawberries, red currants or apples, depending on variety. Highlighting them with richer fruity notes makes for a harmonious blend.


Harmonious is fine, of course, but how do you make it distinctive? This is the question I’ve posed often when testing fruity roses, and in particular, the latest from Guerlain, Aqua Allegoria Flora Rosa. The conclusion I’ve reached is that it’s possible if the perfumer wants to go big, bold and glamorous (think Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose with its dark raspberry) but more complicated if the aim is lightweight and pretty. Flora Rosa is all air kisses and smiles, a charming blend of red currants and pink roses.

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Guerlain Habit Rouge and Its Family : Perfume Review


Jean-Paul Guerlain, the last perfumer for the house carrying the family name, once memorably said that one could be a Shalimar woman or a L’Heure Bleue woman, but not both. Of course, he made the statement in his usual provocative manner, but the idea was that the two perfumes had such different characters that you loved either one or the other. I had all the makings of a L’Heure Bleue woman, having fallen for its older sister Après l’Ondée, but then I met Habit Rouge. One encounter was all it took for me not only to be captivated by its velvety orange blossom doused in incense and bergamot, but also to understand the allure of Shalimar.


That Habit Rouge is marketed to men should make no difference to women. In 1965, when Habit Rouge was created by Guerlain, the collection had many splendid feminine perfumes like Jicky, Shalimar, L’Heure Bleue, and Mitsouko, but the offerings for men were considerably less outstanding. The exception was Vétiver, which Jean-Paul Guerlain created a few years earlier. His solution to draw gentlemen to the perfume counter was to take the basic outline of Shalimar and its famous accord of citrus and sweet oriental notes and give it a dandy appeal with leather and green orange blossom. The result was a less sweet, less curvy and less ripe version of Shalimar, but with all the elegance and panache of its great ancestor.

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Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum : Fragrance Review


Although I indulge in plenty of fantasies of spending summer by the sea, preferably a tiny fishing village where I would have nothing to do but read books and gaze onto the blue waves, every August I find myself in the city. With everyone rushing to the coast in search of their own summer fantasies and with airfares skyrocketing, I just create my own city vacation. I take long walks, experiment with my photography and just enjoy the strange calm of a European city during the summer break.


I turn to perfume to make my city summers feel more tropical. In principle, cologne is the most refreshing choice on a hot day, but I hardly ever reach for citrus in the summer–gloomy winter mornings are another story. Instead, my perfume wardrobe blooms with white flowers–Marc Jacobs for Her, Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage, Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower, Chanel Beige, and now, Terracotta Le Parfum.

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Guerlain L’Homme Ideal : Fragrance Review


The first time I smelled Guerlain’s L’Homme Idéal, I chuckled, because clearly, their ideal man is wearing a little black dress. Yes, L’Homme Idéal is a masculine twist on La Petite Robe Noire. But this kind of borrowing, right down to the toasted almond and praline details, is clever rather than boring. This is not just another bland and safe sports cologne, that’s for sure.


The quest for an ideal man is nothing new, in life or in perfume, and Guerlain’s approach to L’Homme Idéal is rather humorous. Instead of using notes that for reasons of accident and culture came to be seen as the only ones appropriate to men, like lavender, herbs, cedarwood or mild spices, perfumer Thierry Wasser loads the composition with gourmand accents.  It tries to tempt men with the same delicious notes that made La Petite Robe Noire such a success. Continue reading →

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Couture : Perfume Review


What kind of perfume do you select on days when you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders? A triple incense extravaganza that makes you smell like a Gothic church? A quirky niche perfume that requires a degree in philosophy? A complex classic? I love all of those, but on hectic days, sweet and frilly is what I turn to. Lately, La Petite Robe Noire Couture, a sophisticated variation on Guerlain’s original little black dress, is my sweet perfume of choice.


Here, I have to make a little aside. The original La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum released in 2009 was tweaked in 2012, and it’s this reorchestrated version that became a runaway success for Guerlain. It’s a raspberry macaron with a twist of licorice. The sparkling Eau de Toilette was released in 2013, and this year, we have the Couture version. All but the first La Petite Robe Noire were created by perfumer Thierry Wasser.

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  • girasole in Lolita Lempicka Sweet : Perfume Review: “sucked-in cheeks elegance” – another wonderfully apt phrase! You’ve sold me on this fragrance for sure; I love retro lipstick scents so I’ll have to sniff out a sample. October 9, 2015 at 11:32pm

  • Lavanya in Lolita Lempicka Sweet : Perfume Review: If I was drinking coffee, I might have spit some out laughing when I read this : ” Lolita Lempicka also doesn’t mistake its press release for a philosophical treatise… October 9, 2015 at 11:19pm

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