Thierry Wasser: 21 posts

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Couture : Perfume Review

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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.

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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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Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Limon Verde : Perfume Review

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You never know what you’ll get with Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria fragrances. Some of them are fascinating and quirky like Pamplelune and Herba Fresca and others are unexpectedly bland like Lemon Fresca and Tutti Kiwi.  Limon Verde, with its promise of the Brazilian drink, caipirinha, blended with creamy fig should have been squarely in the first camp, but in the end, it’s neither surprising nor interesting.

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The first sign of trouble with Limon Verde is its razor sharp green accent. It is there to shore up the lime, but I can’t shake off the paint thinner association that some intense leafy notes have. A delicious lime, zesty and bittersweet, stands no chance and surrenders.

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Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia : Perfume Review

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An announcer on the Belgian weather channel–wearing sparkling eye makeup and a deep-cut sweater–says with a pout, “Le temps est exécrable” (The weather is awful). There are several ways to deal with Belgium’s dreary weather–to complain, to approach it with a sense of humor, or to ignore it. Belgians are good sports about it, and on any given day, as long as it’s not raining, the outdoor seating at cafes is full, regardless of the chill.lys-soleia-guerlain

I don’t fancy eating dinner in 40F weather outdoors, but I have my own ways to add a splash of sunshine to a grey, overcast day. Over the years, I’ve cultivated a little winter perfume wardrobe to which I add a new favorite from time to time. Last year, Guerlain Lys Soleia from its Aqua Allegoria collection became my cold weather staple. As its name promises, it’s sunny and bubbly.

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Guerlain L’Heure de Nuit : Perfume Review

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When I bought my first bottle of L’Heure Bleue parfum as a teenager, I remember a sales associate, a tall woman with an impeccably coiffed chignon, mentioning that in her opinion Guerlain women fall into two main categories–those who wear Shalimar with panache and those on whose skin L’Heure Bleue smells like hot kisses and orange blossom marshmallows. I have worn my way through the whole Guerlain collection, including Vétiver and Habit Rouge, but L’Heure Bleue and Après l’Ondée are two fragrances that make my heart skip a beat. They are polished and elegant, but at the same time, they feel like a second skin.

This year L’Heure Bleue celebrated its 100th anniversary, and Guerlain and its perfumer Thierry Wasser decided to create a a new interpretation of the classical fragrance in three different concentrations. The velvety Eau de Parfum called Le Zénith eventually ended up as L’Heure de Nuit, and this fragrance is now a part of Guerlain’s Les Parisiennes collection. Why is there a need for another take on L’Heure Bleue, you might wonder, as I did. Don’t we already have Insolence? But for perfume wearers not used to the plush, heavy retro style, even Insolence is too rich.

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Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient : Fragrance Review

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During my last trip to the Middle East almost three years ago, my camera broke down, and I couldn’t take a single photo. At first, the missed opportunity to capture the blazing whiteness of marble buildings, the majestic and scary beauty of the desert, and the dazzle of gold displays made me wince with regret each time I came upon another beautiful scene. But after a while, I realized that maybe my camera wouldn’t be necessary after all; the scents surrounding me were so strong and vivid that today I have no trouble recalling either the aroma of ripe dates–caramel and honey!–or the heady fragrance of cardamom and rosewater flavored coffee. And of course, the perfumes! Both the men and women I encountered were exquisitely perfumed. Smoky roses, honeyed oud mixed with patchouli, sandalwood roughed up by smoky leather… I had to fight the urge to ask every other person in the street what they were wearing.

But out of their hot desert context, some of these perfumes felt heavy and one-dimensional when I tried wearing them back home. They were still beautiful, but they required a certain mood or an occasion, and for this reason I wore them much less often than I anticipated. Similarly, Middle Eastern inspired fragrances like Montale and SoOud were compelling in theory, but in practice I rarely craved them. When Guerlain announced its Les Déserts d’Orient collection, comprised of Rose Nacrée du Désert, Songe d’Un Bois d’Été, and Encens Mythique d’Orient, I was worried that it might be overly glitzy and flamboyant for me.

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