Thierry Wasser: 24 posts

Guerlain Habit Rouge and Its Family : Perfume Review

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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.

Habit-Rouge-Guerlain

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

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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.

terracotta

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

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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.

Guerlain-L-Homme-Ideal

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

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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.

limon verde

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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Latest Comments

  • Nati in Hermes Kelly Caleche : Perfume Review: Im glad to know that you like the edp a bit more Victoria, I find it very pleasing and its the freshest perfume I can use, for I like sweet… October 31, 2014 at 8:09pm

  • Tourmaline in The Simple Art of Dreaming: Hi Victoria, I know that it probably wasn’t intended in this sense, but “Hedgehog in the Fog” was a wonderful short film to arrive in my email inbox just after… October 31, 2014 at 8:08pm

  • Ann in The Simple Art of Dreaming: I miss fairy tales so much. I read my favorite collection to my boys when they were younger, but they just never loved them as much as I did. An… October 31, 2014 at 8:06pm

  • Andy in My Perfume Story : Andy: Thank you! October 31, 2014 at 7:17pm

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