Guerlain Attrape-Coeur / Guet-Apens : Perfume Review



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

Iris petals caught in the frozen gold of amber lend a jewel-like aspect to Guerlain Attrape-Coeur. First released as a limited edition in 1999 under the name of Guet-Apens, the fragrance was created by Mathilde Laurent. However, in 2005, it was added to the permanent line under the name of Attrape-Coeur.

A classical element of the composition is given by its combination of rose and violet, which conjure an association with old-fashioned lipstick. The smooth opaque current that runs through the composition seems to be illuminated by the interplay of woody notes. Layered with iris, woods take on a dark violet character, while attaining a creamy sandalwood tonality, when touched by a luscious plumy rose. …

Transparent amber preserves the luminous beauty of floral notes, freezing them into a scintillating arrangement that never seems to be static, either highlighting a dark fruity aspect of rose or a metallic violet facet of iris. A gentle drizzle of vanilla liqueur is first noticeable in the heart of the composition where it lends a delicious sweetness, yet later it deepens to a soft smoky feel.

In characterizing the composition one cannot help noticing that it is a distillation of classical tradition, on the one hand, and of modern abstraction, on another. Over the course of development one is taken from the vintage romanticism of powdery florals and the elegant dry richness of woods to the restrained sensuality of amber. It is abstract by never managing to conjure with precision a particular note as found in nature, yet it is classical in presenting these abstractions in a traditional sequential form of a grand parfum.

Update: the perfume has been discontinued



  • Annie: Thanks for the lovely review V. I am going to wear this today. The ohio cold and rainy weather is perfect for it.
    I am glad that they have added this fragrance to the permanent collection. It was so highly sought after and the prices were pretty high. A few muaers did a group purchase so I was able to have a decant. It is wonderful to know that I might be able to get a full size bottle one day. October 24, 2005 at 5:46am Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, lovely review – I know, I´m repeating myself 😉
    I don´t know Attrape-Coeur by now, but I believe it´s a wonderful perfume – like most of the Guerlains! Is the rose very dominant?
    I´ve antoher question which doesn´t belong in thsi review, but I´ll ask you anyway, I hope you don´t bother too much 😉 Do you think SL Chergui & Cèdre are very similar scents? (I only know Cèdre that´s why I´m asking!) October 24, 2005 at 6:37am Reply

  • Karin: I’ve never smelled this, but comments about GA, again I’ve not smelled this one either, say it includes a leather note, which I notice you don’t list. I wonder if AC is the same fragrance.

    I sometimes have to be careful with leather notes. But AC sounds absolutely lovely. October 24, 2005 at 7:43am Reply

  • Evan: I’ve really wanted to smell this perfume for a while, and your description increases my interest, as it sounds like it is in one of my favorite perfume families, dark violet-iris. I know that JP Guerlain is now credited as the author, but I don’t know if he made any major changes to the composition since it was Guet-Apens. Have you sampled the earlier incarnation V? October 24, 2005 at 4:23am Reply

  • Laura: Hi V! For some reason, Guet-Apens works best for me in really cold weather, which we haven’t been having, of course. I have a bottle with the original scent and recently tried the new one in Paris— and they are identical.
    Btw, I am really enjoying my Angelique Noire, but the atomiser thingy is driving me crazy! It releases only an anemic splutter. October 24, 2005 at 5:08am Reply

  • Robin: You have inspired me V, I have had a sample of this for some time and have not tried it. Off to fish it out of the drawer… October 24, 2005 at 11:21am Reply

  • parislondres: Lovely review dear V! I like to try this whenever I pass by the boutique but I have not bought it. I am seriously lemming Metalys and Liu! ;D

    Mwah! October 24, 2005 at 8:03am Reply

  • Sisonne: V, you description of Cèdre & Chergui really helped me a lot, thank you 🙂 October 24, 2005 at 12:58pm Reply

  • Marina: This sounds absolutely wonderful, Vikochka, from start to finish, not a single note that I wouldn’t like…As if I needed another super expensive lemming…how much is the bottle exactly…? 🙂 October 24, 2005 at 9:17am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Evan, this is definitely a wonderful composition, but I would say that violet aspect is more of a side effect of wood notes combined with other elements. Quite possibly the composition relies on Iso E Super, which has a chameleon character when paired with something like methyl ionone and amber synthetics. At any rate, it is worth sampling, and given your tastes, I think that you might really like it. October 24, 2005 at 10:21am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Laura, yes, I find the fragrances to be pretty much identical. Of course, you are right–its sweetness is much better suited for dry cool weather, not this odd humid thing that our “Paris” of the South has been having. Although today it seems quite chilly.

    The atomizer for the exclusive Guerlains is definitely useless. It takes several sprays to get anything out of it. I do not even have any advice, other than to consider it as an exercise of sorts. 🙂 October 24, 2005 at 10:24am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Annie, how wonderful that you were able to split a bottle! The prices have gone up since the fragrance was reissued, although I still think that they are fairly reasonable for the quality and the amount you are getting. Enjoy it! October 24, 2005 at 10:28am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: C, thank you! No, rose is not dominant here, and I would go as far as to say that there is nothing specifically floral about it, as the rose note is in between a plum and flower. Quite interesting against the amber backdrop.

    As for Chergui and Cedre, they could not be more different. Cedre is sweeter, more conventionally feminine, while Chergui is smoky, spicy, warm and honeyed. I hope that it helps you to make a decision! October 24, 2005 at 10:31am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Karin, I do not really notice leather in the composition, and I think that both Guet Apens and Attrape Coeur are fairly similar. Perhaps, Attrape Coeur is slightly creamier. October 24, 2005 at 10:33am Reply

  • Tania: You’re spot on with your references on this one. I remember it reminding me a little of Lipstick Rose, in fact, if it had been done by Guerlain with a dollop of smoky, woodsy vanilla to give it mainstream appeal. I’ve been waiting for it to get chilly so I can dip into the tiny decant I bought of this off of eBay. It smells so strong and rich and complicated that it begs to smelled after the fact on a woolen scarf.

    Thanks for the review! If it keeps up being cold, I may start dabbing it on this week.

    I didn’t know it was already being sold in France under the Attrape-Coeurs name, either. I hope it comes to Bergdorf soon. October 24, 2005 at 10:34am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: N, thank you. I like Metalys and LIU, however I do not seem to reach for the latter much. It is a beautifully done aldehydic floral, cooler and crisper than No. 5, by which it was inspired. October 24, 2005 at 10:35am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marinochka, it is 130 euros for 125 ml bottle. Not exactly a bargain, but not completely unreasonable. And yes, it is wonderful from start to finish. October 24, 2005 at 10:39am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, yes, I cannot agree more–this is a fragrance to smell on a scarf the day after it is worn. I am glad that you agree on the Lipstick Rose reference, another favourite of mine.

    Actually, I used to dislike (or let’s say, not care for) vanilla until I discovered Guerlain vanilla. Their vanilla is just unlike any other. October 24, 2005 at 10:44am Reply

  • Tania: Yes, in fact, now that I am wearing Musc Ravageur (at last, I can wear it!) I smell the resemblance to Shalimar you were talking about, in this dirty musky vanilla. It’s actually pretty addictive! I just don’t like those vanillas that smell like cookies—so boring. October 24, 2005 at 10:49am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, I know what you mean. It is addictive. As I read your comment, I was actually able to envision what you mean perfectly. I am testing Allure Sensuelle and YSL Cinema this morning, but I wish I could go home and wear my MR dry oil. The lotion is also a great option though.

    Cookie type vanillas do not hold much interest for me either, possibly because I do not particularly obvious gourmand fragrances. A bit of abstraction is what I would prefer. October 24, 2005 at 10:53am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I cannot wait to hear what you think. I think that it is really well-made. October 24, 2005 at 11:41am Reply

  • Christina H.: Just out of gee whiz curiosity, can this be shipped from France to the US or, is this something one must make a trip for? Thanks again for any help. October 24, 2005 at 4:13pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: C, I am glad! You are most welcome. October 24, 2005 at 2:19pm Reply

  • Christina H.: Sorry, I see after reading your review thoroughly that you provided all the contact info needed! October 24, 2005 at 6:27pm Reply

  • julien: I have had the privilege of smelling it many times at the Guerlain Boutique in the Champs Elysées.
    It is indeed one of the most interesting reedition of the GUERLAIN HOUSE.
    Vega is quite amazing too.
    The pity is in two facts:they are incredibly expansive and they don’t last on skin.
    Even though,it is always pleasurable to smell them.

    Have you tried the excluvives too?
    I am going to have angélique noire and i have a decant of CUIR BELUGA( my favorite exclusif from the house)…it is the same:beautiful but not wonderful…i mean,not as wonderful as old Guerlain like SHALIMAR,JICKY,l’HEURE BLEUE…in that part,for the price,here is one clue to the falling of GUERLAIN…
    Kisses dear.
    JULIEN. October 24, 2005 at 7:18pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Christina, you can purchase it directly from Guerlain, which is what I have done. However, just keep in mind that it takes about a month for the package to arrive to the States. October 24, 2005 at 4:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Christina, they are very helpful, and if you need further information, I would not hesitate to contact Guerlain directly. October 24, 2005 at 8:32pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Julien, I tried the exclusives as well, and I thought that they were really well-done. I would say that they last fairly well on me, however sometimes it depends on the skin dryness, etc.

    Cuir Beluga is wonderful, even though I am not sure what the name refers to. It would be more suitable to be called Cuir Vanille, but either way, it is a lovely creamy vanilla and suede combination. October 24, 2005 at 8:34pm Reply

  • MICHEL: bonsoir Madame,
    As usual, you are such a good writer, it’s always a real good pleasure to read your scent emotions :
    for me fhis parfum talks about maturity, natural sensuality and generosity ,but i wear it (i’m a man !) but i’d realy like to smell it in the hairs and on the neck of a woman with dark eyes . October 25, 2005 at 2:28pm Reply

  • julien: Well,Cuir beluga is not reallt leather,Rose Barbare is not really barbare and Angelique noire not that dark…lol.
    Even though i love those names… October 25, 2005 at 2:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Michel, thank you very much. I would have to agree with your views on the character of this fragrance. I also think that it has a very interesting quality of never remaining static–one moment, a sweet aspect is more noticeable, the next a woody one. I think that it would smell wonderful on a man. October 25, 2005 at 2:53pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: J, that is very true! Yet, I also like the names. Oh well, it is not the name that makes a difference in the end. October 25, 2005 at 2:54pm Reply

  • Diana: Jasmin

    which guerlain do you prefer, Attrape Couer or Apres l’ondee?
    Trying to decide…I now wear L’heure bleue

    Thank you for your time

    Diana May 15, 2012 at 5:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: I personally prefer Apres L’Ondee, because I love its romantic, wistful character. Plus, it’s a close relative of L’Heure Bleue, another Guerlain perfume I love. May 15, 2012 at 6:49pm Reply

  • Ali66: Guerlain Attrape-Coeur / Guet-Apens, This is a great perfume, i am using it.
    I also know that the cap design be from Delyly Mold Industry, really beautiful design. February 22, 2013 at 4:15am Reply

  • Ruby: I am heartbroken that this perfume is discontinued. Is there anything still in production that might fill this empty spot in my heart? May 12, 2018 at 6:22pm Reply

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