Guerlain Mon Guerlain : Perfume Review

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It’s easy to be dismissive of a perfume like Mon Guerlain. It checks off all of the contemporary cliches–fruity-floral, sweet, and pretty. One can almost guess what it would smell like by looking at its adorable pink bottle. And it first, Mon Guerlain indeed smells predictable, a fruit compote accented with citrus and spiced with patchouli. Yet, in perfume, as in life, it pays to be open-minded.

Those who are willing to give Mon Guerlain a chance will find an upbeat, easy to wear fragrance with a solid Guerlinade imprint. How it gets there is the most interesting part.

Perfume lovers often decry the lack of creativity in the fragrance market, and the so-called pillar brand fragrances get most of their opprobrium. The pillar brand is a launch meant for the widest possible release, so it’s generally intended to be as much of a crowd pleaser as possible. An average perfume in this category is priced at €40-60 euros for 30ml, whereas a niche fragrance is closer to €200 for the same amount. I should underline, however, that the price of a perfume is an imperfect indicator of its quality.

In some cases, like Dior Poison Girl, the result is so vapid that it’s hard to understand the point, but in others, perfumes are well-made and interesting. I’m thinking of fragrances like Marc Jacobs Daisy, Bottega Veneta, Prada Candy, and Alaïa.

Mon Guerlain also joins this group. It plays with time-tested favorites like fruity notes, gourmand patchouli, and soft, citrusy jasmine, and the end result is charming. Although the idea of sweet, fruity notes in the Guerlain context may seem incongruous at first, accustomed as we are to fruity-floral copycats, almost all of the Guerlain classics are powered by a combination of gourmand notes like vanilla and tonka beans and sweetened florals like rose and violet. In Shalimar, an overdose of bergamot keeps the vanilla in check. In Mitsouko, the peaches, cream and cinnamon are corseted by moss. In L’Heure Bleue, the green neroli and anise take the sugary edge off the orange blossom marshmallow and musk.

Mon Guerlain uses lavender to reign in the sweetness of its gourmand accord, and the combination of pleasantly sharp lavender, orange and jammy (but not indolic) jasmine is appealing. Lavender stops the fragrance from becoming a true edible perfume and its herbal bite makes it airy.

I wore Mon Guerlain a few times before I realized why something about it was achingly familiar. And no, it wasn’t only because its combination of patchouli and sweet notes reminded me of Angel. I took out my bottle of Jicky and dabbed a bit of the vintage perfume on my wrist. And there it was–the same combination of lavender, toasted almonds and vanilla. Jicky’s interpretation is much more sumptuous and velvety, but Mon Guerlain’s modern version is fun.

I like Mon Guerlain best after about an hour and a half, when the fruity-floral part and the top notes of patchouli soften, and the Guerlinade base appears more clearly. It’s not overly sweet and it has enough presence to create a beautiful sillage. If on the other hand, you like the fruity accents, go for the Eau de Toilette version. My review is the Eau de Parfum, which is creamier and uses citrus as an accent, rather than the main note. There is also something called The Eau de Parfum Florale, with a bigger dose of jasmine. It’s very good, but I find it too sweet.

Mon Guerlain is not a perfume for those who want smoke, incense and loads of amber. Neither is it a second Shalimar. But as an elegant and lighthearted option, Mon Guerlain gets my vote.

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50 Comments

  • Nora Szekely: Hi Victoria and perfume lovers,
    When I first tried this scent, I dismissed as a copycat joining the Candy Club of fumes released nowadays.
    However I tested a few more times and it grew on me. I feel it has a refinement that makes it more interesting to me than say Poison Girl, Black Opium or even the floral Gabrielle. I’m thinking about either getting a bottle or at least get the body lotion which smells heavenly.
    I also prefer the drydown to its opening that Unlike in many mass releases that try to lure you with top notes so that you buy a bottle straight away, they put an effort into the drydown. 3 starts seems a fair rating, I only wish Guerlain dared to come up with something groundbreakingly original once again. September 17, 2018 at 8:38am Reply

    • Victoria: I should have mentioned the body lotion too. I don’t care for scented body products, but this one is really well-done. September 18, 2018 at 2:57am Reply

      • Info P: I don’t know if you are impressed with the perfume or not, but a very good body product is Narciso Rodriguez For Her shower gel. It really smells like the perfume, because i’m talking about the perfume version, not the eau de toilette. It’s very spicy, with a lot of patchouli and a gentle rose touch. Let me know if you get the chance to try it, Victoria! September 26, 2018 at 4:30am Reply

  • Sandra: Its so nice to read this review of Mon Guerlain

    I really liked it when I tried it because its an easy to wear fragrance. I wanted more lavender thought but I can’t always get what I want. I find it a great fragrance to cuddle up with the kids with and sometimes my first forgotten child:my cat.

    But maybe its because of the musk, I cannot smell it after an hour or so but I am sure its there. September 17, 2018 at 8:57am Reply

    • Victoria: I think that’s what happens. I find it long lasting enough, but I wonder if others also find its musky drydown faint. September 18, 2018 at 3:07am Reply

  • Richard Goller: A great review, Victoria. Well balanced and insightful. September 17, 2018 at 9:23am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Richard. September 18, 2018 at 3:07am Reply

  • Matty: My friend gave me a sample of Mon guerlain, I really liked it. September 17, 2018 at 9:50am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s pretty good for a casual perfume that still has some personality. September 18, 2018 at 3:08am Reply

  • Figuier: Thanks for this review, Victoria, it’s good to see these kinds of releases being given a fair chance. I have to admit that although I received a sample when it launched, and did try it on skin a couple of times, I found it unbearably sweet – perhaps because the lavender was all but non-existent on me – if I concentrate I can smell it for a minute or so, tops. I love Jicky and enjoy some newer, sweeter Guerlains like Shalimar Eau Premiere and the Petite Robe Noire family, so I’d been hoping to like this one. Better luck next time I guess. September 17, 2018 at 10:39am Reply

    • Victoria: I was thinking about it as I was reviewing the latest Ormonde Jayne perfume and reflecting on its price. Then I’m tired of the general tendency to dismiss big launches out of hand. Those are the fragrances that define our olfactory landscape, for better or worse. And not all of them are bad. Quite on the contrary! September 18, 2018 at 3:11am Reply

  • Elizabeth: A good, balanced review. I am very fond of Mon Guerlain. It has Guerlain DNA all over it. Sometimes I want a fragrance that is easy. I fel the same way about the new Meteorites. Smells like Guerlain and easy to wear. Not every day is a Shalimar day September 17, 2018 at 10:57am Reply

    • Victoria: I like the new Meteorites too. It smells so soft and tender, with a hint of retro glamour. September 18, 2018 at 3:12am Reply

  • ETHEL J PARKER: Mon Guerlain is my new comfort scent ,and I adore it !(apparently,so do the masses and Gurelains coffers ! September 17, 2018 at 11:46am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s well-made, so that’s already something. September 18, 2018 at 3:13am Reply

  • Brenda: I am generally fond of Guerlain perfumes…& have been hankering lately for something new. I will definitely seek this out. Thank you, as always… September 17, 2018 at 1:06pm Reply

    • Victoria: Give it a try! I also recommend comparing the different versions I mentioned in my article; they vary enough. September 18, 2018 at 3:14am Reply

  • Aurora: Such a comprehensive review, I always love as you always manage to compare and assess fairly.

    I was given samples when I purchased Jicky EDT some months back (I had a gift voucher burning a hole in my pocket) and briefly thought, on the sweet side, but not revoltingly so, it’s time to revisit and I will seek out the EDT as well. So nice that they used the guerlinade again, I think I can recognize it thanks to exposure to l’HB from an early age. September 17, 2018 at 1:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: They generally do use it, but the most prominent new perfume with Guerlinade might have been Insolence. (Not counting their niche or exclusive lines, of course.) September 18, 2018 at 3:16am Reply

  • Ann: Nope. Nope. This one did not work for me. It was not its mainstream pedigree that was the issue however. It wore on me like edible soap–in a bad way. When I was about 5 we were camping in Yosemite and accidently left out a bar of lavender soap. The next morning only a thin piece of the soap was left. An animal, my dad thought it was a deer, had chewed it down to a thin lump. My dad teased me for the rest of the trip that we were going to run into Bambi blowing bubbles any moment on the trail. That is sort of how I felt about Mon Guerlain–Bambi blowing lavender bubbles! September 17, 2018 at 1:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: This was hysterical! About the soap and Bambi, I mean. September 18, 2018 at 3:18am Reply

  • Sarah: Thank you, Victoria for your balanced review of MG. I, too, find it easy to wear. I have both the MG and the MG Florale. While they might not be groundbreaking I find them to be delightful. September 17, 2018 at 1:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: Which version do you wear the most? September 18, 2018 at 3:18am Reply

      • Sarah: I simply grab one! I have too many bottles out on my dresser. 🙄. I don’t think it is a conscious decision to select one over the other. I need to pay closer attention and report back! September 18, 2018 at 1:14pm Reply

  • Rickyrebarco: Thanks for a great, thoughtful review. It is the lavender that puts Mon Guerlain firmly in the Guerlain pantheon for me as well. . I like it very much and wear it often. Good quality fragrance. September 17, 2018 at 2:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: The combination is very pleasing. September 18, 2018 at 3:18am Reply

  • Bea: What a balanced and fair review Victoria! I wasn’t too impressed the first time I tried it but it has grown on me.

    My husband, who is totally indifferent to my perfume hobby and thinks that everything is “oh, ok”, LOVED it the first time he smelled it though. I think it’s the first time he has been overwhelmingly positive when it comes to perfumes so I plan to buy a full bottle just because of that. I might just lure him to share my hobby. September 17, 2018 at 3:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve received a few compliments on it too, including from my husband who at this point is so used to scents on me that he doesn’t notice them. September 18, 2018 at 3:19am Reply

  • Austenfan: I´ve loved it from the first time I tried it. Not overly sophisticated perhaps, but intensely likeable, like some of the less fancy Nicolaïs. The fact that it contains lavender is another plus for me. And, yes the bottle is adorable and pink! September 17, 2018 at 3:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: Agreed! I was thinking of Kiss Me Tender from Nicolai or perhaps even her Violette. They don’t smell anything alike, but the characters are similar. September 18, 2018 at 3:20am Reply

      • Austenfan: Those would compare well, although I feel like Kiss me Tender is a little more complex, but I might be mistaken. I was thinking of Balkis actually, lovely and unpretentious. September 18, 2018 at 4:31am Reply

        • Victoria: Balkis would be even better as a comparison. I also like it very much. September 18, 2018 at 9:17am Reply

  • MMKinPA: I enjoyed this review. I try to give these new releases a fair sniff and not succumb to “niche snobbery”!. I did like Mon Guerlain much more than Poison Girl, Black Opium or the new Joy by Dior. I have a mini which I should probably give more attention to as an everyday scent. September 17, 2018 at 6:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: Black Opium has the best fruity top note I’ve smelled in a while (juicy, luscious peach), but the drydown was disappointing. Mon Guerlain saves the best for last, so to speak. September 18, 2018 at 3:22am Reply

  • jodee: I sampled this perfume and really loved the scent. Then I saw the Angelina Jolie ad promoting the perfume and I was a bit confused. Her image does not seem to match what I smelled. The perfume is too sweet and light hearted for her dark persona. I still enjoy Mon Guerlain, I just wish they would have selected a personality that matched the fragrance. September 17, 2018 at 7:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: Jolie also doesn’t seem like the right spokesperson to me. September 18, 2018 at 3:23am Reply

  • Tara C: I like it, but it doesn’t last long on me. Need to try the lotion perhps. September 17, 2018 at 10:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: Sarah mentioned above that Mon Guerlain doesn’t last on her either, or at last, she stops smelling it after a while. We wondered if musks might be the culprits. September 18, 2018 at 3:23am Reply

  • Angelina: Victoria, please review Twilly d’Hermes next! 🙂 September 18, 2018 at 5:18am Reply

    • Victoria: I will do! For now, here is a mini review:
      https://boisdejasmin.com/2017/11/5-new-perfumes-for-fall-reviews.html September 18, 2018 at 9:20am Reply

    • Ariane: I thought of Twilly when I read this review. It had sounded like something I would not care for. But when I bought a (disappointing) bottle of Hiris, the sales assistant gave me a generous sample of Twilly. I found it unexpectedly pleasing and wore it for most of the summer. September 18, 2018 at 5:04pm Reply

      • Angelina: Twilly is my personal favourite of all new big house’s pillars – Gabrielle Chanel, Mon Guerlaine, Aura Mugler, Joy Dior.
        In his new Guide Luca Turin rated Twilly 5 stars but recomended it as masculine 🙂 September 19, 2018 at 3:02am Reply

  • Cybele: Thank you for a great review! Is this now the exact same fragrance as Guerlain Mon Exclusif?
    I recently tried a sample of Mon Exclusif and quite enjoyed it. September 18, 2018 at 7:20am Reply

    • Victoria: The idea is similar, but Mon Guerlain is simpler and less warm. That being said, do give the EDP a try. September 18, 2018 at 9:21am Reply

  • Alicia: A few years ago I tried Insolence with some trepidation, but since I adore violets, tried it I did.Very sweet,I thought, too sweet, but I also felt something familiar and comforting that I couldn’t identify. A few days later I realized that she was the grandchild of my beloved L’ Heure Bleue. I have become fond of lavender thanks to memories of my grandmother’s linens and my staple Caron pour un Homme. Thanks to you I wear with pleasure Burberry Brit Rhythm and the charming Eau perfumée au Thé Bleu. It seems that Mon Guerlain might bring the kind of sweet surprise Insolence did. Although I tend to be a Chanel person this summer I have been rather disappointed with her new florals, and rather unfaithful to Chanel. I usually wear Sycomore, but instead this time I finished a bottle of Lalique’s Encre Noire. Marvelous. It is not a matter of preference: Guerlain’s and Malle’s vetivers are insuperable, and Sycomore is divine, but the change was welcome. I am very much under the weather, dear, with possible heart trouble, and in bed for three weeks. I find these aromas so soothing. Thank you, dear Victoria, for your thoughtful mails.You know that I adore jasmine, which Mon Guerlain should I buy, or both?. At the moment I am going to sleep with the last drops of Eau de Narcisse Bleu, a delectable fragrance that I also owe you. My gratitude from afar, Alicia September 18, 2018 at 8:35am Reply

    • Victoria: Mon Guerlain and Insolence are two very different perfumes, but I’d recommend trying Mon Guerlain EDP Florale first. September 18, 2018 at 9:23am Reply

  • kpaint: Last spring, a perfume friend sent me a small decant of Mon Exclusif. I tested it a couple of times and admittedly blew it off. Soon enough I found myself getting little cravings for it, started wearing it regularly, and really enjoying it.

    I recently found myself thinking it would be a nice fragrance for fall. My decant’s nearly drained but I saw Mon Guerlain at Scentbird, where I had a $10 GC, so I bought it.

    I briefly compared the 2 and while Mon Exclusif leans more fruitchuli, they are quite similar, and I look forward to wearing Mon Guerlain (I believe I bought the EdP.)

    I’ve not noticed the Guerlainade in Mon Exclusif but I’ll look for it in Mon Guerlain. Likewise with Insolence. A lifelong violet lover, I finally tried Insolence EdP last spring and quickly bought a bottle. I loved it initially for the violet note, and became obsessed with it as a lipstick/cosmetics scent fanatic. I wore it a ton last spring. Next time I wear it I’ll look for the Guerlainade. September 18, 2018 at 11:00am Reply

  • Klaas: Hey Victoria, thank you for the nice review. I, too, dismissed Mon Guerlain as nr. 13 out of the dozen (that’s a Dutch expression, does it exist in English?). But you are so right in the sense that this is a pillar brand fragrance, and that it aims to please the widest possible audience. It wasn’t designed to dazzle the connoisseur.

    Having said this, just last week a colleague of mine sat down next to me and I had to compliment her on her perfume. She smelled truely nice. She was wearing Mon Guerlain and I sat corrected 😉 September 20, 2018 at 6:30am Reply

  • Joëlle: Thank you for your review! I really like the first minutes of MG, smells like heaven…but it fades quickly. I tried the EDT, and it seems to last longer (specially the freschness of the lavender-citrus). Have you noticed the same? It might be my skin chemistry! September 20, 2018 at 8:31am Reply

  • Austenfan: A dime a dozen I think, or ten a penny or run of the mill. September 20, 2018 at 9:38am Reply

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