Jacques Guerlain: 10 posts

Guerlain Eau de Cologne du Coq, Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat and Eau de Guerlain

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With the start of summer it seems natural to reach for a cologne. This style of fragrances based on citrus is uplifting and bright, and wearing a cologne is a low-commitment affair since it lasts on skin for only a few hours, leaving behind a memory of freshness. Of course, these days there are many different colognes, some promising an all-day citrus blast and others treating the most un-cologne-like notes like sandalwood, roses and musk in the style’s gossamer lightness. For my part, I recommend visiting three classics from Guerlain: Eau de Cologne du Coq, Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat and Eau de Guerlain.

Not only does the trio offer a range of styles, it gives a great overview of the house’s signature and the way it evolved over time. The fragrances were created by three perfumers representing different generations of the Guerlain family–Aimé Guerlain with his fin-de-siecle sensibilities, Jacques Guerlain renowned for his technical mastery and Jean-Paul Guerlain, the renegade. One need not have all three colognes in one’s wardrobe, but each is distinctive enough to be worth comparing.

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Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat : Perfume Review

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It’s easy to get overtaken by the flood of newness and to forget about the trusted old favorites. The other day I found a neglected bottle of Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat in one of my fragrance drawers and put it on more as a reflex than because of any desire to wear it. It had been a while since I had tried it, but smelling its zesty lemon top notes reminded me what a gem it is and how refreshing it feels on a hot day.

If Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat were a color, it would be pop-art yellow. The initial impression is of grated lemon zest and lots of it. The bitterness of bergamot and lime add an additional twist, but it doesn’t happen until a few minutes into the development. Also, despite the “citron flowers” promised by the name, the composition is not particularly floral. It’s as classical of a cologne as you can find.

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Guerlain Apres L’Ondee : A Love Story

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Apreslondeelorenzi

The rainstorm… Après l’Ondée, which translates from French as “After the Rain Shower” seems like a radiant and exquisitely graceful composition, and yet there is the suggestion of a brooding darkness hiding in its opulent layers. My own relationship with it is complex; it is both a fragrance that served as a gateway for my intense passion for everything Guerlain and a scent of nostalgia. It reminds me of my first year in the United States, when feeling displaced and homesick, I would walk around Marshall Field’s, the large department store in downtown Chicago. The Guerlain counter, with its large booklet describing each fragrance, drew my attention. I was determined to find a perfume that would be mine because Guerlain had always fascinated me.

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Guerlain Sous le Vent : Perfume Review

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Sous_le_vent2_1

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

The dryness of Sous Le Vent stings mildly before the caress of flower petals tempers the rustic feel of the herbal notes gracing the top accord. The perfume was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1934, and while I would not call it modern, it has a timeless quality of an artwork that moves with its beauty. In the classical chypre family, Sous Le Vent holds a place as a composition that blends the sensual elegance of Mitsouko and the roughhewn character of Coty Chypre, with the most intriguing result. While it touches in a gentler manner than the green leather of another fascinating Guerlain composition, Djedi, its embrace nevertheless has a passionate quality. …

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Guerlain Vega : Fragrance Review

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Arabesque

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

“Aldehydic mist on white petals” immediately predisposes one to think of fragrances like Chanel No. 5 (1921) and Lanvin Arpège (1927). Just like Coty Chypre (1917) and Guerlain Mitsouko (1919), itself an offspring of Chypre, set the gold standard for the variation on the chypre genre, Chanel No.5 with its cocktail of aliphatic aldehydes, reminiscent of metallic dust and candle wax, became the inspiration for many aldehydic florals. However, Véga is a Guerlain, both in its joyful rendering of the chilly aldehydic theme and the vanillic warmth pervading its elegant form. As it smiles through the radiant veil of flowers, Véga makes sweet promises, many of which it fulfills.

Composed by Jacques Guerlain in 1936, Véga was recreated by Jean-Paul Guerlain for the opening of the renovated La Maison Guerlain in the summer of 2006, thus initiating a yearly tradition of bringing back a long lost Guerlain classic from the past. …

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