Jean-Paul Guerlain: 13 posts

Guerlain Plus Que Jamais : Perfume Review



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

A fan of scent strips in my hand allows me to travel through the hallmarks of the venerable house’s history—Jicky, Après l’Ondée, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Shalimar, Vol de Nuit…. The accords making these fragrances memorable strike me like a handful of colorful jewels, whether it might be the civet laced richness of Jicky, the violet melancholy of Après l’Ondée, or the burnished ambery glow of Attrape-Coeur. The common golden thread in these Guerlain fragrances is the velvety, powdery accord based around orris known as Guerlinade. Embellished with rose, jasmine, tonka bean, and amber, among other notes, Guerlinade is the silky veil that softens the sharp edges and lends a whisper of delicious sweetness with an intriguing incensy touch. Guerlinade can be subtle or obvious, a gentle accent or an unequivocal proposal; however its presence in most Guerlain fragrances ensures an ability to trace lineage from Shalimar to Attrape Coeur.

Plus Que Jamais is the fragrance created by Jean-Paul Guerlain to commemorate the reopening of La Maison Guerlain at 68, Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris (please see my article about the boutique here). Opulent composition, Plus Que Jamais is indeed “more than ever” Guerlain, with its arrangement sustained on the ornate oriental base layering vanilla, amber, iris and enchantingly earthy vetiver into a vision of silk shimmering with gold embroidery. …

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Guerlain Vega : Fragrance Review



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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Guerlain Metallica / Metalys : Perfume Review



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

Carnations set in gold, Guerlain Metalys is a composition that respects classical canons, and yet the result is a modern floral crowning a soft oriental base. Alight with amber, the fragrance captures the same golden glow that bathes the figures and the landscapes in the paintings by Titian.

The metallic note hiding under the flower petals in the heart harmonizes the cold aldehydic top accord with the warm Guerlinade base. While the carnation dominates, the lily-like sweetness of ylang ylang and the fruitiness of jasmine are woven into the floral accord. The spicy petals peel away slowly to reveal the core of the composition, accented by the same metallic brilliance that gives Paco Rabanne Calandre and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche a distinct touch. Yet, in Metalys, the metallic note conjures visions of burnished gold, rather than polished steel. Its illusory fragility is contrasted elegantly with the layers of creamy vanilla. …

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Jean-Paul Guerlain on Classical Fragrances


Talking about his favorite classical fragrance, Jean-Paul Guerlain, the perfumer for the house until his retirement in 2002, mentions “Lanvin Arpège under its original formula, Fahrenheit and Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior, Chanel No. 5, Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps and Pleasures by Estée Lauder.” “A classic perfume is determined by the quality of the raw materials you put in it and by its elegance, distinction and originality,” Guerlain says. “Above all it has to be memorable.”  An excerpt from a Reuters article (03/27/01).

My favorite Guerlain fragrance has always been Après l’Ondée, a beautiful melancholy composition of iris and bitter almond note of heliotropin, ornamented by a dusky Guerlainade accord of tonka bean and vanilla. I would love to hear what is your favorite Guerlain fragrance.

Photo from Grasse Perfume Museum.

Guerlain Chant d’Aromes : Fragrance Review


Guerlain marketed Chant d’Arômes in 1962 as a fragrance for a woman who wears perfume only for herself. In an interview with Elle Magazine, perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain described his muse Marie-Monique as “a proper, ladylike young woman. I chose spring flowers like honeysuckle and gardenia, embellished them with mandarin and bergamot and added a touch of jasmine and a hint of ylang-ylang.”

Chant daromes color ad

Chant d’Arômes is a delicately rendered floral chypre, with a strong accent of peach and sweet orange. The inky richness of oakmoss and the milky sweetness of sandalwood serve as interesting contrasts to the pastel hued heart of honeysuckle and jasmine. It is at once innocent and alluring.

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Latest Comments

  • Maggiecat in Recommend Me a Perfume: May 2024: Seconding the Fragonard perfume museum and stores. Very nice scents at reasonable prices. May 27, 2024 at 4:18pm

  • Karina_NL in Recommend Me a Perfume: May 2024: …and I suggest not to miss Goutal’s (prev. Annick Goutal) stores. Enjoy Paris! May 27, 2024 at 3:03pm

  • John Luna in Recommend Me a Perfume: May 2024: according to the all-knowing consensus of Fragrantica readers, possible substitutes for the Kors include Gucci Bloom, Kim Kardashian(!), and Nasomatto Narcotic Venus (also deserving an exclamation mark for the title… May 27, 2024 at 2:49pm

  • Aurora in Recommend Me a Perfume: May 2024: Hi Andrew: Seconding Jovoy, you’ll find several interesting brands there and adding le musée du parfum Fragonard. Also enter the discount parfumerie Marionnaud, there are several boutiques. May 27, 2024 at 2:40pm

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