Jean-Paul Guerlain: 12 posts

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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Guerlain Metallica / Metalys : Perfume Review

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Titianflora

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

Jp_guerlain_from_musee_grasse_site

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

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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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Guerlain Parure : Perfume Review

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Parure means a matching set of necklace and earrings. The fragrance was created by Jean-Paul Guerlain in 1975 for a woman who loved jewelry but could not find a scent she liked. Thus, he created a scintillating perfumed necklace to adorn her.

Par

Sensual and elegant, Parure opens up on the dark richness of plum and rose, accented with bergamot. The musky jasmine fills out the heart of Parure, while the bittersweet moss and spicy woods form a plush base. Parure in extrait de parfum (now discontinued) is richer and more voluptuous that the eau de toilette, with the plum note more assertive and pronounced.

Parure includes notes of plum, bergamot, greens, fruits and hesperides; lily of the valley, rose, orris, plum, lilac, jasmine, jonquil and narcissus; oakmoss, spices, amber, leather and patchouli.

Chypre Classification

A little bit on the chypre fragrance family: The origins of the term are conventionally attributed to François Coty’s Chypre (1917), which was inspired by the scented flora of the island of Cyprus (Chypre, in French). While Chypre disappeared a few years after its inception, the trend was set by Coty and the term became a generic one. The term is usually reserved for compositions featuring bergamot in the top notes and oakmoss as well as iris, musk and amber—and some might argue patchouli as well–in the base, which lends them an interesting interplay of sensations. The group has evolved to include chypre floral animalic, chypre fruity, chypre floral and chypre green categories.

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