jacques guerlain: 8 posts

Guerlain L’Heure Bleue : Fragrance Review (New and Vintage)

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Guerlain L’Heure Bleue is the embodiment of refinement. When I read that Catherine Deneuve wore it for many years as her signature fragrance, I was not at all surprised. Its luminous orange blossom is beautifully contrasted with the rich plushness of vanilla, iris and incense.  L’Heure Bleue’s sillage is among the most beautiful of great classics—bright, radiant, enveloping.

Lheure bleue

It was also the first Guerlain perfume to use aldehydes (distinctive starchy-metallic notes) to give a lift to the rich floral accord.  The carnation, ylang-ylang and anise introduce L’Heure Bleue, but then you become aware of its velvety layers–iris, vanilla, incense, musk, tonka bean. The leitmotif of anise persists through the layers of L’Heure Bleue.   The eau de parfum concentration is plusher and warmer than the musk inflected eau de toilette. The extrait de parfum is even more memorable, a mouthwatering confection of orange blossom, iris, and vanilla with a touch of licorice.

L’Heure Bleue has set many trends in its day and it continues to do so. It is one of legendary perfumer Sophia Grojsman’s favorite fragrances, and her Kenzo Kashaya, Lagerfeld Sun, Moon, Stars and Laura Biagotti Sotto Voce were inspired by its structure of plush richness and opulent floral notes. Recent launches like Costume National Scent, Iris Ganache, Insolence and Kenzo Flower pay tribute to L’Heure Bleue.

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Guerlain Apres l’Ondee : Perfume Review

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Guerlain Après l’Ondée was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1906.  I loved this scent right away for its wonderfully delicate combination of orange blossom and violet, tinged with a spicy anise note.

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The first accord is reminiscent of a spring garden after a tempestuous May shower as the damp earth, drenched leaves and flowers begin to warm up under the sun. The aura of this fragrance is effervescent, innocent and joyous. But there is a dark timbre to Après l’Ondée as well. It is similar to the moment after the rain is over; the sun is shining, yet the clouds still cast somber shadows upon the landscape. The heart blossoms with iris and violet, which much to my delight, is a departure from the traditionally sweet candy-like violet notes. The carnation is subdued and merely adds a spicy ornament. The dry down is smooth and tender, with the sugared almond, vanilla and musk lending it an abstract gourmand sensation. Après l’Ondée is a garden in the first flush of bloom, yet to reveal all of its secrets.

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Guerlain Shalimar and Shalimar Eau Legere : Perfume Review

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Shalimar

According to Guerlain, Shalimar was inspired by a love story of Shah Jahangir and his wife, Mumtaz Majal. Upon her death, Shah build a mausoleum in her honor, which is Taj Mahal. The fragrance was named after the Gardens of Shalimar, so beloved by Mumtaz Majal. Whether the story is true, or just an example of clever marketing playing upon the contemporary fascination with the exotic, the magic of Shalimar is indisputable. Ever since it was launched in 1925, it has been an important trendsetter for so-called oriental fragrances, perfumes inspired by the aromas of the East.

Shalim

The initial sensation is of cool citrus burst that quickly melds into a rich floral heart. The undercurrent of dark sensual pervades even the initial chilly note, setting the stage for the warmth of the base. Vanilla stands out rather strongly against the backdrop of bergamot, which while fading by the time fragrance dries down, nevertheless maintains its pleasant astringency. The interplay between cold and hot is the most magnificent aspect of Shalimar. The eau de toilette and eau de parfum are lovely, but the extrait de parfum is incomparable, as is the case for most of the Guerlain fragrances. Bergamot is much softer, while the dry down is remarkably luminous and rich.

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