jean-paul guerlain: 5 posts

Guerlain Habit Rouge and Its Family : Perfume Review

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Jean-Paul Guerlain, the last perfumer for the house carrying the family name, once memorably said that one could be a Shalimar woman or a L’Heure Bleue woman, but not both. Of course, he made the statement in his usual provocative manner, but the idea was that the two perfumes had such different characters that you loved either one or the other. I had all the makings of a L’Heure Bleue woman, having fallen for its older sister Après l’Ondée, but then I met Habit Rouge. One encounter was all it took for me not only to be captivated by its velvety orange blossom doused in incense and bergamot, but also to understand the allure of Shalimar.

Habit-Rouge-Guerlain

That Habit Rouge is marketed to men should make no difference to women. In 1965, when Habit Rouge was created by Guerlain, the collection had many splendid feminine perfumes like Jicky, Shalimar, L’Heure Bleue, and Mitsouko, but the offerings for men were considerably less outstanding. The exception was Vétiver, which Jean-Paul Guerlain created a few years earlier. His solution to draw gentlemen to the perfume counter was to take the basic outline of Shalimar and its famous accord of citrus and sweet oriental notes and give it a dandy appeal with leather and green orange blossom. The result was a less sweet, less curvy and less ripe version of Shalimar, but with all the elegance and panache of its great ancestor.

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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.

Guerlain Chamade : Perfume Review

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Created by perfumer  Jean Paul Guerlain in 1969, Chamade was a homage to Françoise Sagan’s novel La Chamade. Symbolizing a quick beating of the heart of those in love, “Chamade” is another enchanting name given to the Guerlain creation.

Cd

It is a blend, dominated primarily by hyacinth and blackcurrant. As Moslih Saadi, Persian poet who lived in 13th c said,

If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft
And from thy slender store two loaves (of bread) alone to thee are left
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.”

Although hyacinth is one of my favorite flowers, I find that its lush exotic scent is often rendered as oily and heavy in perfumery. This is the case with Chamade, which starts out with a heavy green hyacinth note, however blackcurrant adds a tangy green layer, which cuts through the richness.

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Guerlain Nahema : Perfume Review

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Guerlain Nahéma was inspired by the French actress Catherine Deneuve. Perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain explained to Elle Magazine that when he saw her in the film Benjamin ou Les mémoires d’un puceau, Deneuve enthralled him. “She appeared in a gilded cage scattered with roses… She was wearing a dress of white silk, and her hair was loose and ruffled like a golden halo — absolutely breathtaking.”

Danae

Nahéma, introduced in 1979, is likewise stunning–a voluptuous blend of rose, plum and ylang ylang, with dark accents of sandalwood and musk. It is a bold and dramatic fragrance foreshadowing the generation of big perfumes that would embody the glam & glitz of the 1980s–Dior Poison, Yves Saint Laurent Paris, Giorgio. Unfortunately, Nahéma arrived on the scene too early to appeal to the general public, and it flopped so badly that Guerlain had to sell a part of its real estate to keep the company afloat. Yet, even today Jean-Paul Guerlain names it as his most distinctive and original creation.

While Nahéma was toned down somewhat after its initial launch, it was not discontinued. Even today it can be found at the Guerlain counter, and it should not be missed. This sensual oriental perfume explores a brilliant combination of cool, watery hyacinth and rich-as-chocolate roses, with a haunting undercurrent of vanilla, dark woods and amber.

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