Category: Guerlain

Guerlain Mon Guerlain, 2017

Perfumer Thierry Wasser. So, what is the recipe for a big-budget, got-to-be-successful, no-room-for-error, if-you-build-it-they-will-come perfume? To judge by Guerlain’s approach: Mix equal parts imitation, predictability and risk aversion in a large bowl. Bake in a lukewarm focus-group until stale. Sprinkle with olfactory least common denominators. Serve in a bottle replete with historical Awethenticity™. Buon appetitio. Am I cynical? Clearly, but…

Guerlain Néroli Outrenoir, 2016

Perfumer Thierry Wasser. Hermès and Guerlain have both introduced new neroli perfumes into their line-ups this year. Hermès’s golden neroli Cologne (Eau de Néroli Doré) suited a summer launch and brought to mind sun, tanned skin and escapism. Guerlain skipped the gold and went for the black. “Outrenoir” (translated as ultra-black or beyond black) is a painting method practiced by…

Guerlain My Insolence, 2007

(image from poster for The Three Faces of Eve) Perfumers Sylvaine Delacourte and Christophe Raynaud Do you remember how much people kvetched about Insolence when it was released? It was The Death of Guerlain. There had been similar raining-cats-and-dogs wailing about a few other post-LVMH Guerlains: Champs Elysées, l’Instant, the entire Aqua Allegoria line. (Guerlain has in fact survived long…

Summer Fun(k) or Persephone’s props.

  (image by Arlene Gottfried) Fresh, effervescent perfumes offer relief from the heat, a respite from the sultriness of the summer season.  Eaux de Cologne, aquatics, light fruity fragrances, leafy/grassy green perfumes, airy mixed-florals.  These usual suspects accessorize the fleshy displays of the season.  They contribute to the cleanliness/godliness illusion of skin. My skin puts the lie to this fiction. …

Guerlain Muguet 2015

Image Robert Doisneau Each May Guerlain release a Muguet eau de toilette.  It is a spin on the French tradition of giving and receiving small bouquets of lily-of-the-valley on May 1.  The original Guerlain Muguet was composed by Jacques Guerlain in 1908 and a new perfume of the same name was composed by Jean-Paul Guerlain in 1998.  Since 2006 (except…

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Couture, 2014

Image by Elena Montemurro.  Perfumer Thierry Wasser. Guerlain have long followed the rule that it’s better to be good than to be first.  Or at least it’s better to be the last one standing.  Coty Chypre created the genre that defined perfumery in the 20th century.  Mitsouko copied the formula, improved it and is now the standard-bearer.   Shalimar came…