Guerlain Champs Elysée, 1996

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Perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain

Champs Elysee starts off like two different floral bases competing for the upper hand: a sweet bouquet and an insecticide-floral. They merge for a bit, then the insecticide (which I’d hoped would win) gives way to a bland sweetness. It’s blaring, though. It’s like sitting near a very loud conversation in a language you don’t understand. You can’t escape the volume, but you haven’t the least idea what’s actually going on. Champs Elysée comes at you from every angle, but isn’t intriguing. While it hits a number of strong tones—sweet, floral, bright (fluorescent) metallic—it becomes tiresome very quickly.

I find Champs Elysee very off-putting, but I must admit that this type of perfume isn’t my bag and I have trouble here distinguishing between what doesn’t appeal to me and what is in fact unsuccessful overall.

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