digging (into) vintage: Guerlain l’Heure Bleue, 1912

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(image Anouk Van Kalmthout)

Perfumer Jacques Guerlain

Describing Vol de Nuit once, I said I can’t analyze or dissect the classic Guerlains and this holds true for l’Heure Bleue. An anise-like vanilla and orange blossom stand out, but it seems like one of those immensely complex orientals of its era. Beyond my analytical skills. Still, it is my favorite of the classic Guerlains. It’s been described as melancholic, moody, shadowy. True, but it’s less about affect or emotion than it is about a contemplative state. I tend toward reflection when I wear l’Heure Bleue. (Or maybe I reach for it when I’m feeling contemplative?)

I find the allure of l’Heure Bleue affecting. This prettiness, sort of beauty on a low flame, burns its way into you. Capital-B Beauty with its drama might infatuate for a moment, a day, but l’Heure Bleue’s charm stays with me over time.

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