Do you know that the Guerlain perfumer house was born in 1828? At the court of Napoleon III, Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain was “Her Majesty’s Patented Perfumer” and created the most refined scents for all the most fashionable courts in Europe.
Later, Pierre-François-Pascal’s son invented modern perfumery, using synthetic notes to natural compositions hence making for the first time what will become a rule and habit in the industry, in order to create the most complex and perfected fragrances ever made.
Most of the Guerlain fragrances we know were crafted in the 20th century by Jacques Guerlain, the romantic nose: Shalimar, L’Heure Bleue… were all born in the mind of this very talented perfume artist. Over 400 creations bear his name… and so many more women have had his work at the crook of their neck!
Daring, unique, avant-garde… Guerlain’s success has nothing to do with a trend or an era: they have been creating and inventing the techniques and scents that now rule and lead in the perfume industry.
Romantics and technicians, the Guerlain noses are amongst the most important people in the fragrance world… and their mind, turned towards travels, nature, strong femininity and deep understanding of women are what forever sealed their position as perfumery’s leaders.
Whether it was your mother, grand-mother, sister, favourite aunt… you sure know a woman whose perfume, whenever you get a random sniff of it, still unsettles you, but in a good way, suddenly bringing up moments of your childhood and teenage years, some moments when you were whispering at each other’s ear or hugging – well, if your unsettling is that powerful, it is very likely they were wearing a Guerlain fragrance.
And today, it is your turn to enter the Guerlain’s women family – follow the guide and, please, prepare yourself to discover one of France best perfumer ever.
Shalimar Perfume: sensual vanilla
Shalimar was crafted to tell the love story of Emperor Shah Jahan and Indian princess Mumtaz Mahal – how already delightful, out of the ordinary and profoundly romantic that is, right? Sensual, daring, strong and lingering on the skin, Shalimar’s notes are simply stunning. The name “Shalimar”, meaning “temple of love” in Sanskrit, comes from the Shalimar gardens the Emperor built for his wife… along with the Taj Mahal!
Shalimar was created by talented Jacques Guerlain thanks to his new synthetic molecule, ethylvanillin: obsessed by the mesmerising deep scent, he couldn’t stop but trying again and again to make the best out of it. And so was born Shalimar thanks to the help of the early 20th century chemistry progress, the first pure Oriental fragrance.
First, Shalimar offers a bouquet of citrus fruits notes: bergamot, mandarin, lemon, cedar and orange. That spice is softened by the arrival of flowery iris, jasmine, rose, patchouli and vetiver. All oriental perfumes share a spicy top note and profound, addictive and sometimes wild background: here, vanilla, tonka bean, sandalwood and incense stick together all the scents and create the very hazy, strange, addictive and poisonous scent of Shalimar, one you can’t forget… neither not want for yourself!
Guerlain Shalimar Perfume Review
La Petite Robe Noire Perfume: the couture fragrance
Very recently born, La Petite Robe Noire is a fruity floral as sophisticated and couture as it is mischievous and irreverent. The elegance and joyfulness of the Little Black Dress – as created first by Coco Chanel and then as the myth this clothing item still is – is no secret to the world and Thierry Wasser, Guerlain’s current nose, named his fragrance after the dress in 2009.
Fruity and floral, La Petite Robe Noire is really a sweet and yet complex mix of girly notes, brought up to a level of sophistication that suits any woman, whatever your age, really. Black cherry, a blend of almond, berried and bergamot bring in spice and playfulness. A bouquet of Bulgarian rose and black tea then burst leaning on a background of tonka bean, iris and vanilla.
Resolutely feminine but never mawkish, La Petite Robe Noire is a clever and elegant blend. Do not let yourself be fooled by the powdery pink of the La Petite Robe Noire nectar – this fragrance was tailored for witty, charming and mischievous women with a sense for irreverence and style. More than a mere fragrance, La Petite Robe Noire really brings something more to your silhouette and attitude… and that something is what you have always been craving for!
Guerlain “La Petite Robe Noire” Fragrance Review
Samsara Perfume: the bewitching floral and woody elixir
Samsara is another of Guerlain’s amazingly composed fragrances that will take you into a world of fantasised Orient and warm, sensual and daring scents. Fresh and profound at the same time, Samsara is a travel in the world of senses – mixing the delicacy of jasmine and the opulent scent of sandalwood, this fragrance has something of a bewitching elixir brought to us from another time and place.
Samsara is the first ever feminine fragrance giving such an important and steady place to sandalwood, a classic of male perfumery. The perfect balance and use of this peculiar scent make Samsara unique and audacious. As you press the bottle, the first bursting notes are jasmine, backed up by ylang-ylang and bergamot. Once the spice and freshness of these first notes pass, you get to embrace the warmth and opulence of sandalwood, followed gently by tonka bean and vanilla.
Unique and recognisable amongst a million, Samsara is a fragrance for women who like to unsettle. Whether dreamy or driven, just know that this fragrance was specifically crafted for you to leave an unforgettable trail everywhere you go thanks to the surprising and bewitching scent of Samsara. Guerlain is a house of audacity and irreverent yet very sophisticated femininity – maybe Samsara stands as one of the most perfected proof of that spirit.
OLD vs NEW : GUERLAIN SAMSARA EDT
Insolence Perfume: a nectar for the free-spirited and audacious
Insolence is the story of a nice and serious little girl… gone wild and free, just for the sake of life. And that formerly quiet little girl is Violet – the violet flower, a perfumery classic yet always tending to be there as a back up, diluted. Here, the violet takes back her right to reign over a whole composition and Guerlain helped her achieve her goal: be the heart and soul of a perfume that is as fruity and floral as it is audacious and… insolent!
Insolence is a daring composition – the triumphant and overwhelming violet was to be cleverly balanced for the fragrance to stay harmonised. As Insolence takes off, it is of course the violet that takes the lead, followed closely by a sweet raspberry and chic iris. The second accord brings together rose, orange blossom… and a little more violet! All of this laying on alluring scents of tonka bean, raisin and iris.
Insolence is a fragrance for surprising, spontaneous women who are extremely feminine yet resolute to be free and untamed. Adorned in the powerful notes of violet, the insolence woman is making a statement: if you believed flowers were harmless and powerless, just let Insolence prove you wrong.
Guerlain “Insolence EDP” Fragrance Review
L’Heure Bleue Perfume: dusk in a bottle
“L’Heure Bleue”, in French, is that time of the day when the sun has set but nightfall still delays its coming – it is that very moment when neither the sun nor the moon rule over nature, a few minutes of in between and poetry. That moment is what Jacques Guerlain, the romantic perfumer, wanted to encapsulate in a bottle with L’Heure Bleue.
Elegant and mysterious, L’Heure Bleue is the embodiment of a very secretive, mythical and unknown femininity – and so are the fragrance notes. Opening with the freshness of bergamot ans aniseed, these very green and spicy scents leave place for a blend of carnation rose, neroli, tuberose and violet that allow delicacy to bloom at the heart of the greenery first set.
As a décor for all these leaves and flowers, an oriental background composed of vanilla, iris and benzoin come to enwrap your senses in a warm and sweet embrace.
L’Heure bleue is neither a day or night fragrance – it is an extraordinary, fleeting moment between both and will hence attract the most mysterious and captivating women. Powdery, floral and oriental all at once, this Guerlain fragrance will be your ally into becoming the nature’s goddess you know that you are deep down. Sensual and troubling, get ready to be fabulous.
GUERLAIN L’HEURE BLEUE PERFUME REVIEW
L’Instant Perfume: sun and love encapsulated
L’Instant is a very recent composition – launched in 2003, its creator nose Maurice Roussel wanted to seize the fragrance of a unique moment when you know everything can change, the emotion of a few decisive second in a love story. And really it can be said that this solar and spontaneous fragrance has something as spellbinding as these seconds with this oriental and yet spicy, fruity notes held in the precious bottle.
Very complex and yet so just and balanced, L’Instant is really a masterpiece. First, the fragrance opens up with a citrus-honey accord soon followed by a Chinese magnolia accord. Notes of Sambac jasmine and ylang-ylang come at the rescue of the amber accord, last piece of this work of art that resonates like one of the most innocent yet sensual fragrance at Guerlain.
L’Instant is a fragrance for the dreamers and the daring women who take their destiny in their hands, decide to run to that lover who never called back but whom they are sure is the one that they can’t let go. L’instant is for the ones who act before they think and draw their philosophy out of it. L’Instant is a perfume as soft as it is complex and deep, and that is probably why us women definitely find ourselves in it.
Guerlain “L’Instant” EDT Fragrance Review
Mitsouko Perfume: the mystical and enigmatic femininity
Mitsouko was born in 1919, at a time where the fascination for Asia and Japan in particular was everywhere. Traveller and great lover of all things different, mystical and unknown Jacques Guerlain created Mitsouko as his tribute to a femininity inspired by his Orient dreams. “Mistouko” means “mystery” ins Japanese, and it definitely is an enigma how Guerlain managed to compose such a mesmerising and alchemistic nectar.
Velvety, sweet, woody and definitely addictive, Mitsouko is very well balanced though its influences are as floral as they are oriental, as chypre as they are fruity. Unique in every sense of the word – be it its composition, name, inspiration – Mitsouko’s originality comes from its various notes.
Peach is at the heart of the ingredients, along with citrus and bergamot, and it opens up to a blend of lilac, May rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang, the perfect and dazzling mix of the most heady and the most delicate of flowers. The base notes are warm and woody with a predominance of amber over sandalwood and cinnamon.
Mitsouko is a signature perfume – few dare try and adopt it. Confidential, mysterious and bringing up scents that had had never been brought together, this Guerlain fragrance might be dating back to 1919 but definitely singles out itself as one of the most modern and attractive.
Guerlain “MITSOUKO” Fragrance Review
Guerlain, the art and the savoir-faire
Guerlain’s essence – no un intended – really revolves around the art of perfumery rather than perfume itself. From 1828 up until today the maison Guerlain created amongst the finest and most desirable fragrances ever made with a savoir-faire that almost resembled an alchemist’s magic.
There also is something more to a Guerlain fragrance: when you pick a Guerlain, it is not only for the scent, the mood, the nectar itself but rather the whole package including the history of the brand and the magnificient bottle. Made in France, not far from Paris, the Guerlain bottles are still handcrafted just like they were back in the 19th century for Empress Eugénie.
A Guerlain perfume is a work of art, from every angle… and the only thing left for you to do is pick that will leave you lovestruck!