It remains to be seen whether we go into the dark or the light in our final breaths. Either way, I should hope that in my final moments the attending nurse leans in close and whispers "Have a wonderful trip..." and as my eyes close, I'll drift into the unknown with a smile on my face, remembering her beautiful, kind eyes and how she smelled like violets after the rain.
Much has been said about Après L'Ondée and its aura of melancholy etc. I wanted to discover it, too, and have been trying it several times, but I'm afraid, all I get is a nice, sweet, gently and somewhat boring scent, and that's it. No rain, no fresh dew... Maybe it's an issue of skin chemistry. As for its kinship with L'Heure bleue, it has nothing of HB's personality, complexity and unmistakeable charm, so ALO has clearly to surrender.
After reading about Apres L'Ondee, I was eager to try it because I am familiar with other Guerlain parfums, and I felt certain I would love it. There is a rumour circulating that it will soon no longer be available in the U.S., and there is another rumour that Guerlain intends to stop making it altogether, so before either one of these possible eventualities became realities, I ordered the eau de toilette on-line from an Amazon seller. This review primarily concerns the current EDT, but I do discuss the vintage parfum at the end to some extent.
The Apres L'Ondee EDT indeed smells very fresh and bright. I found it to be almost loud upon first application of it to my skin, but it quickly dried down to a softer scent. I would describe it as a green scent, but it is not green in the way that Diorissimo is green, for example. It smells of soft, vaguely sweet grasses and cut flower stems, not the blossoms so much but the green stems. I do smell flowers, but they seem more distant than the grasses and green stems. I do indeed pick up on a wetness to it as well. After it was on my skin for a couple of hours, I could definitely detect a very light, sweet, vanilla or honey note to it. It is quite charming in the dry down.
I do not particularly like the top notes, but I have only worn it a few times, and my opinion may change later, so send me a private message to ask if you are interested. I like the dry down which is soft, vaguely sweet but not sugary sweet at all, grassy, and slightly wet. Apres is a very demure scent, and as other reviewers have noted, it it not very long lasting. I had perhaps two to three hours of it before it was gone. I intend to apply some scent-free lotion before I apply the Apres next time to see if the lotion will help it to linger longer on my skin.
The EDT has moderate to strong projection upon first application, but it quietens down pretty quickly. Sillage is also moderate upon first application, but it, too, quietens down quickly. My biggest criticism is the current EDT's lack of longevity, but this is a criticism I have of virtually all eau de toilettes, and it is the reason why I buy eau de parfum if it is available. Unfortunately, Apres L'Ondee in either eau de parfum or in extrait is no longer made, so if you want to try it, you will either have to purchase the current EDT or find a vintage bottle or decanted sample.
I have been able to sample a vintage Apres L'Ondee in pure parfum formulation, and it is much different from the current EDT. As expected, the vintage parfum has a deeper, creamier smell to it. It is also a bit sweeter but still not candy sweet. It has that wet, grassy sweetness about it. It wears very, very close to the skin, even closer than the EDT and its presence, too, was quite fleeting on my skin. I feel privileged to have been able to sample the long since discontinued parfum, though.
My overall impression of Apres L'Ondee is favourable. After trying it, I do not think anyone exaggerated in describing Apres L'Ondee as an utterly beautiful, iconic parfum, a classic creation. It is unlike any other scent I have ever tried. Do I recommend you buy a bottle of the current EDT? Yes, it is worth sampling and keeping in your collection as a reference point as well as an historical artefact should Guerlain stop making it. Do I recommend you buy a vintage EDT, EDP, or pure parfum? Yes, a vintage is very worthy of the cost, and I think if you like this type of scent, then you will really like the vintage Apres L'Ondee.
I give this glorious fragrance 5 stars, even though it's low on projection and longevity, compared to other Guerlain scents; yet in another way, it performs exactly as a fragrance inspired by fresh showers should. There is something silvery and iridescent about it, with a here-one-minute-gone-the-next quality: when I hold my nose to my wrist only moments after spraying, sometimes I can't smell Apres L'ondee at all - yet it coalesces gently around me as I sit with my hands in my lap. It seems to be primarily a skin scent, which (as another reviewer observed) might actually have been the idea, since rain purifies the air at the same time that it elicits soft scents from beds of iris and violet. I can't even imagine how heavenly the original extrait must have smelled.
<i>Après L'Ondée</i> by <i>Jacques Guerlain</i> is, like all of his work, soemthing which has no specific time or place. It just is what it is. I think it's amazing that we can still smell and experience something made from over a century ago, it's like looking through a window into the past...
For me, this perfume is about Iris (Orris Root) and powdery violets... along with a selection of delicately balanced florals. Like a bouquet of flowers that only stays fresh for a few days, before wilting and shrinking out of existence. I also get the heliotrope and anise, which were hallmarks of his later masterpiece <i>L'Heure Bleue</i>.
I think, many of these older perfumes by <i>Guerlain</i> provoke an emotional response. It's not just something nice to put on and go about your day. This one, along with stuff like <i>Jicky</i>, <i>L'Heure Bleue</i>, <i>Mitsouko</i> and the legendary <i>Shalimar</i> all create different emotions in the wearer. In short, they are all perfumes that make you <b>think</b>. That is why they are around long after the people who created them have died. Like paintings hanging in galleries. Except these are things you can smell and touch. It's fascinating... and <i>Après L'Ondée</i> is no exception.
Sometimes, the most beautiful things in life are often fleeting and temporary. <i>Après L'Ondée</i> is one of those experiences. It's one perfume which everyone should experience at least once. You may be surprised by how simple and delicately beautiful this one is. Even if it's not for you, I don't think you'll have smelled anything like this being made today. It is a lovely one though. Do try it.