L’Heure Bleue is for me a perfume of such grand and structured richness, it astonishes me every time. An abundance of warm, silky floral notes, spices, powder, balsams and a glorious sandalwood that sings right from the start and just keeps going. All perfectly massaged into a harmonious creation like some incredible pastry that requires intense labour and skill to get just right and create that hallelujah moment on the tongue.
It has numerous markers that date it (for it is now over a hundred years old): floral notes of clove-tinged carnation and sweet violet, with an anise and heliotrope back-up, that were much more common in perfumes of yesteryear; an unabashed powderiness coupled with an unctuousness that is rare in modern creations in which the legacy of ‘fresh’ and ‘clean’ is still too prominent; a daring amount of spice and resins. And yet from such serious elements arises something that shimmers like a mirage, gleaming, enticing, yet always just receding a step when you think you have understood it.
I tried L’Heure Bleue at perfume counters, always walking away thinking, ‘This is a bit too much for me.’ This happened about half a dozen times. And then suddenly, one day, its radiance was revealed and then there was no going back. It’s a fugue of a perfume, complex but with each note in the right place.
Much is made of its sensuousness, but it resists the temptation to swooning, full-blown excess (such as, say, the roseate oblivion of Nahema) and also appeals to an intellectual appreciation in its fine calibration. And then there’s that amazing sandalwood – still on song, no matter how long your day.
(Review is for EDP, current formulation.)
I wanted to try some of the classic Guerlain parfums, including Mitsouko, Apres L'ondee, and L'Heure Bleue. L'Heure Bleue is the first one I tried, and I am very happy with it. I can see why this is considered a classic. It smells heavenly!! (I have fallen totally in love with it. : )
L'Heure Bleue is soft, fresh, clean, feminine, and yes, powdery, too. It has a fresh, fairly intense floral base. (It is often described as an "oriental" or "semi-oriental." I would not describe it as either.) Initially, it has a moderate++ sillage, and after two or three hours, it wears fairly close to the skin, at least on me. It smells like the kind of parfum one wears to "dress up" for a special evening, so its name is very apropos. I like it enough to know that it will be a staple on my parfum tray for all the years to come. It does not smell like any other parfum I own.
Many young ladies these days do not like anything that smells powdery. They prefer parfum that smells candy sweet. L'Heure is not that kind of parfum. If you do NOT like a fairly strong powdery note to your parfum, then this is not the scent for you. However, if you do like or do not mind a powdery, make-up-E scent, then I think you will like L'Heure Bleue.
L'Heure Bleue makes me think of ladies in long gloves, long evening gowns, with sparkling jewels. Very elegant and feminine to be sure. It is alluring but not overtly "sexual," if that makes sense. If you want to at least try some of the classics, then this one is definitely one to try. You might even fall in love with it as I did. : )
The Blue Room BY Suzanne Valadon 1919
15th April, 2016 (last edited: 24th February, 2017)
Time can tear down a building or destroy a woman's face
Hours are like diamonds, don't let them waste
The twilight pastry with its marzipan, marshmallow accord, the powdery caress of a beautiful woman, a sun-warmed garden cooling in the evening..... This wonderful gourmand fragrance has it all and more. L'Heure bleue has a shimmering beauty to it, sensual and feminine and very, very French. Like the blue hour of its name, there is a transitory, evanescent quality about this—this moment, too, shall pass—and the melancholy note that is so famous in this scent is one of regret; regret that the dreams of the night time will vanish by dawn. Time waits for no one but the very fact that this fragrance is over 100 years old is amazing.
A truly affecting "sensual" experience for me: i wear this one only when the mood strikes. I ignore that is supposedly a ladies' fragrance. I never believed in defining sexes in perfumes. The perfect perfume is merely individual and many have agreed that defining a fragrance by sex is just all linked to marketing issues and nothing else really! That being said, i never felt uncomfortable wearing this! At the contrary on me, it smells soft, powdery and slightly melancholic if anything! It's funny, how much potent of a vanilla it is, and yet i never think of it when i sniff it or wear it!! It's a little classic masterpiece that i'd recommend to all artists and people with character and moods. And, you must love heavily powdery notes, because this, along with Apres l'Ondes another extremely powdery one, is a cyphre as Guerlain can get, and, i believe that's saying something, right there.
30th September, 2015 (last edited: 02nd October, 2015)