Maybe it's just the image of Tristan and Isolde betraying King Marc when they accidentally downed the love potion — that's what Philtre d'Amour means — that makes this seem a very romantic scent to me. The whole idea of courtly love is summed up in this seemingly magical compulsion to take up with other people's spouses brought on by some sudden, irresistible force. Oh, well, that's not so much about perfume is it? Unless, of course, it says something about clever packaging and marketing. And unless perfume really does have something to do with desire, even lust... Another discussion there.
What lies at the attraction of this scent for me, beyond the romantic association, is the curious interplay of light and dark, or in terms of the story of Tristan, of joy and betrayal, of excitement and danger. In the scent it's the citrus notes and jasmine against patchouli and myrtle. Other reviewers have seen these darker notes as a "masculine" feature, and I think this might be true as to emotional effect. Though this contrastive balance is found in all perfumes, the sunniest and brightest notes in this one are contrasted against the deep ones with practically no intermediate buffer.
I find this scent appealing for that very feature, stark extremes with no middle ground, very like the plunge of that first moment of love-at-first-sight.
Bergamot, verbena, lemon, neroli, later petitgrain - all the usual suspects of a bright summer scent. Later it takes a slightly floral-green turn thanks to myrtle and jasmine notes - but the citrus core never goes away. A light and discrete patchouli is added in the base without changing the overall impression. High-quality ingredients that are well blended give good silage and projection; and, unusual for this type of fragrance, the longevity is a good five hours. Bring on summer! A classic.
Vintage Philtre D'Amour opened with a strong verbena and lemon notes and a faint bergamot note. I'm here to tell you the opening would burn the fuzz right off your cheeks it was that zingy! 20 minutes in I could smell the pettigrain, neroli and a faint green note of myrtle. I didn't get the Jasmine note at all. I think the citrus accord damaged my nostrils!
30 Minutes in, I am still getting the citrus accord, but the base note of patchouli is starting to come on strong and mixing nicely with the citrus accord! The sillage is still very good. However, my nose is starting to burn somewhat because of the repeated smelling of the strong citrus notes.
About an hour and a half, the citrus accord has died down somewhat, but the patchouli dry down is still going strong. The sillage has dropped off though, but the longevity is still there.
After three hours the sillage has dropped to next to nothing and the longevity is still there, but it is a skin scent by now.
I love Eau De Guerlain, but it doesn't pack the punch as vintage Philtre D' Amour and I would choose it as a spring/summer citrus/lemon scent over EDG. It also would make a nice unisex fragrance. I would highly recommend this Guerlain to anyone!
20th March, 2013 (last edited: 20th August, 2014)
Guerlain Philtre d'Amour seems like a modern classic. It`s one that shows how Guerlain master the chypre family wisdomly. Philtre d`Amour is an exercise of balance between the citrus aromas and the chypre base. The interaction of both produces a fresh, crispy aroma surrounded by mossy notes that seems to shine on a soft light. The flowers of the heart are not always evident, but sometimes you get a dose of green, citric and white flowers. I`ll miss a lot this one once my edt finishes. Have tried both edt and edp, and i think that they're very similar.
Philtre d'Amour is a fragrance that I have tried off and on for a while. I have only smelled the EDP. Had I not been told that it was being discontinued, I may not have bothered purchasing a bottle. It had always struck me as a bit on the feminine side of the "unisex" category. Having purchased a bottle and therefore having had the chance to give this perfume several full wearings I must admit that it has captivated me. I would classify Philtre d'Amour as a Citrus/Floral. I have heard some people describe this fragrance as a chyphre, but I do not get any sense of the chyphre accord whatsoever. It is truly a brilliantly executed citrus/floral fragrance that is rather unique. I do understand the comparisons to Eau du Soir, however Philtre d'Amour has none of the ambery qualities in the dry-down of Eau du Soir. They are definitely related, but different.
The top note of Philtre d'Amour is a very generous and opulent lemon/lemon-verbena. The floral mid-notes peak out through the top giving the impression of lemon blossoms. The jasmine, neroli, petitgrain make for a delightful green floral middle with a few aldehydic notes which give this perfume much roundness, presence, and moderate projection. The bottom part of the middle note brings us a lovely myrtle tone which bridges the fragrance into a very transparent patchouli/white musk base which never seems to completely let go of the citrus or the florals. The citrus lasts a very long time, which is quite a virtuosic feat. I suppose I understand why this is classified as a citrus fragrance, but it contains such a lovely floral component, so don't expect a typical eau de cologne type experience.