I declined to review this iconic scent immediately after trying it out a couple of times and it was probably a good thing. It took some time for me to eventually appreciate the scent although I can’t say that Vega is for me. I’m no fan of the aldehyde note at all and my past encounters with the note were never positive. The extra time sampling Vega prevented me from jumping to conclusions that the scent was a disappointment and at allowed me to appreciate it for what it is. Applying this to my arm, I was immediately appalled by the intensity of the aldehyde note in the opening. Aside from the dense soapy aldehyde note, the opening was rather bright with a slight floral feel, probably contributed from the additional notes bergamot and orange blossom that were also present. Luckily the aldehyde note that dominated the scent at the opening was short lived and eventually began to tone down. As the aldehyde note weakened, a strong floral presence begins to develop which consists of ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, carnation, and iris. In time the florals are joined by notes of sandalwood, vanilla, and amber which create a smooth floral slightly sweet oriental dry down. For me the drydown has a little bit of a resemblance to Samsara, some other reviewers have found this similarity as well. Longevity and silage were average with this scent. Depending on how much was applied, longevity ranged between 4-6 hours while silage was decent for the first hour before staying closer to the skin. In terms of occasions of wearing Vega, I think it is versatile enough so that it can be worn in different settings (daytime, nighttime, casual, dressed up) however I don’t see any ideal occasion it would work best in. Likely many of the other classic Guerlain scents, Vega has a very dated feel. Vega is elegant, classy and was constructed really well. Overall Vega is a wonderful scent, unfortunately it didn’t appeal to be me as much as I would’ve liked.
Well-made and elegant, this one is just not my style. Possibly the cassia note is the deal-breaker. There is an overall powdery accord (rose and ylang-ylang) that just overwhelms me. This is way too "perfumey" for me. I need something less frilly, more tweedy. Bring back 'Sous les Vent'!
This one opens with sparkling aldehydes, with only a vague hint of the "off" note that l sometimes get from them. They hover over an ethereal, bright & soapy floral accord, mainly ylang-ylang & jasmine, to my nose. There is a fleeting impression of indoles, before it all settles into a soft, creamy, tropical floral with a touch of vanilla. lt puts me in mind of a lighter, more luminous version of Mahora. Where Mahora is loud, proud & (some might say) a little vulgar though, this one is rather more elegant & aloof. As the scent progresses, l get whiffs of something very slightly salty, perhaps ambergris or maybe some moss. l also get something like old-fashioned face cream, & a light musk in the base. Four hours in, it settles very close to the skin, but doesn't fade completely until ten hours have passed.
This is a very beautiful fragrance, but l have to say, l think Mahora is more my style. ;)
Superlative classic floral oriental -a masterpiece
Vega (1936) is a total surprise to me. I had no idea Guerlain made this type of scent - creamy, warm florals over an oriental base (reminds me of Rapael's Replque and Plaisir and of Schiaparelli's Shocking, but smoother and more balanced than any of these classics).
The 13 ingredients: Bergamot, Aldehydes, Jasmine, Neroli, Ylang Ylang, Carnation, Rose, Orris, Sandalwood, Rosewood, Amber, Musk, Vanilla.
After an initial, almost minty blast of bergamot and neroli, the Ylang Ylang nestles to the forefront of this warm melange of floral scents, supported by the sandalwood/rosewood combo and the perfect balance of the three oriental notes (amber,musk, vanilla). I would take this over the more highly touted Shalimar any day, simply because it has more depth, complexity and warmth.
This would be for me an immediate purchase to add to my collection. The problem is the exorbitant price - a bottle [and it's a gorgeous bottle] costs between $299-$399, since it is a limited edition (reformulated in 1997 and 2005).
Too bad - this is a great scent. I just can't afford it.
Pros: Creamy florals over a warm oriental base
Cons: Expense only
I fell hard for the re-issued VEGA when I smelled it at La Maison in Paris and bought it on the spot. I for myself don't see the often quoted similarity to Chanel No. 5 or Arpege either. Much more it is Vega's ylang-ylang predominance on my skin that reminds me of Chanel's Cuir de Russie Parfum or Bois des Iles. The aldehydes here are 'warm' vs. the 'cold' variety of so many Chanel's and Guerlain's own Liu (vintage extrait). Vega is certainly soapy (the aldehydes), but even on a skin that brings the soapiness to the foreground, it pulls back after about half an hour. The initial ylang-ylang 'blast' really leaves a leathery impression on my skin (it's been commented by others). Longevity for Vega is average at best. Sometimes I perceive the faint vanilla-ish smell for a long time and at times Vega seems to disappear before the Guerlinade takes over. Vega is fantastic, very classic and fits the 1930s smoky jazz club image just right...
Even though marketed to women, this scent is actually very unisex to my nose. It opens with a blast of lemon/bergamot mixed with a soapy accord and a mild powder undertone. The bergamot tones down a bit and the powder gains strength throughout Vegas' development. The powdery development is similar to many other Guerlain scents, with the first one immediately coming to mind being L'Instant. I think the powder and soap are a bit too much for me, and really not to my liking. That said, the scent is very wearable, and shows some skill from the nose responsible for it. 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5.
04th November, 2011 (last edited: 26th December, 2012)