Insolence is nothing but violet to my nose. It lacks complexity, and originality. Everyone recognizes it from meters away. Sillage is exceptional.
First time I tried this, I got it sprayed on my wrist right before a flight to Doha and, those 30 hours or so, with stops included, all I was thinking of was the GOOD SHOWER I was going to have when I landed to finally scrub that candy flowers off my being self. Crazy sillage. Violent opening. Bad experience.
Now, this spring -south hemisphere here- I got sick of wearing the same four fragrances I do around this time of the year (Miss Dior, Light Blue, Acqua di Gioia and J'adore) and wanted something... new. Out of those comfort-zone notes. That´s when the lady at the Guerlain counter approached with this pinkish juice I could almost recall I had a bad first encounter with.
Do not ask me why, but I absolutely LOVED the opening and could not stop sniffing my wrist for the next hours. Besides, I could catch a whif every now and then while shopping and deciding on the fragrance and another one -the latest Chance flanker. I eventually bought it. And Im loving it. New fave.
The top notes consist of a somewhat nonspecific berry fruit mix, poured into a mixer and left standing for a while. There is a whiff of bergamot present at times, as a whiffs of peach. An overlying thin layer of aldehydes adds a fresh impression.
Later on, heading towards the heart notes, a touch of styrax combines with a medium-bright fairly light tuberose impression, with a gentle iris confirming to switch from being fruit-dominated towards floral heart notes; later strengthened by a violet tinge.
Then a very restrained and slightly creamy vanilla heralds the arrival of the base note phase. Through all its developement there is all was a well-behaved sweetness present, which is never strong, never intrusive and never cloying.
I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and an impressive eleven hours of longevity on my skin.
This is unusual spring creation, at times a bit generic, it develops over time into a subtle but very agreeable composition that is delicate and times and overall well balanced, albeit a bit lacking in intensity at times. The excellent performance lifts into the positive realm - if just by the skin of its teeth. 3/5.
I'm pretty new to the niche/collector fragrance world, but the house of Guerlain and I go way back. I've always assumed that anything Guerlain released after the 1970s was non-canonical and therefore to be avoided. Then I read The Guide (over and over), and Luca Turin's breathless description of Insolence sold me. I found a ridiculous deal on Amazon, and I jumped on it, buying it blind.
The first time I smelled Insolence I sprayed way too much. It smelled like Aqua Net, nasty red frozen "cocktails," and a thick cloud of incense, all amped up with migraine-inducing aldehydes. I thought, if this perfume tells a story, it's a night at a Eurotrash disco--complete with hangover. It was even worse on skin. The sillage was nuclear. My husband complained from two rooms over, and the cat ran away. I finally took a shower and scrubbed off a layer of skin. I felt like an idiot and swore never to buy blind again, and I cursed Luca Turin and his four stars to the high heavens. Major buyer's remorse set in.
I eventually did go back, because had to make sure it was THAT BAD. This time I cautiously sprinkled it on my skin, and voila! A true-blue, ineffably Guerlain scent wafted up from my arms, swirling with candied violet and raspberry over soft peach and apricot florals, with vanilla and spice underneath. Incense balanced out those fruity notes beautifully. The secret is definitely in judicious application.
This whole composition just sings. Individual notes seem to drift into the air. This effect allows Insolence to span fruit, floral, gourmand and oriental categories without--unlike, say, Angel--settling down into a single one. This also makes it amazingly wearable. There's no sense of flatness, just a sparkling net.
I'm so glad I revisited this: it packs serious bang for the buck. I'm also happy Insolence is misunderstood. A certain kind of fragrance snobbery ensures low prices for forseeable future.
Crazy sillage. Amazing longevity, Revisit if you're a hater,
If I had to sum it up in two words, they would be "candied violet."
Its relationship, and homage, to both prior Guerlain classics, L'Heure Bleue and Apres l'Ondee, is at once apparent. It's chameleon-like, as its iris and unspecified fruit notes weave in and out of the basic violet center.
I don't find it screechy or sweet, as do other Basenoters. It falls in with the other two, making a delightful trio. This, however, is more modern and sleeker than the sleepy earlier duo, a nod to a new age, while honoring one past.
It's quite affordable and looks terribly modern in its bottle design. I rather like it. Turin rightly gave it four stars, but did not nail the description, calling it a "floral oriental."
Recommended for all lovers of violet.