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.
Genre: Floral Oriental
Comments on Insolence emphasize its aggressively fruity top notes and its resemblance to L’Heure Bleue, and both observations are accurate so far as they go. Yet it would be wrong to characterize Insolence as a more synthetic L’Heure Bleue with berries on top. It actually succeeds on it’s own merits as a stylish, distinctive, and a meaningful modern extension of the Guerlain line for women. The overall structure of insolence leaves no doubt that the reference to L’Heure Bleue, Vol de Nuit and, to a lesser extent, Apres l’Ondee, is a deliberate gesture on the part of parfumeur Maurice Roucel. The anise and vanilla are present in abundance, yet their more aggressively spicy setting and their harder edges mark Insolence as a thoroughly modern composition.
I’ve read complaints that Insolence is overly sweet, but I do not find it so. To my nose the sweet fruit and vanilla are well balanced by the prickly spices and woods that overlay the scent’s heart accord. Insolence is un-apologetically loud, with conspicuous sillage, so for me enjoying it requires a light hand in application. Used with appropriate temperance, Insolence is a very gratifying perfume.
A big old flowery, peachy explosion structured around the merging of violets with aldehydic fruit notes. It’s a huge, thick scent that feels surprisingly dated given its 2006 release date. There are a lot of berries upfront, but they don’t feel too jammy or even real—more like a culmination of food flavoring with a heavy dose of artificial sweeteners added. The sweetness lacks body and comes off a tad waxy, yet the whole composition is dense—which sort of contradicts the sweeter aspects and makes for a bit of a destabilizing wear. The fruits are too aldehydic—too dry and fake smelling, and it feels like it should have been far more diaphanous than it actually is. Consequently, rather than evoking the impression of, say, a fruit orchard—or even a bowl of fresh berries—I get more of an image of ‘70s hair salon in which the scent of loud, screechy berry shampoos are passed back and forth amidst the noise of hair dryers, running water, and loud chatter. This scent is cacophonous in more ways than one, and after thirty minutes, I wanted it off my skin.
Maurice Roucel's work is some of the most refreshing in modern perfumery. His best perfumes, like Missoni and Broadway Nite, share an inimitable sense of humor and trashy happiness that makes you wonder why more brands haven't joined the party. Insolence edp is my favorite composition by Roucel thus far. Its brilliance is its ability to be at once terrifically trashy and perfectly constructed, like a faultless drag queen. The L'Heure Bleue-like center of orange flower, violet, and heliotrope is flanked by a huge tobacco-tinged tuberose and a delicious capsicum note, adding up to an essay in perfect counterpoint. Beautiful, distinctive, and memorable, Insolence will always be an embarrassing treasure.
Although a Guerlain lover this is not one of my favourites as can be a little cloying
after a while.
Definitely winter / evening Perfume I have Eau de Perfume