At any given stage, from spray to dry-down, all I get is root-beer. I wasn't sure how I felt about smelling like a soft-drink (albeit, a fresh and bracing one) but I wore this for a day and ended up liking it. It's an interesting scent for very hot and humid weather. Unaffected and youthful. Weirdly refreshing. Something about the sweet/anise/sparkling accord makes this the equivalent of a bay rum in feminine form--another smell incomplete without the added base-note of human sweat.
I won't rush to buy a bottle, but it goes on my "maybe" list, if for no other reason than there's nothing else remotely like it. And when temperatures here again hit the 100's I'll provide the basenote, spritz this sample, and enjoy being the animalic in my own perfume.
As JaimeB mentions (and as others have as well), QVLP recalls Apres L'ondee with it's heliotrope and violet heart and modernizes it. On first wearing one cannot help but notice the large dose of sweetened praline, giving the composition a sweet but slightly nutty aroma. Subtle florals and a hint of citrus seek to balance this sweetness but never quite do, instead filling out the composition and giving it breadth and depth. On drydown a subtle patchouli lurks as the perfume transitions to a classic Guerlinade base.
Released in 2007, QVLP was among the early Wasser-created Guerlains and is very much in the floral-gourmand style that defines his work for Guerlain. In fact it may just be the best example of this style and clearly foreshadows Wasser fragrances like Tonka Imperiale and Mon Precieux Nectar.
QVLP's presentation is worthy of comment: Instead of coming in a bottle, QVLP ("When the rain comes") is offered as part of a sculptural presentation. A large block of crystal, the bottom of which is etched like a tree's leaf, contains a removable (and refillable) 'bubble sprayer' (in which the perfume sits) that rests in the crystal. To the eye the sculpture presents an interpretive "drop of liquid sitting on a leaf" - meshing with the name of the fragrance as well as further connecting itself to Apres L'ondee ("after the showers"). Truly a unique piece of visual art that both accompanies the artistry of the perfume as well as looks fantastic on the shelf among the other Guerlains....
I don't have enough thumbs to put up!
Guerlain’s Quand Vient la Pluie is yet another classic offering from Guerlain which showcases the super-sweet, vanilla-ish “Guerlainade” base to perfection. If you take that base and add black cherries and violets, that is what Quand Vient la Pluie smells like to me. I have to confess that I really don’t like this style of perfume and can’t imagine wearing it, however, for an incredibly sweet perfume, the notes are true and it seems to be of very high quality and well made.
Per The Perfume Court, here are the notes: Top:bergamot, orange blossom and rosemary; Heart: heliotrope, jasmine and violet; Base: patchouli, praline and musks.
I think of early spring flowers mixed with exotic tubers and rhizomes. Something in the middle reminds me of a sasparilla mojito. Effervescent, and worth hunting down. Superb:)
The heliotrope and violet in this definitely recall Après l'Ondée, the centenarian classic from the redoubtable House of Guerlain. It is a somewhat fleeting impression, an allusion to the former masterpiece, a point of departure, if you will, into the modern tribute offering that QVlaP seems to be.
And this does stand up very well on its own, with a base note of sweet praline and musk, ever so slightly powdery. The rosemary in the top is a departure from the original, too. This is an inspired move, bringing a needed touch of green to the neroli note. The heliotrope-violet combination seems to be subtly transformed as well, either by an undeclared note, by the interaction of some of the newer notes, or by the suppression of the blackcurrant note from Al'O. Perhaps it is just that they brought up the heliotrope from the base notes into the heart. The deletion of benzoin from Al'O does reduce the powderiness a bit as well. Eliminating the orris root certainly further reinforces this change away from powder.
Fresh, and perhaps slightly more penetrating that Al'O. QVlaP is at once sexier and shyer. A different consciousness for a different age.
Does this surpass, negate, supersede Al'O? Oh, no... that would be impossible. No one can erase a high-water mark like that! Also, on its own, it isn't really in competition with its inspiration. It just uses some of the same words to say something new. That was then (bow low!); this is now!
Top note: Bergamot, Rosemary, Orange Blossom
Middle note: Heliotrope, Violet, Jasmine
Base note: Patchouli, Praline, Musks