Ho hum. I kind of feel with this one that Guerlain has cynically tapped into two of the most shame-inducing secrets of the female psyche, which are as follows:
1. Women love chocolate. We love it so much that when offered the choice between a bar of chocolate and a book, or an hour of fabulous sex, about half of us will choose the chocolate. And the other half will have the sex while guiltily thinking about the chocolate. Naturally, this is a shameful thing to admit to, and if you look at the extraordinarily glowing reviews of this scent over at Fragrantica, you will see a clear vein of desire mixed with shame when talking about Gourmand Coquin. Everyone is all "Oh I know I shouldn't want this, but I do...." and "I smell delicious and I want to lick myself but I know this is not a deep scent but oh my God have I mentioned that I want to LICK MYSELF" and so on and so forth. People are saving for years to buy this fragrance they love it so much. Don't believe me? Go over to Fragrantica and read the reviews. They are both hilarious and sad.
2. Women want men to find them delicious. I mean, yes, we believe in equal pay and we want the right to control the fate of our own reproductive systems, but really, what chance do we women have when, according to all the surveys, men like women who smell like they have been dipped in sugar, rolled in vanilla, rubbed down with marshmallow fluff, and dusted with cacao etc? Somewhere along the way women (well, some women, I should say) have bought into this depressing belief about what men are attracted to and have decided that their ultimate pulling strategy is to sit in crowded bar wearing something vanilla-ish and hope that some cute guy will like it enough to want to take a bite out of their delectable shoulder, or something. Not all women, of course, and not all men, of course. But enough of them. Enough of them to make this scent possible. This is for people in their twenties who want to be cute for the opposite sex and who are scared to death to smell like anything that suggests they might be adults, complete with adult smells and adult genitalia, and not some weird type of sexless girl children whose highest level of ambition is for someone, some cute guy to say, "Gee, you smell delicious".....
Oh the scent itself is fine. It's nice actually. It's the intent behind the making of it that annoys me - I am so far beyond the mating rituals of my youth that I can look back with incredulous pity at the hoops some young women feel they have to jump through to attract the opposite sex. Or maybe I'm wrong, maybe everyone is using this as an appetite suppressant, since it is a very realistic, tasty chocolate smell after all. But for me, that's what it is - a nice smell rather than a completely realized perfume.
It opens up with a Guerlain cherry enrobed in a thin shell of dark chocolate and syrupy maraschino liquor, smelling exactly like those cherry liquor chocolates you get in the grocery store. It transitions into a smooth creamy vanilla, with liberal dustings of powdery cacao and rose petals. The scent is round, sweet, creamy, very Guerlain in a way but quite undeserving of the grand heritage of a house that still produces something like Mitsouko and Jicky on spec after all these years. It also is a bit dull, not in the sense that it is boring (although it is pretty boring) but in the sense that it is like a round object polished off to smooth down any rough edges, but dull and without any light refracting off the object's surface at all. This scent desperately needs a rough, spiky edge to act as counterpart to all that smooth, sweet, boozy roundness. But there is nothing in the base that provides that contrasting ballast, and without it, the scent ends up feeling like you have been eating dessert all day, which is nice at first but then you start to actually miss your greens or your carrots, or whatever. This kind of smells like Palmer's Cocoa Butter lotion, actually, which is hilarious considering the price of Gourmand Coquin.
I am voting neutral on this, because it is well done in the rich, Guerlain style, and if sugary smooth gourmands are your thing, you will probably go crazy for this. For me, well, as you may have guessed, it's not my kind of thing. If I want chocolate this badly, then I will eat a bar of chocolate (yes, the whole thing if I want) and if I want a man to find me so delicious that he wants to take a bite out of me, well, let's just say that I have my own methods, thank you very much, and none of them cost almost $300....
28th May, 2014 (last edited: 06th June, 2014)
Prettiest gourmand ever! One in a million, creamy chocolate waffles in a very rich way, this is absolutely a masterpiece for gourmand lovers.
I m no fan of sweet gourmand scents, but this one is nice, its very similar to cuir beluga vanilla , in the dry down, the opening is very much chocolate-coconut-rum note, that reminded me of summer tanning creams, it has nice projection and longevity and smells creamy sweet,reminds me of tom ford brand, sweet , natural, and likable and better creation then Cuir Beluga
11th November, 2012 (last edited: 26th March, 2013)
I see that LVMH is trying to do a mixed strategy with Guerlain`s brand. The inumerous launches and lines try to cover different clients desires, classical, cheap, expensive, modern, vintage. The Elixir Charnel line for me is like an attempt to conquer the younger market with a more literal gourmand approach. This is not your classical gourmand from guerlain, but it`s not bad either. It`s a sirupy, boozy, vanilla creation, where the sweet notes dominate it entirely from the beginning until the end. There are some spicy aspects and a green rose hidden on this vanilla pudding, like an attempt to give the younger client what they wish but at the same time trying to familiarize him with more complex notes. Is it the best from Guerlain? Not really, but it`s far from being trashy too. I have an impression that this would make more success if the price was more affordable, but then i suspect that the intention is to offer a more complex and exclusive option to the younger which 250 dollars is not so much for a fragrance...
Nothing bad about this - it's a musky fragrances with underlying cocoa and vanilla notes. Unfortunately Parfumerie Generale has already done a much better version of the same idea with Musc Maori, at half the price. A beautiful, exclusive bottle - but nothing special that commands such a price. The other two 'les elixirs' are much, much better.