Perfume Directory

Cologne du 68 (2006)
by Guerlain


Cologne du 68 information

Year of Launch2006
GenderShared / Unisex
Average Rating
(based on 64 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerSophie Labbé
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

Reviews of Cologne du 68

Though we shall defer
To "complicated cologne"
Luca's description

As ultimate truth
There are ways to make that truth
More complicated.

Even agreeing
That it could bear a name like
L'Instant Le Cologne

We find it useful
To complicate the matter
In numerous ways.

Saying all the things
That make haiku not so great
But perhaps to pause

And enjoy bits of
Oddly wrong embellishment
In the wright places

Delighting in some
Tall tales instead of lattes
Shaggy dog stories

Though perhaps in French
And involving a stroll on
Le Champs-Élysées

For what good is life
Without wasting some bits on
Happy liberties?

Letting DNA
Do it's complicated thing
Smelling up the place

And though you need not
Ask what dear Guerlain is four
I said anyway.

Oh, complications!
What would sniff be without them?
I don't want to know!

For though 'tis nobler
Something, something and something

We'll take all of those
Sixty-something notables
Crammed into cologne

And call it all good
Definitely Guerlainish
Just a bit girlish

But not quite enough
To get thy ass thrown out of
Better biker bar.

See? Complications.
We swear we can't live with 'em.
Can't live without 'em.
68 /end
09th August, 2018
This had a nice moment in the opening, and I thought I might like it. Then it went through a phase of reminding me of the Aqua Allegorias, with a mass-market synthetic feel. Then tonka came to the fore, making it nicer, but more plain and uninteresting than exciting.
27th June, 2018
Long-range cologne which covers a fair field of impressions, but a cologne nevertheless – so expect freshness and vibrancy but not great note differentiation or projection.
The arc of Cologne du 68 sweeps from the expected citruses through a lovely green section which includes herbal elements but also scents one can only call vegetal, smelling faintly of the earth, mushrooms but also of crushed twigs and leaves, that verge onto delicate summery floral elements like airy linden. Dotted through the perception of this scent is the traditional cool blue cologne note of lavender, discreet flecks of spices, light touches of pepper, and the sweet breath of anise. And there’s also the Guerlain vanilla, evident to my nose from first spray, but which then seems to all but vanish, doing its work in the background. And what of the battery of resins? For me they extend some of the herbal notes, effecting a gentle drying out if you will. The only fault – and it’s a minor one – is a creeping up of sweeter musky elements in the latter stages. But as they don’t obscure the other players, it’s forgivable.
A cologne that proudly says more is more, while remaining bright and sparkling.

28th July, 2017
Throw everything in the kitchen sink and see how it smells! Sort of curious template for a fragrance, given Guerlain’s reputation for being a leader in quality and original fragrances. It could’ve been a disaster but if you think there’s 68 distinct notes/oils (synth or otherwise) in here, I’ve got some land on the New Orleans floodplain to sell you. It could’ve been a disaster but it’s rather nice. Opening is a mélange of green stems/leaves, citrus, pink pepper and violet notes. Then the battle starts – which note will dominate before the Guerlainade shows up. Yes, you heard that right, Guerlainade! At times, it smells like they mixed in LIDGph & Heritage (Anise/citrus & Pink Pepper) but 68 never equals either. The Guerlainade is lighter and weaker than both aforementioned. Further, Praline dominates the Guerlainade instead of Vanilla. But it works on some level - mainly as a lighter unisex Guerlain that is perfect for spring/summer wearing.

27th September, 2016
Very few people talk about Cologne du 68, and I think I know why. For one, it’s not as widely distributed as the other “summer” Guerlains like the Eau de Cologne series, and when it was first launched, it was sold in large jugs of 480mls, then in 250ml flagons, and finally in a limited series run of 100ml bottles – all of them overpriced for an eau de cologne concentration. The sales assistants also clearly didn’t know how to sell this to customers – I don’t blame them – and there were reports of SAs telling customers to buy now “because when it’s gone, it’s really gone.”

Funnily enough, almost a decade later, Cologne du 68 is still around. Now sold only in the 100ml bottles, it costs a more reasonable €60-€80 a bottle, compared to the €150+ it was selling for eight years ago. And it has very little to do with the almost identically named Le Parfum du 68, which was released in 2013 (sometimes I think that the Guerlain SA’s go home at night, put their kids to bed, and, gnashing their teeth, open to page 507 of the Guerlain manual in an attempt to keep things straight in their heads).

But also, part of the reason people don’t talk about Cologne du 68 that much is because it is so difficult to classify. It’s an eau de cologne, but is far more complex than the simple stuff like the 4711 you keep in your fridge to cool down with. With 68 different notes vying for your attention, the best anyone can do is point to the few notes they do pick up, and of course, this means that some people perceive it as mostly vanilla, and others as crisp and herbal. Overall note impressions and the “feel” of a perfume, as conveyed by others, is a very useful barometer for how you think a fragrance will smell. But in this case, it’s pretty useless because we are all picking up something different.

So, trust me when I say that, although I can’t describe it precisely, Cologne du 68 is really gorgeous and everyone should give it a try. I see it as the traditional Guerlain triad of aromatics (herbs, citrus), vanilla, and resins/gums – the Guerlinade, in short – exploded and decorated upon until you have these different layers floating off and then colliding together again, as if anchored at the ankle by a central axis of Guerlain DNA.

The first layer is a fantastic collection of green, juicy citrus notes such as bergamot, mandarin, orange, clementines, and petigrain, interspersed with a very stemmy, green note, like crushed basil leaves mixed with violet leaf. It is bright, but not sour or dry. Then the flavor I pick out most strongly is from the aromatics group, when a wistful “blue” waft of lavender and anise moves in. In fact, insofar as I could use a word, any word, to pinpoint what direction Cologne du 68 travels in, I would use the word “anisic”.

But it’s worth noting that these layers are not experienced consecutively, the way I am describing them – rather, they occur in waves that overlap and merge with each other. So, when I am filling my lungs with the juicy, green, superbly tart opening, already my nose is aware of a creamy floral vanilla swishing in and around the citrus and aromatics. I can pick up a smooth, buttery magnolia, with its hint of cream and citrus, as well as sweet pink roses and a fluffy, almond-like heliotrope, all submerged in that Guerlain vanilla. I can see why people think it’s a lot like the L’Instant series previously released by Guerlain – it features that bright citrus/aromatic topnote and lavender heart of L’Instant Pour Homme, and that vanilla-sodden magnolia of L’Instant for Women. (Cologne du 68 is more complex, though).

Further on into the wear, and the Guerlain gums and resins poke up through the creamy floralcy and herbal “blue” tint, most strongly the sticky, vanillic, somewhat cinnamon-dusted resinoid of benzoin, which gives the vanilla a dry, dusty feel. Myrrh is also present, adding to the anisic feel of the blend. It is softly smoky, but also, I have to say, quite incredibly sweet.

There is a praline-like effect here that reminds me very much of both Myrrhe Ardente by Annick Goutal (which is, however, far sticker and denser than Cologne du 68) and Shalimar Parfum Initial, where there is a syrupy, densely sweet praline note to sweeten the iris and patchouli. In Cologne du 68, the praline note reacts with the dusty benzoin and vanilla to produce a similarly throat-catching, overly sweet-sharp effect. Whatever it is that causes this effect, it makes Cologne du 68 kind of hard work to wear and enjoy in the drydown – at least for me. Each time I wear it, the drydown brings to mind a clump of hard, golden benzoin and myrrh resins crystallizing on my skin.

But the first half of Cologne du 68 is a pure delight. It is complicated, yes, perhaps overly so – and has definitely been badly marketed by Guerlain, but anyone who isn’t particularly interested in the traditional summer eau de cologne format should put this on their sample list. It’s one of those perfumes, like 34 Boulevard St. Germain, that people always say are too complex for their own good, but actually turn out to be such pleasant things to wear that you find them creeping up into your everyday rotation despite your own (critical) misgivings.
01st September, 2016
While deeply, intimately familiar with the women's Guerlains, I am less so with the men's.

And perhaps partly for that reason, if compelled at gunpoint to guess if this were a Guerlain or a Goutal, I would have bet my life that it were a Goutal and now be dead! I have not smelled Les Nuits D'Hadrien in a while, but that's what this reminds me of, Goutal's singular take on citrus in Hadrien or Eau du Sud layered over some vanilla and amber and noticeable immortelle, not Guerlinade. It does have a particular silky smooth character that only Guerlain manages to get, so maybe Goutal as calibrated by Guerlain.

Lovely and versatile, though on me it doesn't read as 68 notes complex.
24th August, 2016

Add your review of Cologne du 68

You need to be logged in to add a review

Shop for Cologne du 68 products online

Search for on eBay

Oops! Unable to talk to eBay. Let us know if this problem persists

Member images of Cologne du 68

There are no member images of Cologne du 68 yet. Why not be the first?

You need to log in or register to upload images

Private Notes

You need to be logged in (or register here) to use Private Notes.