Reviews of Après L'ondée by Guerlain

    Find out more about Après L'ondée by Guerlain in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    rbaker's avatar



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    I tried the perfume first and then the EdT and I like both:

    On my skin the anise and the citrus component form a great and harmonious dyad, which very soon is transformed into a delicious floral drydown with jasmine and a light summery rose in the foreground. Later a very delightful hawthorn emerges, light and happy, like an even lighter and brighter version of Creed's Aubepine Acacia without the wood. In the base a touch of tonka is added, but this scent never develops any sweetness outside that of the natural fragrance of a wet field of lowers après l'ondée - rarely has such an evocative name be more suited to the fragrance it represents.

    Overall this is mainly a wonderfully composed and exquisitely blended floral scent, a whisper of natural elegance and floral beauty, and really nothing more that floral - that is enough for me. It is a fragile and ephemeral fragrance, with soft sillage and poor projection on me, and an overall longevity of three hours on my skin (perfume - an hour less for the EdT). The performance of this natural beauty is more that of an Eau de Cologne needed frequent reapplication; it is ideal where a discrete scent is required like the office.

    A simple, paradigmatic classical floral creation. 4.25/5.

    16th December, 2014

    ClassicFan's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    It begins with a powdery iris and anise with some floral. If the rose is there it’s very much in the background. The violet appears but the sweetness is subdued by the powdery iris note. It’s very understated compared to Bois de Violette and stays close to the skin but blooms out beautifully in the dry down. It’s like Habit Rouge was mated with Green Irish Tweed and all the wood and leather was removed. The sillage is okay and longevity typical of Guerlain. It’s like a powdery violet (GIT style) after the rain and definitely smells old like Habit Rouge or Acqua di Parma because of the iris and possibly the Hawthorn. It's does have the effect of sending you back in time 100 years.

    23rd November, 2014

    kingofengland's avatar



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    I recently compared the Eau de Toilette with the perfume, no longer available due to regulatory restrictions. My nose is not the most sensitive in the business but my impression is that the special dewy freshness has been successfully captured and preserved - possibly even enhanced, in the E de T. There is an excellent review of the reformulation challenge on MonsieurGuerlain by a knowledgeable expert who laments the loss of the richness of the original. However the rather heavy sweet basenote which characterises many perfumes of this era is no great loss it seems to me. The only problem I have is that since learning the fragrance contains anisic aldehyde and realising the implications in terms of a kinship with Faberge's Brut, I cannot help thinking of Brut whenever I now smell Apres l'Ondee.

    24th September, 2014

    Infini's avatar

    Wales Wales

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    I would like to be able to give Apres L'ondee a thumbs up: I love it as it comes out of the bottle, when it smells of beautifully powdery and slightly peppery violets, with quite a hint of L'Heure Bleue. Unfortunately it quickly turns into a very nondescript white floral, with a strange, almost oily note. If only this change didn't take place, Apres L'ondee would be one of my favourite perfumes (Shalimar does similarly odd things on my skin too). I'm afraid I'll have to give Apres L'ondee a neutral

    10th August, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Not much to explain or emphasize about Après L'ondée, but here's my take on this beautiful piece of culture and history. The opening is already pure classic sumptuosity, here declined in a cozier, fresher and more sheer way. Green, botanical and vibrant, neoclassic and sinister, shady but radiant. The notes span from diverse floral nuances (the powderiness of iris, the animalic earthiness of carnation, the romantic juiciness of rose, the "pollen" yellowness of mimosa) to a resinous-almondy accord of tonka, amber and benzoin, to citrus hints, herbs and woods. A manual of gracefulness - describing the notes is not really enough to deliver the beauty of this perfume. Classic, but completely modern, even more than other classic scents, thanks to this cozy, intimate, melancholic but also bright sort of transparency and lightness. Like a sort of "prehistoric" attempt to accomplish a rendition of the concept of sea (as the name suggest), just in a more poetical and romantic way, playing with the colours, the brightness and daintiness of certain notes. Needless to say that every bit of Apres l'ondée exudes also class, sophisticacy, evanescent and graceful sensuality. The longevity is in fact not that long, although the drydown, despite being close to skin, is incredibly beautiful and graceful, perfectly fitting the general mood of closeness and melancholic intimacy. Timeless!

    9/10

    09th August, 2014

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Floral Oriental

    The anise and violet opening of Après l'Ondée is a thing of simple beauty: faintly melancholy, wistful, yet paradoxically bright and transparent. The composition soon turns very powdery, and with that more conventional and "perfumey." This is the stage at which my wife says Aprés l'Ondée smells like her mother, though not in a bad way. The scent never gets too heavy, and a light, clean musk and vanilla show themselves in the delicate drydown.

    The whole olfactory experience vividly evokes another time and place: sophisticated, civilized, and ever so slightly ironic. Perhaps a certain age in Paris, or old Vienna just before its empire fell. I can see how it might not appeal to many modern women, but Après l'Ondée is a monument to classical perfumery.

    08th June, 2014

    Girly Tomboy's avatar



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    I definitely agree with Tinkerbell on this one. I bought a FB blind based on online reviews. No more blind buys! This smells musty, old and stale with absolutely no semblance of freshness or life. I tried layering with other frags and also as bathroom spray. Tucked the bottle away for sale or trade.

    11th May, 2014

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Light floral melange relying on violet, orris and mimosa for depth

    This is a very nice, very light and cool confection created in 1906, that has a great deal more to do with the 19th century tradition of floral perfumes than the burgeoning 20th with its bold statements and blends.

    There are 13 ingredients: bergamot, lemon, carnation, violet, heliotrope, anise, orris root, neroli, mimosa, jasmine, rose, hawthorn and vanilla.

    On me this dries down to a powdery mix of orris, violet and mimosa, perfectly pleasant for the few hours the edt lasts, but not something I would add to my scent collection. It is more of a museum piece - a reminder of the 19th century of light floral perfumes - than a contemporary scent.

    As such, I would recommend sampling it for the experience, but not blind buying a bottle until you are sure it suits you.

    Luca Turin's claim that it is one of the twenty greatest perfumes of all time is vastly exaggerated, to say the least.

    Pros: Light, cool, pleasant throw back to floral perfumes of the early 20th century
    Cons: Lacks strength and longetivity

    30th May, 2013

    tinkerbell's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I bought this Perfume after reading the Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez book
    Perfume The Guide.
    They judged this to be one of the best 20 all time greats of perfume.

    Sadly I have been bitterly disappointed.

    It smells absolutely foul on my skin and even on my clothes !! It reminds me of
    a musty,stale damp room.

    It was the first time I had bought a perfume without smelling it beforehand and
    it will be the last.

    23rd December, 2012

    rorygory's avatar

    United States United States

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    Certain scents are difficult to explain but easily inspire the adjectives "breathtaking" and "heartbreaking." Après L'Ondée is one of these scents. Gaia, the Non-Blonde describes smelling Après L'Ondée in parfum "like entering a dream. It can be familiar, like a memory you can't quite place but you know you've been there, maybe in your subconsciousness."

    Like any other art form, at its finest perfume can convey a distinct idea or emotion. The more complex the idea, the more moving the artwork. Après L'Ondée means "after the rain shower," and between the floral, herbal, earthy, and watery notes, it literally translates as a garden after the rain. Yet there is something more to this scent, that inspires consistently more romantic reviews. At its debut, La Liberté said it had "something of the melancholy of a poet's thoughts." (Monsieur Guerlain). Turin's review is also full of dark metaphors, describing the base accord as a "funeral", but for the fact that "Guerlain suffuses the whole thing with optimistic sunlight by using, as in so many of their classic fragrances, a touch of what a chef would call bouquet de Provence: thyme, rosemary, sage. This discreet hint of earthly pleasures is what makes Après L'Ondée smile through its tears."

    Après L'Ondée does smile through its tears, for the scent of the earth following the rain parallels a feeling of calm after the passing of grief. The sadness behind Après L'Ondée makes the beautiful notes all the more real, precious, and poignent. This scent brings you deep within your own reflections. It is undoubtably one of the greatest perfumes ever made.

    09th May, 2012

    mnaonbn's avatar

    United States United States

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    The opening is harsh and disturbing—like burned plastic-coated violet and ylang, all with a peppermint and rancid ocean water overtone. However, the formula does mellow in a few minutes, but unfortunately, it never loses that nasty burned plastic/vinyl/leather aspect.

    Projection, sillage, and longevity are all decent to good.

    If you like this type of wispy/dry/airy violet, then you might find better options in Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue, Borsari's Violetta di Parma, and Laura Tonatto's Eleonora Duse.

    08th April, 2012

    Tonkabeany's avatar



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    An unaulterated masterpiece in the discontinued parfum form and currently available on EBAY! This never happens, if only I had the money for it.

    10th February, 2012

    Jelliestar's avatar



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    I don't have the perfume vocabulary to describe Apres L'ondee, nor can I think of where to start without sounding pretentious. I'll simply say that, to me, this smells like my mother's herb garden early on Easter morning: damp, chilly, clean and quiet, light and beautiful.

    I'm not a "perfumista." I don't have a wardrobe full of fragrances, and I truthfully don't care for most perfumes I encounter. Every Chanel I've ever smelled reminds me of unwashed skin; most modern fragrances are too sweet for me, or too strong, or too something that gives me a headache.

    All that being said, I have fallen in love with a few Guerlains. I love Herba Fresca. Oddly, I love L'Heure Bleue. I cannot stand Champs Elysees, and the modern Geurlains (Insolence, the other Aqua Allegorias, etc.) fall into the headache camp.

    But Apres L'ondee smells of spring and dew and young flower petals, and my mom and her garden. And home.

    And, oh my God, I love it.

    10th December, 2011

    Minkymaid's avatar

    England England

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    Edt hardly there on me and disappeared in a few minutes- sprayed it into unfragranced body lotion before putting the lotion on and it was still happily doing it's thing after 4 hours. So, good tip from the Guerlain rep there. Unfortunately once I could actually experience it I realised it was not for me. Such a pity, I so wanted to like it.

    23rd October, 2011

    Cyrano's avatar



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    Oh, dear. This had such raves from Turin and Sanchez, as well as everyone here on Basenotes, that I feel like the ugly stepsister when I say that, within minutes of spraying myself with Apres l'Ondee, I was transformed into an elderly woman wearing a chubby and stone martins. Then again, I don't love much of Guerlain (no, not even Vetiver pour Elle), so I guess my reaction to this should come as no surprise.

    On another subject, does anyone else besides me know that -- as it related to the games in ancient Rome -- "thumbs down" meant "let him live"? So it's actually a positive response.

    14th October, 2011

    LadyDragonFire's avatar



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    This isn't bad, but it pretty much just comes out smelling like licorice/anise on me. I'm not really getting the powdery floral notes it's supposed to have. I don't really dislike it, but I definitely prefer Shalimar and Mitsouko. Also, my mom says she doesn't think this perfume smells that great on me. She actually thinks it smells pretty much like the air in a hospital waiting room (air freshener?) So, unfortunately, Apres L'Ondee will probably not end up ever being my signature fragrance.

    11th October, 2011

    sherapop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fresh, clean, flowery and powdery. As ingenuous and natural as can be, APRES L'ONDEE has no hidden, inner, subterranean depths to penetrate, and thus differs rather radically from my concept of classic Guerlain--especially from compositions such as MITSOUKO and L'HEURE BLEUE. Yet this perfume is beautiful, too, in its own way. My distinct impression is that Prada was trying to capture something like this aesthetic in its Infusion series, especially INFUSION D'IRIS edt, the most recent launch, to which violet has been added. The INFUSION trio is also very clean, but it is far more woody and, in the case of INFUSION D'HOMME, soapy as well. There is no soap in APRES L'ONDEE at all. The cleanness of this scent is that of fresh rainwater-washed purple flowers, no more and no less.

    Although APRES L'ONDEE features key notes--violet, iris, heliotrope and anise--in common with a number of other more recent perfumes, here they are presented in an unsweetened state and without other components which tend to muddy the waters somewhat. There is not a single speck of dirt anywhere to be sniffed in APRES L'ONDEE. For that reason, some people may find this perfume simply too simple, more like a nineteenth-century violet soliflore than a masterpiece. However, those who seek out high-quality notes such as are featured in the sometimes simple perfumes of niche lines are bound to appreciate APRES L'ONDEE. In my case, the appeal is overdetermined: I love niche-quality notes, in general, and violet, iris, heliotrope and anise, in particular!

    My understanding is that this perfume has been discontinued, and I'm thinking that maybe that's not such a bad thing, since at least if I manage to acquire a bottle it will not (I presume) have been disastrously reformulated.

    13th September, 2011

    eov8b's avatar

    United States United States

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    (EDT) A wonderful wonderful fragance, sleek and posh, an amazing iris that opens with a sweet and quiet anis (or maybe almond).

    Bears some emblance to Lheure bleue, which to my nose, is stuffier and sweet/greasy to the point of being cloying.

    21st August, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Anybody looking for a light, gentle and heavenly floral fragrance should definitely smell Apres L'Ondée. This "piece of art" from the past century can be considered as one of the greatest, if not the best, creations in its genre. A delicate, almost fragile, composition made of heliotrope, violette and iris that gently touches your skin as a slim and smooth female's hand and sings to your ears a sad but reassuring melody with a faint voice that's almost a whisper. The usual Guerlain's baritone chorus (vanilla / musk / amber) is there to add consistency and depth to this very ethereal melody, but it's drastically muted to leave space to the celestial solo voice.

    Apres L'Omdée is tremendously familiar, comfortable, reliable. Someone says it smells like clean skin, someone else associates it with his / her mother's smell, a beloved aunt, talcum powder, childhood, romance...As a matter of fact Apres L'Ondée is a smell that everybody knows, consciously or unwittingly. Mandatory!

    "Luxury is something pretty and discreet. Luxury must not be something brash".

    16th June, 2011 (Last Edited: 09th March, 2012)

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    There's very little l can add to the poetic descriptions of this fragrance in the other reviews here. l can only agree that it is heartbreakingly beautiful, just like a fleeting glimpse of a butterfly as the sunlight catches its' wings, & then it's gone... lt is everything that's been said here; sweet, innocent, powdery, comforting & yet melancholy. lt is the phantom of L'Heure Bleue's more solid, touchable presence. l love it, but it's lack of longevity saddens me. Something so rare should not have to be sprayed so liberally.

    08th February, 2011

    AlexnAtlanta's avatar

    United States United States

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    Haunting smell of early spring flowers after a a rain. Just as it was intended to smell like. Smells great on a male or female (I'm the fomrer). It's evanescence and fleeting beauty adds to the mystic appeal of this masterpiece. The melancholy that I associate (favorably with L'Heur Bleau) is just not there to my nose. Apres makes one smile. L'Heur B. one of my all time favoritates produces a very different reaction.

    06th February, 2011

    lady love's avatar

    Argentina Argentina

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    (Edt Review)

    This is l'heure violette!!

    Is all about wet and delicate ethereal violets, with that nostalgic feeling which Guerlian re-used for l'heure bleue, but Apres l'Ondee is not as heavy, and doesn't last much. It's funny but the most beautiful things in life doesn't last long either, so I dont feel sorry or disappointed by Apres l'Ondee. Another Outstanding masterpiece from Guerlain.

    26th January, 2011

    adele h's avatar



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    The most modern smelling of the old Guerlains; the vegetal violet opening has aspects of The Unicorn Spell and Iris Silver Mist in it with a slightly minty undertone. Fresh and so aptly named..very soft and close to the skin. The dry down is somewhat powdery and old-fashioned but also incredibly soft- really nicely done!

    26th January, 2011

    castlehamilton's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    Utter perfection! Après L'ondée in its current guise perfectly sums up the period from which it owes its genesis: in light, pastel hues of heady violet, iris and heliotrope fading in impressionistic mediative haze into a powdery rhapsody of lilac hue, white florals and the ever present sweetness of violet, no fragrance more completely sums up the Fin de siècle elegance of the pre-Great War Age.

    It is aristocratically restrained, delicately elegant and unashamedly romantic. But, as with that brief age of elegance, it is utterly fleeting and no sooner has one been submerged in its gentle embrace than its delicate charms have passed. Après L'ondée is truly the butterfly of fragrances: born in a distilled moment of pure perfection with a flash of lilac-hued light and colour, it is gone all too soon.

    It is indeed a great shame that Guerlain were forced to discontinue the EdP version of this truly delightful fragrance though despite its fleeting nature it will always remain a true personal favourite.

    14th January, 2011

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Après L'Ondée settles on the skin like a translucent lilac gauze, imponderably delicate, instantly revived by a warm exhalation that recapitulates the entire fragrance from searing anisic opening, through luminous violets and dewy iris, and resolved again in its almond-sweet heliotropin base. Contrary to popular dismay, the persistence of the eau de toilette formulation is exquisite, with all the determination of a ghost. Despite its spectral presence Après L'Ondée has, like many of the old Guerlains, a savoury, nourishing quality that is very much of this world. Pale but not bloodless, it is like an untethered L'Heure Bleue, released from the burden of those weighty, enigmatic, oriental notes… L'Heure Bleue in a past life, maybe, or having passed through life.

    19th September, 2010

    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    I have worn the EDT several times.

    I think this is the most interesting of the pre-1910 Guerlain’s that has survived (although my favorite in that category is Eau du Coq). Like its name suggests, it conveys the feeling of a damp garden after a rain. Whenever I have been in a damp garden after a rain, I feel introspective. And Apres L’ondée captures both the scent and that introspective feeling quite well. For me it is a metallic-tinged floral top that becomes more powdery with the drydown. Heliotropes, violets and white florals. I think this could be worn by either sex.

    20th June, 2010

    pansylady's avatar

    United States United States

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    This fragrance certainly brings a high level of expectation, with so many rhapsodic reviews... I have just begun to explore it's depths, so these are first impressions:

    I'm initially put off by the sharp top notes- but there's something oddly appealing about the slightly medicinal (calamine lotion) yet somehow warm vanilla/violet mid and basenotes-

    It's funny, but I have picked up this calamine lotion vibe from a few other scents- La Chasse aux Papillons by L'Artisan, Today by Avon, and L'Heure Bleue- I wish I could identify the source...

    19th May, 2010

    David Ruskin's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    It is powdery, it is violet and mimosa and hawthorn; and what is wrong with that? I have no problems with powdery, I love the smell of old make-up bags and empty powder compacts. It has the faded beauty of Venice in the rain. A soft and gentle rain falling on old and still beautiful palazzi. May its memory last forever

    30th April, 2010

    's avatar



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    Apres l'Ondée is one of my all-time favourites.
    My bottle of Apres l'Ondée is about 6 years old- and it is an Eau de toilette spray.
    (Parfum extrait is no longer available)
    To me, this scent is a porte-bonheur, evoking the music of Claude Debussy and impressionist paintings...(1906!).

    The aldehyde C.14 had not yet been invinted in 1906 (it came 2 years later),
    but in 1877 the German chemists Tiemann and Herzfeld had managed the synthesis of the "aldéhyde anisique" using a substance called anethol - and this is what was used to give Apres l'ondée its muted charme. I can't tell if the formula has changed over the years - and if so - how - but the fine balance of the notes, the magic of this composition always makes my heart sing! I am no chemist - let alone a perfumer - and I always feel that unless you don't know 100% what's in a perfume (and would they ever tell us???), there's always much speculation going on about the actual components which I am in no position of taking apart.
    What I can say is that Apres l'ondée is very well rounded - it does not fall into pieces, top-notes are not much different from the scent's heart - it is all a lovely, consistent cloud of sheer beauty. Apres l'ondée is a quiet scent, I feel comfortable wearing it... no fabulous sillage, no monster-longevity... I can reapply the EdT during the day without disturbing others...and enjoy the fragrance again.

    Apres l'Ondée is a perfume which speaks of tranquility, of quiet landscapes, of tenderness, too. It has a meditative touch, it's the epitomy of a finely balanced perfume where every note is 100% necessary, nothing superflous... nothing to be added or to be taken away. Harmony in a bottle. An absolute masterpiece.

    This perfume emerged when Debussy and Ravel composed their impressionist music and creates its own beautiful and romantic orbit. Its softness is a symbol of its cultivated origin, it has an enveloping wave of privacy and it is of such perfection that it brings tears to my eyes. It is a scent gloriuosly different from today's mainstream - and - to me- one of the best Guerlains ever.

    09th March, 2010 (Last Edited: 11th January, 2011)

    Kaern's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    A powdery mimosa and ylang, which has no great sillage. This suits Apres L'Ondee as it is a discreet, gentle and beautiful feminine fragrance.

    04th March, 2010

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