Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Après L'ondée by Guerlain

Total Reviews: 84
When I first tried a sample of Après l'Ondée, about 10 years ago, I thought it was one of the most beautiful perfumes I'd ever smelled. I didn't get around to buying a bottle until about four years ago, though, at which point I had that strange sensation that sometimes happens when perfume memory and reality don't quite mesh. Especially since I'd been spending a lot of time with L' Heure Bleu—I found them to be redundant to each other, if that's the right way to put it.

And, as it turns out, it's not just my nose making that assessment. As Guerlain admits on it's own site: "Guerlain creations each have their own story and sometimes strong similarities. This is the case of Après l'Ondée and L'Heure Bleue, two countryside fragrances inspired by the beauty of a moment and a photograph of nature. Created six years earlier, Après l'Ondée has a more watercolour and pastel aspect than L'Heure Bleue."

That's it exactly.

Thankfully, the distinctions do become apparent enough to justify having both bottles, if only to note how skillfully Jacques Guerlain could push a certain theme. Whereas L'Heure Bleu becomes increasingly heavy on my skin, woody and sharp, with medicinal, pencil-shaving notes joining the florals, Après l'Ondée becomes softer and yet more spicy—a duet between iris and carnation.

And ALO always wears like a cologne, never a perfume (it's hard to believe, in fact, that it ever came in an extrait version). If it's a really hot day, and if I spray enough of it, it will waft up and out for a good three to four hours at least. But in the cold, it stays very very close to the skin and disappears entirely after a few hours.

I have sniffed hundreds of perfumes since I was first bowled over by ALO, and at times I'm nostalgic for that naiveté—that gut reaction to something, ignorant of history and experience. Regardless, this will likely always remain in my collection, if for no other reason than it's so pretty and wearable, so youthful and goodhearted, in a way that many Guerlains are not.
06th May, 2018 (last edited: 07th May, 2018)
This is an odd fragrance. I rarely give feminine frags negative or neutrals. Most are safe. This is a chemical smell. The iris and orris combine with the violet to cancel out most of the floral smell, and cause it to be chemical. Looking at the original date, I bet it smelled much differently when it wasn't altered by government control.
15th September, 2017
A solid, multi-layered powdery scent. I've got sweet creamy violet, lower-pitch orris, an oily/muddy/spicy heliotrope, and some subtle mimosa tone.

All of which is accompanied by high-pitched, chilly medicinal disinfectant notes, close to galbanum but not quite so. Styrax maybe? I honestly wonder why they put such note there.

Since I don't know any french, I don't get the rain/water/moisture suggested by the name. It's fairly dry to me. If I stretch a bit, perhaps that medicinal note is mean to represent the soil after rain?
29th August, 2017
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Stardate 20170731:

Old school floral. Has been copied and is so ubiquitous that it smells cheap. A shame.

31st July, 2017
Apres L'ondee is a nice enough scent. There is a note combination I cannot identify that seems a bit odd, to my nose. Perhaps it is the cassia and orris root. What ever it is, It doesn't work, on my skin. After this dries down, it is pleasant and wearable. I had read so much praise about this one I had to at least try it. I am glad I had a sample given to me. This Guerlain offering, is just not for me.
14th July, 2017
I like iris (iris root, orris root), which is one of two main components I get from Apres L'Ondee. The other is a sharp, astringent smell, like a skin-drying soap. It works for me.

Instead of a post-rain smell, I get a post-cleaning smell, and a persistent image of perfectly clean ivory white dishes, still warm in the drying rack.
28th June, 2017 (last edited: 30th June, 2017)
I never have, and probably never will, have the privelage of experiencing the vintage extract - which leaves me in a completely open position to admire the beauty of the "eunuch" on offer today. Apres L'Ondee in it's current form can and should be viewed as the most beguiling of the Guerlain "Eau De Colognes" (Imperial, Coq, Cedrat). Like the aforementioned Eaux, there is simply NO longevity - after an hour any scent is barely perceptible - yet the brief time one does have with L'Ondee is spent in joyful sadness. It is a Cat Power record in a bottle - fragile, beautiful, fleeting.
19th February, 2017
It remains to be seen whether we go into the dark or the light in our final breaths. Either way, I should hope that in my final moments the attending nurse leans in close and whispers "Have a wonderful trip..." and as my eyes close, I'll drift into the unknown with a smile on my face, remembering her beautiful, kind eyes and how she smelled like violets after the rain.
08th October, 2016
Much has been said about Après L'Ondée and its aura of melancholy etc. I wanted to discover it, too, and have been trying it several times, but I'm afraid, all I get is a nice, sweet, gently and somewhat boring scent, and that's it. No rain, no fresh dew... Maybe it's an issue of skin chemistry. As for its kinship with L'Heure bleue, it has nothing of HB's personality, complexity and unmistakeable charm, so ALO has clearly to surrender.
11th May, 2016
After reading about Apres L'Ondee, I was eager to try it because I am familiar with other Guerlain parfums, and I felt certain I would love it. There is a rumour circulating that it will soon no longer be available in the U.S., and there is another rumour that Guerlain intends to stop making it altogether, so before either one of these possible eventualities became realities, I ordered the eau de toilette on-line from an Amazon seller. This review primarily concerns the current EDT, but I do discuss the vintage parfum at the end to some extent.

The Apres L'Ondee EDT indeed smells very fresh and bright. I found it to be almost loud upon first application of it to my skin, but it quickly dried down to a softer scent. I would describe it as a green scent, but it is not green in the way that Diorissimo is green, for example. It smells of soft, vaguely sweet grasses and cut flower stems, not the blossoms so much but the green stems. I do smell flowers, but they seem more distant than the grasses and green stems. I do indeed pick up on a wetness to it as well. After it was on my skin for a couple of hours, I could definitely detect a very light, sweet, vanilla or honey note to it. It is quite charming in the dry down.

I do not particularly like the top notes, but I have only worn it a few times, and my opinion may change later, so send me a private message to ask if you are interested. I like the dry down which is soft, vaguely sweet but not sugary sweet at all, grassy, and slightly wet. Apres is a very demure scent, and as other reviewers have noted, it it not very long lasting. I had perhaps two to three hours of it before it was gone. I intend to apply some scent-free lotion before I apply the Apres next time to see if the lotion will help it to linger longer on my skin.

The EDT has moderate to strong projection upon first application, but it quietens down pretty quickly. Sillage is also moderate upon first application, but it, too, quietens down quickly. My biggest criticism is the current EDT's lack of longevity, but this is a criticism I have of virtually all eau de toilettes, and it is the reason why I buy eau de parfum if it is available. Unfortunately, Apres L'Ondee in either eau de parfum or in extrait is no longer made, so if you want to try it, you will either have to purchase the current EDT or find a vintage bottle or decanted sample.

I have been able to sample a vintage Apres L'Ondee in pure parfum formulation, and it is much different from the current EDT. As expected, the vintage parfum has a deeper, creamier smell to it. It is also a bit sweeter but still not candy sweet. It has that wet, grassy sweetness about it. It wears very, very close to the skin, even closer than the EDT and its presence, too, was quite fleeting on my skin. I feel privileged to have been able to sample the long since discontinued parfum, though.

My overall impression of Apres L'Ondee is favourable. After trying it, I do not think anyone exaggerated in describing Apres L'Ondee as an utterly beautiful, iconic parfum, a classic creation. It is unlike any other scent I have ever tried. Do I recommend you buy a bottle of the current EDT? Yes, it is worth sampling and keeping in your collection as a reference point as well as an historical artefact should Guerlain stop making it. Do I recommend you buy a vintage EDT, EDP, or pure parfum? Yes, a vintage is very worthy of the cost, and I think if you like this type of scent, then you will really like the vintage Apres L'Ondee.

Fragrance: 10/10
Projection: 3/10
Sillage: 3/10
Longevity: 3/10
17th April, 2016
I give this glorious fragrance 5 stars, even though it's low on projection and longevity, compared to other Guerlain scents; yet in another way, it performs exactly as a fragrance inspired by fresh showers should. There is something silvery and iridescent about it, with a here-one-minute-gone-the-next quality: when I hold my nose to my wrist only moments after spraying, sometimes I can't smell Apres L'ondee at all - yet it coalesces gently around me as I sit with my hands in my lap. It seems to be primarily a skin scent, which (as another reviewer observed) might actually have been the idea, since rain purifies the air at the same time that it elicits soft scents from beds of iris and violet. I can't even imagine how heavenly the original extrait must have smelled.
19th March, 2016
Ethereal beauty...

<i>Après L'Ondée</i> by <i>Jacques Guerlain</i> is, like all of his work, soemthing which has no specific time or place. It just is what it is. I think it's amazing that we can still smell and experience something made from over a century ago, it's like looking through a window into the past...

For me, this perfume is about Iris (Orris Root) and powdery violets... along with a selection of delicately balanced florals. Like a bouquet of flowers that only stays fresh for a few days, before wilting and shrinking out of existence. I also get the heliotrope and anise, which were hallmarks of his later masterpiece <i>L'Heure Bleue</i>.

I think, many of these older perfumes by <i>Guerlain</i> provoke an emotional response. It's not just something nice to put on and go about your day. This one, along with stuff like <i>Jicky</i>, <i>L'Heure Bleue</i>, <i>Mitsouko</i> and the legendary <i>Shalimar</i> all create different emotions in the wearer. In short, they are all perfumes that make you <b>think</b>. That is why they are around long after the people who created them have died. Like paintings hanging in galleries. Except these are things you can smell and touch. It's fascinating... and <i>Après L'Ondée</i> is no exception.

Sometimes, the most beautiful things in life are often fleeting and temporary. <i>Après L'Ondée</i> is one of those experiences. It's one perfume which everyone should experience at least once. You may be surprised by how simple and delicately beautiful this one is. Even if it's not for you, I don't think you'll have smelled anything like this being made today. It is a lovely one though. Do try it.
03rd January, 2016
Beautiful! Lasts about two hours on my skin, but am more than happy to spray again. This is quite a surprise to me; have read just about every review ever written about it and was expecting a floral that I would probably mostly appreciate for the history of it. Not so. This doesn't smell musty or dated in the least. Nor, to my nose, is it even primarily a floral. This smells like candied violets and cherry pie, like a sweeter L'heure Bleue....and so for me it's just what I love, a gourmandish treat. Guess my skin mostly picks up the violets, heliotrope, some musk?, and vanilla. I love it. It's fresh, clean, sweet and spicy...I guess it's the carnation, but I get a lot of clove and cinnamon.
Delicious from start to finish. And not faint at all while it's there. A good, strong scent, albeit fleeting. Though not as fleeting as several eau de parfums I own. Excellent blind buy. A huge love.
31st October, 2015
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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
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
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
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
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
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!

09th August, 2014
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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