Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Après L'ondée by Guerlain

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
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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
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
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
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
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 Show all reviews
United States
(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
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)
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
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
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Show all reviews
United Kingdom
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
There is something uncanny about this breathtaking masterpiece. Uncanny (Unheimlich) in the Freudian sense: familiar but foreign; paradoxical; seductively troubling.

What I find most disarming about Après l’Ondée, is its balance of sweetness and solemnity. The name signals a degree of separation between the fragrance and the rain. But for me the distance feels spatial rather than temporal, like watching the rain from the warmth of a sumptuous room. Subtle lemon and more prominent heliotrope keep it joyful. A gentle dose of violet and and the predominant cool, iris root add a sense of longing and nostalgia. Vetiver and benzoin balance bitter and sweet. The overall composition is rich but lilting, grounded but uplifting, distant but welcoming. Like a pastel painting displayed on a stone gray wall.

I mourn the parfum version which is no longer produced, but I am confident its ghost haunts the exquisite EDT.

High quality, long-lasting, and remarkably different from the Guerlains built on a vanilla base.
25 Feb.2010
25th February, 2010 (last edited: 20th September, 2011)
BayKAT Show all reviews
United States
I know this has been in production since 1906, which is probably the reason for all the 'classic' and 'timeless' comments. But for fun, run through hte latest commercial offerings featuring iris and violet, and then come back to this one. It's the equivalent of saying that Clint Eastwood is a good actor, although his performances are a bit of an 'old fashion classic'.

Clint is still making people's day. So is Apres l'ondee.

Iris and violet are my top two favorite notes and I've tried many, many scents with this combo. This is the only one I bought. Love it.
17th February, 2010
This is a very light, beautiful and transparent fragrance. It opens with a gentle anise among bright citrus and soft florals which opens up to heart notes of heliotrope and violet melding seamlessly into a base of orris, gentle tonka, and light musk. This is not a skin scent per se, but the projection is minimal. The longevity is typical of an EDT (moderate). Apres l'Ondee is one of the most beautiful and redolent perfumes in history: the sweet, soft fragrance of a garden in the morning after a night's rainfall.
09th February, 2010
I love Apres l'Ondee. There's something almost innocent about it. It's a light airy floral, but being a Guerlain there's also a hint of something darker going on. I generally don't get fanciful descrptions of perfumes, but I actually understand the summer and rain thing here. It really does feel like the quiet dampness after a thunderstom in summertime. Wonderful...
26th January, 2010
A lady-friend of mine smelled it on me and bought herself a bottle. She loved it. Unfortunatelly after getting a few "smells old" comments from family and coworkers she stopped wearing it. Frankly, when you are 40 and single you really don't want to hear any associations with the word OLD, so I understand her reaction entirely. Not a first date scent either I guess. LOL

It's rather old fashioned. Most people won't get the "vintage" thing. Wear it for yourself and forget the "mortals" around you.

Some men can really pull it off.
Better on dandies than on "old"spinsters! : )


30th December, 2009
Luca Turin has said this perfume is 'exquisite' and also Apres L'Ondee has been described as an impressionist painting. It's like an olfactory watercolour ,fresh ,vivid but it leaves much to the imagination. Sweet violets and anise - these may seem to be the old fashioned elements to it but I prefer to say classic and timeless. Familiar ,comforting and yet rare.
The scent is not powdery on my skin in any way, just lightly sweet, enchanting and haunting . The parfum has been discontinued which is heartbreaking but EDT seems to last for a couple of hours before I need to spritz again.
I get nice wafts for some time even though the EDT is not as tenacious as we all would like it to be. Things of beauty are often fleeting ,elusive and perhaps this is part of the scent's charm and beauty . Frankly I don't mind spritzing again- I will take every opportunity to do so !
Related to L'Heure Bleue , it is softer and very enigmatic. I thought I could use this forever but I can't, it makes me sad at times and it's too beautiful ...if that makes any sense.
22nd November, 2009
bokaba Show all reviews
United States
This is one of the nicest early Guerlain exhibiting a light citric opening, a floral heart, and Guerlainade base of vanilla and musk. This is a perfect assemblage of a rainy spring day or whatever the name means.
21st November, 2009
This is my summer scent (the EDT) which is getting harder and harder to find. Top note of violet on me, drying down to a blend of violet and iris. Lasts about 6-8 hours, and there is nothing "calamine" about this scent. Beautiful! Refined...

After reading some of these reviews, I am convinced it is all up to individual chemistry.
14th November, 2009 (last edited: 13th May, 2012)
Iris and violet, with a light element of earthy spice. I'll trust the universal consensus that this is anise, but it smells a little more complex than that to my nose, as well as having a slight tinge of something animalic. For a violet perfume, this is very warm and earthy, only becoming more so as it develops, and the warm, vanillic base emerges. There is a touch of wet, floral drama in the top notes, but the melancholy evades me here, and I find Apres L'Ondee to be a comfort-blanket type of soft violet.

This review is for the now-discontinued parfum, which, despite being a parfum, has mild sillage and short longevity on my skin. It's probably my favorite Guerlain though, despite its ephemeral nature.
22nd October, 2009