Perfume Reviews

Reviews of L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

Total Reviews: 150
Heavy powdery drydown similar to Creed Royal English Leather and Bal a Versailles. It overpowers and wears me rather than the other way round.
07th July, 2018
I've been wearing samples of L'Heure Bleue edp from various years, and really enjoying it. I get a strong association with nag champa incense sticks, which is the note giving the fragrance so much heft, power, and longevity. It's a note that starts out almost too strong in a way that makes it wonderfully transporting and memorable, and as it develops, it becomes softer, friendlier, and more irresistible.
17th March, 2018
How gorgeous! The bergamot in the opening made me think of Shalimar, but then it went similar to another Guerlain that I love, French Kiss. I get a lot of amber and then almond, which are not listed here. Tonka and vanilla are well present as well.
28th December, 2017
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I read so many rave reviews for this one so when I tried it, I was shocked that it smelled like cheap bathroom air freshener or maybe even urinal cake to me. It's very old fashioned and quaint, but I do not want to smell like it.
19th October, 2017
Everything has already been said about this amazing classic, but I'll chime in to say that this is the only stereotypically 'feminine' perfume that I love. I am an outlier when it comes to scent and gravitate more toward the musky, resinous, and animalic end of things rather than the floral or the sweet. And I definitely do not do 'clean and fresh.' L'Heure Blue, however, makes me nearly swoon with pleasure. I think it is the medicinal and balsamic aspects of this Guerlain that bring me such joy. I have never tried any of the modern versions of this scent, but the vintage extrait contains a depth and almost leathery texture that I adore. This combined with the indolic nature of some of the florals gives me that sort of 'vintage skank' that I crave and continue to endlessly seek out. Between the medicinal top and the musky base notes, this is one 'womanly' scent that I will always have in my collection.
11th September, 2017 (last edited: 22nd September, 2017)
A beautiful powdery floral, I'm not sure about the sensuousness, I find it comforting and safe. That probably says more about me than the perfume.
It's beautiful and complex, I'm often unable to discern the separate components entirely. I work with people and appreciate it's 'closeness' rather than rampant sillage.
24th August, 2017
What a lovely scent. As a fan/owner of Jicky and other Guerlain offerings {masculine/feminine/shared}, L'heure Bleue EdP was on my wishlist. The powdery florals remind me of Caswell-Massey Jockey Club, reputed to be JFK's favored scent and one of my favorite fragrances.
L'heure didn't reveal its vanilla and iris on me until much later, but close to the skin it is quite delicious.
This was a blind buy and I would like to thank all of you BN reviewers of L'heure Bleue, as your input and opinions helped make this purchase an easy decision.
P.S. this is my first review on BN!
18th July, 2017 (last edited: 19th July, 2017)
Once upon a time I was in love with anything Guerlain released, that I could test or buy. However, my tastes have changed over the decades.

L'Heure Bleu is better, than I remember! I was hesitant to purchase this again. I am glad I did. True romance in a bottle! A perfect, deep floral. Right up my alley. It is classy, well-orchestrated, and charming. If this has been reformulated, I don't care. I enjoy it the way it is now.
30th May, 2017
Zowiee Show all reviews
United States
A sublime work of art, a timeless concerto, a treasure worth finding. Elegance through simplicity in the notes. Thank you J. G.
06th May, 2017
This is an incredible female fragrance. It wouldn't have worked with Bergamot as a top note, but the Neroli works perfectly. The soft floral heard notes don't get too powdery. I am beginning to realize that I LOVE "carnation" accord in a women's perfume.
10th September, 2016 (last edited: 12th September, 2016)
L’Heure Bleue is for me a perfume of such grand and structured richness, it astonishes me every time. An abundance of warm, silky floral notes, spices, powder, balsams and a glorious sandalwood that sings right from the start and just keeps going. All perfectly massaged into a harmonious creation like some incredible pastry that requires intense labour and skill to get just right and create that hallelujah moment on the tongue.
It has numerous markers that date it (for it is now over a hundred years old): floral notes of clove-tinged carnation and sweet violet, with an anise and heliotrope back-up, that were much more common in perfumes of yesteryear; an unabashed powderiness coupled with an unctuousness that is rare in modern creations in which the legacy of ‘fresh’ and ‘clean’ is still too prominent; a daring amount of spice and resins. And yet from such serious elements arises something that shimmers like a mirage, gleaming, enticing, yet always just receding a step when you think you have understood it.
I tried L’Heure Bleue at perfume counters, always walking away thinking, ‘This is a bit too much for me.’ This happened about half a dozen times. And then suddenly, one day, its radiance was revealed and then there was no going back. It’s a fugue of a perfume, complex but with each note in the right place.
Much is made of its sensuousness, but it resists the temptation to swooning, full-blown excess (such as, say, the roseate oblivion of Nahema) and also appeals to an intellectual appreciation in its fine calibration. And then there’s that amazing sandalwood – still on song, no matter how long your day.
(Review is for EDP, current formulation.)
05th August, 2016
I wanted to try some of the classic Guerlain parfums, including Mitsouko, Apres L'ondee, and L'Heure Bleue. L'Heure Bleue is the first one I tried, and I am very happy with it. I can see why this is considered a classic. It smells heavenly!! (I have fallen totally in love with it. : )

L'Heure Bleue is soft, fresh, clean, feminine, and yes, powdery, too. It has a fresh, fairly intense floral base. (It is often described as an "oriental" or "semi-oriental." I would not describe it as either.) Initially, it has a moderate++ sillage, and after two or three hours, it wears fairly close to the skin, at least on me. It smells like the kind of parfum one wears to "dress up" for a special evening, so its name is very apropos. I like it enough to know that it will be a staple on my parfum tray for all the years to come. It does not smell like any other parfum I own.

Many young ladies these days do not like anything that smells powdery. They prefer parfum that smells candy sweet. L'Heure is not that kind of parfum. If you do NOT like a fairly strong powdery note to your parfum, then this is not the scent for you. However, if you do like or do not mind a powdery, make-up-E scent, then I think you will like L'Heure Bleue.

L'Heure Bleue makes me think of ladies in long gloves, long evening gowns, with sparkling jewels. Very elegant and feminine to be sure. It is alluring but not overtly "sexual," if that makes sense. If you want to at least try some of the classics, then this one is definitely one to try. You might even fall in love with it as I did. : )

Fragrance: 10/10
Projection: 9/10
Sillage: 9/10
Longevity: 7/10
17th April, 2016
The Blue Room BY Suzanne Valadon 1919
15th April, 2016 (last edited: 24th February, 2017)
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Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
Time can tear down a building or destroy a woman's face
Hours are like diamonds, don't let them waste

The twilight pastry with its marzipan, marshmallow accord, the powdery caress of a beautiful woman, a sun-warmed garden cooling in the evening..... This wonderful gourmand fragrance has it all and more. L'Heure bleue has a shimmering beauty to it, sensual and feminine and very, very French. Like the blue hour of its name, there is a transitory, evanescent quality about this—this moment, too, shall pass—and the melancholy note that is so famous in this scent is one of regret; regret that the dreams of the night time will vanish by dawn. Time waits for no one but the very fact that this fragrance is over 100 years old is amazing.

28th December, 2015
A truly affecting "sensual" experience for me: i wear this one only when the mood strikes. I ignore that is supposedly a ladies' fragrance. I never believed in defining sexes in perfumes. The perfect perfume is merely individual and many have agreed that defining a fragrance by sex is just all linked to marketing issues and nothing else really! That being said, i never felt uncomfortable wearing this! At the contrary on me, it smells soft, powdery and slightly melancholic if anything! It's funny, how much potent of a vanilla it is, and yet i never think of it when i sniff it or wear it!! It's a little classic masterpiece that i'd recommend to all artists and people with character and moods. And, you must love heavily powdery notes, because this, along with Apres l'Ondes another extremely powdery one, is a cyphre as Guerlain can get, and, i believe that's saying something, right there.
30th September, 2015 (last edited: 02nd October, 2015)
I'm lucky, I guess, because this smelled drop-dead gorgeous to me the first second I smelled it, and then got even more amazing as time went on. I didn't have to learn to appreciate it, or overcome anything to fall deeply in love with it. It doesn't smell old or dated or dusty or melancholic to me. Just the opposite, in fact. No matter my mood before applying, as soon as I put it on I feel happy, serene and hopeful. Very Zen. I find the EDP overwhelmingly beautiful with the golden and round top notes merging later into my very favorite example of the Guerlinade base. This is gourmand on me, except for the carnation, and even that could be mistaken for cloves.
My vintage extrait is lovely, too, but darker and deeper. This is the best fragrance I have ever had the good fortune to experience. Even better than my much-adored Shalimar, and that is saying something. I do find this and Mitsouko ( also in my top five favorites)to be the beginning and ending of an era. LHB more innocent, unaware of the horrors to come. And Mitsouko a survivor of the War, but one who has seen it all, no innocence left.
L'Heure Bleue envelops me in the happy innocence of little pleasures, eating a pastry, smelling the heady scent of flowers in the twilight....eyes wide open and without fear. That is how I try to live my life, and that is how I love to smell. Once again, thank you, Guerlain. You have provided the olfactory soundtrack to my life.

24th June, 2015
Wearable work of art.In your first year of marriage, you make your transition from simple girl to cute lady,you make up your hear,dress up and walk with style and grace but something is missing for your style complementary until you buy a bottle of L'HEURE BLEUE by GUERLAIN and also another bottles until you make your transition from cute lady to dignified queen. Romantic,Nostalgic,Ladylike,Classy,Sumptuous, Powdery, Luxurious and Very Guerlain.

L'HEURE BLEUE is a true blending of art and fragrance with notes that includes neroli,anise,bergamot in the top notes,carnation,heliotrope and gentle rose in the heart.It is over so smooth finish on sandalwood,sweet vanilla,a little vetiver and the caressing tonalities of benzoin and musk,affirm its womanly character beyond a shadow of a doubt.let it do the talking for you:It will be QUEENLY.

L'HEURE BLEUE has a significant amount of sentimental qualities to it.Both the EDP and EDT are great.It is perfect for Autumn/Winter Evenings.I really do recommend this one as a perfect gift for that special lady in your life.Most of perfume lovers are familiar with it but if you haven't tried this lovely GUERLAIN,please do so.You will be wonderfully surprised at how special it makes you feel.


Longevity?Remarkable on my skin just like another GUERLAIN perfumes.

13th June, 2015
This is just a masterpiece that I can't believe it has been made more than 100 years ago!
It says for women but I'm telling you. you guys out there. if you love "Dior Homme" and it's extremely elegant and classy powdery aura this will knock your socks off! something that happened for me after testing this! this can be unisex for sure!

After spraying this on your skin and just from the first sniff you can tell that this is a classic fragrance. but does it smell dated too? hell no!
The opening just makes me smile and smile.
At the beginning I can smell lots of thing.
It's powdery even at first sniff, it's green, mossy, kind of fresh, slightly sweet, soft floral, soft spicy, musky,...
The powdery feeling of iris is right in front and there is a dark green and mossy feeling beside it and mellow spices, some sweetness and some other floral notes (definitely are in the background) just add more characters to this triumph.

As times passes and in the mid I can smell almost the same smell but now musk gets stronger and I feel some sort of dirty and kind of leathery scent which is quite enjoyable.

In the base most of the notes settle down and even some of them disappear and only think that I can smell is a soft semi sweet and creamy vanilla plus a little bit of powdery iris and some spices in the background.
Loved the opening and mid. but base is OK and definitely not as great as those two parts.
Projection is average and longevity is above average and something between 4-5 hours on my skin.
I bet they watered down new ones a lot because it seems older bottles have great projection and longevity but new ones are just average to above average.
A fantastic formal scent for both genders.
12th May, 2015
OH, L'Heure Bleue! Scattered dreams that reach the sky... How could I describe the "blue miracle"? How could I evoke its beauty? L'Heure bleue was not mine, but I was truly his. He made me kneel through its beauty, embraced my soul, kissed it and gave it back to me stigmatized with his memory. Oh, how I love this perfume!

The perfume seems rather melancholic, but it is such a sweet melacholy! I got lost in its bittersweet depht.

I feel like I do not even know how to describe such perfect blended, refined notes. Iris, heliotrope, carnation and tuberose live in symbiosis, they would die one without the other and all that would remain behind would be a trail of smoke...

Resins and vanilla join and make the fragrance's composition more rounder, also adding more mistery. Towards the end I feel pretty good sandalwood among other notes that I can individualize. The composition is too homogenic, the notes blend gently, telling different stories. Rose feels very vague ... it's more of a shadow, a memory.

I would wear L'Heure Bleue on my wedding day. It's melancholic, but it's for brides who, just for a moment, close their eyes and let it leak a tear for the sake of things left behind by the time that has elapsed.
06th May, 2015
L'Heure Bleue is a total sensory experience for me. Yes, I am a man and yes, I wear LHB. I love it's many layers; a very complicated scent. On me it wears very close to the skin and I can reapply as much as I choose without it announcing it's gorgeous scent to the entire room I am in. Very close to the skin on me and when I change my T shirt I can smell it wafting up to my nose from my chest. LHB is very evocative for me and like other favorites; I wear it for myself. It does not project too much on me and there is minimal sillage so it is a very personal experience for me. The opening is sharp with the neroli and orange blossom and then I get the white florals and heliotrope mixed with carnation which is like a bit of clove. The iris note gives the scent a powdery feel. The drydown is a cherry-vanilla almond marzipan confection that stays around very close to the skin. A lovely example of the Guerlinade. The scent is not for everyone, there is an old-fashioned dustiness to it reminiscent of flowers pressed in the pages of a book. This scent has lived and prospered through the ages as a master's creation. The scent has many facets and one needs to give it time to develop from a rather sharp opening. I wear the EDP version and will continue to when my current bottle runs out. A true work of art and a timeless classic.
19th March, 2015 (last edited: 26th June, 2016)
Finally sampling this I see where countless others stole their basis. We see here the classic body of a Shalimar/ Emeraude type fragrance with an ephemeral top of violet and (superbly done) aniseed, and in retrospect I see ripoffs in spades in other scents I've tried.
There exists no lack of reviews for this product so describing its evolution doesn't seem too useful. However, when I applied just a few drops of the EDT and, moments later, sniffed my arm I had to stop everything I was doing.

It's no point of pride saying I don't yet know the difference of vintages of l'Heure Bleue but I have wanted to try it for years and it did not disappoint. There are only a handful of scents for which I have felt honest reverence, and this is one - a real testament to the art we all enjoy.
17th March, 2015
EdT version, here.

This starts out with a expanse of heliotrope that's flanked by powdery peach-like chords strung up over a balmy vanilla base. It’s politely proportioned for heliotrope—a note that can smother you without batting an eye. Here, it’s attenuated by dabs of saffron and violet with any remaining space filled in by docile resins. Like most Guerlain perfumes, the sum of the parts is more perceptible than the parts themselves, and when approached in this manner, L’Heure Bleue assumes an abstract powdered cleanliness akin to Helmut Lang’s EdP only less modern. In a short time, the scent becomes more of a vague aura than a perceptible presence. And while it’s easy to wear and difficult to dislike, it doesn’t have a whole lot to say—it just sort of sits there waiting for someone to notice it. It certainly is cushiony and inviting just like an overstuffed pillow, but there’s a good chance that, like the pillow, it’ll put you to sleep.
28th December, 2014
A thing of beauty... is a joy forever.

L'Heure Bleue is really a perfume unlike any other. You sometimes have to ask yourself if a perfume is still being made over a century after it was first launched then it really must be quite something, in order to still be able to captivate hearts & minds.

The story is that the master perfumer Jacques Guerlain was one day walking along the banks of the river Seine in Paris during the "blue hour", the very last hour of daylight before evening sets it. In film & photography, this is known as "magic hour", when dusk is approaching twilight, and it is arguably the most beautiful time of day. He was overcome by emotion at that point and felt something so strong that he could only express it in a perfume, and so created L'Heure Bleue, or the blue hour.

This perfume is significant for many reasons... and it's symbolism runs deep. It was created in 1912, the year in which the Titanic sank (at that time the world's biggest ship). It was also released two years before the First World War, which would claim the lives of millions across Europe and elsewhere, and which would leave an entire generation devastated. To some, this perfume represents the last breath of an old world, a world which would later disappear and vanish forever.

The perfume itself follows a very elegant, masterful blend of gentle, sweet, evocative, refined powdery notes (most of which are so well blended that it's hard to pick out). It's very much like an impressionist painting, the painting itself is made up of a host of tiny dots with the paintbrush but which comes together to blend into a masterpiece of art and expression. To me it is a waxy, subdued, sweet, rich, slightly-gourmandish oriental floral perfume. The notes which stand out are iris, heliotrope and carnation, mixed with a deep, almost gourmand oriental vanilla (a typical hallmark of Guerlain). The iris provides the soft, powdery "waxy" note, whilst the strong heliotrope mixed with the vanilla gives a feeling of soft yet ever present sweetness in an almond desert kind of way. The carnation is a dusty floral feel in the background which contributes to this old and otherworldly feel.

For me L'Heure Bleue is a very special kind of perfume. In fact it's less of a perfume and more like an "experience". I have the Eau de Toilette, and I find it very easy to wear. There is nothing shocking about it, it just smells very different to anything you will find today. I really cannot explain the smell more than that, but the last thing I would say is that even if you never own this, at some point you should try it. If you have any serious interest in the appreciation of what perfume is, as a creation, then you should try this. If only to "experience" what it is all about. It doesn't smell modern, for sure, although it's still totally wearable in my opinion. Like some other complex perfumes, you may also need to have a lot of experience with smelling different types of fragrances, in order to really understand this. Try it, and you'll see what I mean. Incredible!
21st December, 2014
One of the most unique scents in the entire panoply of perfumes, this gem from 1912 is a light and refreshing take on the almond pastry note, brought to later fruition in Caron's 1947 version, Farnesiana.

LHB shares heliotrope and vanilla with Farnesiana, although the latter uses a central note of heavenly mimosa. They also share notes of musk, bergamot, jasmine, anise, neroli, carnation and iris. No wonder they closely resemble each other.

Turin rightly gives LHB five stars and dubs it "dessert air," describing it as "neroli, flanked by carnation and woody violets" and notes its "praline effect."

Barbara Herman praises it as being "sweet, spicy and soft with a warm base hinting of leather" and its "confectionary sweetness."

Roja Dove deems it Guerlain's greatest achievement.

Top notes: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Coriander, Lemon, Neroli, Tarragon, Anise
Heart notes: Carnation, Jasmine, Orchid, Ylang, Rose, Iris, Heliotrope
Base notes: Benzoin, Cedar, Musk, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Vetiver

It is a lovely scent for late summer afternoons, to splash on before going out for cocktails or tea. Most effective in the early autumn afternoons as the warm sun begins to dip below the horizon. Just as the romantic Parisian world slipped from view on the eve of WWI, never to be seen again, only inhaled.
08th October, 2014
Genre: Floral Oriental

The olfactory equivalent of a sigh. Powdery, floral, moderately indolic, and unabashedly "perfumey," L'Heure Bleue is an archetypical classic women's fragrance. The white flowers here are spiked with a bittersweet, somewhat sharp, and (yes,) nocturnal flourish that seems to evoke a melancholic reverie in some wearers.

Unfortunately, for all its transporting beauty and emotional power, L'Heure Bleue seems not to have aged well. Whenever I smell it I'm left feeling that it's somehow stuck in its own time, and not all that relevant to modern life. It is a scent that I admire, but do not enjoy.
19th June, 2014
I used to wear this many years ago (back in the 80's). i liked it then. However, something changed in me or it because I can't wear it anymore. I find it too sweet for me now.
24th May, 2014
L'Heure Bleue is a victim of my unrealistically high expectations. I pored over all the reviews I could get my hands on, fell hook, line, and sinker for the poetic descriptions, and stupidly bought into a vision of the scent as romantic, nostalgic, tragic, and ultra-feminine. I spent a great deal of money and time in tracking down the current EDP version. I went over the review in the Guide, again and again. Without ever having tried the scent, I somehow "knew" that this was the one, and that my soul would cry out in relieved recognition when I put it on.

What a load of buzzcocks. This is quite bad. I have tried it again and again, each time hoping for a different result, for the storm clouds to part and reveal the beauty and mystery of which everyone speaks. It never happens. The scent goes on with a thick, cloying violet-blue smell of marzipan, violets, and cloves, which many have described to be pastry-like - but I disagree with that definition. With pastry, even if you don't have a sweet tooth, you can at least appreciate the myriad of textures and sensations in your mouth/nose, for example, the crisp yielding of the pastry shell as you bite into it, the cool and creamy custard inside, the chewy nubbiness of rum-soaked raisins, the pleasing spikiness of aromatics used, like anise or cinnamon or clove, and the dustiness of the powdered sugar on top.

So, let me be clear - the opening two hours of L'Heure Bleue has none of the contrasting textures of a pastry. Rather, the sensation is like a big wall of blue-purple-violet fudge coming at you - all dense, thick, and relentless smooth and play-dough like in texture. Like fudge, after the first gooey bite you start to wish for something to break up the monotonous drone of sweetness and thickness: it never comes. The scent is overwhelmingly of almond paste, violets, and cloves/carnations - all notes that are very loud and overbearing in isolation in perfumes, and here you have all three of those bully boys in one go.

I will confess that it gets less obnoxious as it goes on. The sweetness banks down quite a bit. But all I am left with is a blue velvet sweetness on my skin, still devoid of any variation, development, or contrasting tones. It lasts an awful long time, and for me, quite unbearably so. L'Heure Bleue is a painting of a Madonna and Child, done thickly in bright, sticky, unctuous oil paints, with daubs of blue and violet and purple slathered on, one on top of another, and seems as childishly simple like all the paintings before Caravaggio - devoid of the light-and-shade contrasts (chiaroscuro) that he discovered and used to such great effect. L'Heure Bleue, as much as I would love to love it, has none of the chiaroscuro that is required to give depth and perspective. What's true in art is also true for perfume.

You may all flay me alive now....

12th May, 2014
L'Heure Bleue is one permanent side of my own perfume Venn Diagram, and most any scent I end up falling for will share something significant with it - perhaps a resolved-yet-odd juxtaposition of notes; austerity; powdery softness; the absence of all tartness; candied violets; a cool/warm duality.

It wasn't always like this. Though long a Guerlain fan, I will admit that I prefer the reformulated EDP! I understand that this may be a travesty, yet the older version was just slightly too ugly-beauty for me to fully embrace often. I find the newer version still smells entirely like L'Heure Bleue, yet there's more air in the room. I don't mean that it's weaker, or its longevity bad, just that its presence is gentler and more welcoming, more Japanese meditation incense than curious medicine now.

I think others have remarked that it's Guerlain's most Eastern scent, despite not having been marketed like that, and I agree. I have a Japanese iron teapot that I use every day, have done for the past 20 years. L'Heure Bleue has the same kind of enduring, quiet, soulful beauty as that teapot, very wabi-sabi.

11th May, 2014
This is one of the very few "classics" I still do not get to appreciate much. A soapy, beautiful, classic chypre stuffed with great powdery iris, a medicinal cloves/eugenol side, and... that vanillin/almond/marzipan feel I really can not stand. I suspect it's from fava tonka and vanillin but I am not sure as it's more complex and more cloying. It is just too much for me. I feel the similarities with Mitsouko, which instead is far more aerial, multifaceted, uncomparably more beautiful. I admit I have a "problem" with this kind of almondy/sweet aromas, and I am perhaps over-sensitive about them, so sometimes I feel "too much of it" when there's perhaps just a close hint of them... but still, I feel a ton of this sticky, thick and cloying accord from the very beginning. And I just can not help - I can not stand it. For me this accord just ruins this blend so bad, it makes it suffocating and smell "wrong" in a way I can not explain better. A sort of old-smelling, half gourmand, half medicinal feel. I don't know how to situate it exactly – I just know I feel this palpable prominent accord I do not like, despite all the efforts I make to focus on other aspects (which are great, indeed) of this scent. Luckily there's Mitsouko and Jicky!

28th April, 2014
This is more of a story than a review, but about 5 years ago, when I first discovered Basenotes, I was confused that Guerlain, a company I'd never heard of at the malls where I'd shopped, seemed to be considered the most important house in perfumery. This led me to the San Francisco Guerlain boutique where, with newbie enthusiasm, I walked in and said "I collect scents and I've read that you're the best - Can you show me what the big deal is about Guerlain?" Lucky for me, I had chanced upon Josie, the legendary SF Guerlain rep at the time, who took me at my word and expounded the joys of Guerlain. I walked out with a bottle of Cologne du 68 and little samples of pretty much everything I'd liked.

She also made me a little decant of L'Heure Bleue extrait, and said "I know you didn't really like this one, but you will eventually. When you're ready, you'll understand that this is the best perfume here for you." Realizing that I had possibly just met a true perfume Jedi, I set about trying to love L'Heure Bleue.

For years, I found it powdery and confusing, kind of like dough - bready but inedible. Eventually, I smelled the chemical methyl ionone (the doughy suede smell) and part of L'Heure Bleue fell into place. Feeling a little more grounded, I started to appreciate it, especially the way the ionones mixed with vanilla and iris and all sorts of greens and ambers to form possibly the best expression of the legendary Guerlinade base.

Then, just recently, I smelled it again and it was like fireworks went off. For the first time, I smelled the sandalwood. It's everywhere in there, like a shifting river filling in all the impossibly intricate spaces left by everything I'd smelled before. It was like I'd been hearing an opera in another language, appreciating its technical beauty without really understanding it, and then suddenly comprehending all the words and truly connecting with it. Even so, it has mysteries I haven't even realized are there yet - just reading the other reviews before writing this was the first time I'd had my attention called to the carnation.

L'Heure Bleue is one of the reasons I think of perfume as fine art. Even though my focus is usually on the smells themselves, there's a whole world of symbolism and depth in here as well. I'm so glad I took the time to fall in love with L'Heure Bleue, and I suppose my advice is to not write off confusingly complex perfumes that are over your head. Instead, if you have reason to believe they're worth the effort, try to climb up and reach their level...
31st March, 2014