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.
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.
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.
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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.
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 I wear it for myself only. It does not project well on me and there is no silage so it is a very personal experience for me. I spray some on after my shower in the morning and then after dinner in the evening with my coffee, I love to sit watching televison with a reapplication just hovering around me briefly. I often put it on before I go to bed for the evening. The opening is sharp with the neroli and orange blossom and then I get the white floral mixed with carnation, iris and the piquancy of clove. The drydown is a warm amber marzipan 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. Wearing LHB makes me feel good and that all is right with my world. It is a quiet, romantic, visceral feeling. 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. I like this scent during the winter when I am indoors and nice and warm. A true work of art and a timeless classic.
19th March, 2015 (last edited: 20th March, 2015)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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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!
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...
Mystical cool -warm Scent
L'Heure Bleue is a fantastic original fragrance even after reformulation.
The vintage L'Heure Bleue was deeper, a little more ambery and animalic , richer and had more nuances, folds and layers to me.
But we live in 2013 and the current offering in extrait and in EDP is still excellent. it is more modern, less nuanced but still is L'Heure Bleue . Especially in the top notes , you cannot mistake this for anything else.
Cool anise, bergamot , neroli ,violet, carnation , orange blossom rose create something cool and medicinal , powdery yet rich , classic and to some ...dated. To me , it is nostalgic and classical . Add Tonka and vanilla plus amber in the dry down and created is a soft, yet emotional and powerful fragrance . I am not sure if there is any oakmoss left in the modern extrait. It is a terribly unique scent . A cool start leading to warmer, loving and gentle end. L'Heure Bleue was constructed with love and inspiration.
I feel the modern version of the extrait shares much of current Vol de Nuit's dry down .
Excellent in Extrait and EDP. I have vintage as well but I actually prefer the modern version now. The vintage hits harder and is much deeper, has oakmoss I am sure ...but the modern stuff is more diffusive , lasts longer on me and I prefer it. The dry down of vintage L'heure Bleue reminds me of the dry down of vintage Mitsouko - . Anyway ....L'heure Bleue today is unmistakenly Guerlain .
Sylvaine Delacourte's favorite Guerlain scent .
Pros: Classic, emotive, beautiful
I bought my EDP yesterday after trying it on my skin several weeks ago. Today I wore it all day and I am in love. This scent takes me back to a simpler time. As a teenager I adored carnation based scents - L'Air du Temps was my favorite but I also loved White Shoulders and later Anais Anais. As an adult I love vanilla based scents. L'Heure Bleue combines these two aspects in one lovely fragrance. If I have a complaint it is that I do not get longevity from this scent. I have reapplied three times today. The upside to this is that I get to experience the slightly spicy opening multiple times :) I think I see an atomizer of LHB in my future!
Update 02/25/14: I was looking for a something else and came across a box of old perfume samples from the early 80's. I started looking through them and the name Guerlain jumped out at me. I slowly turned the bottle and almost dropped it when I realized it said L'Heure Bleue Parfum. My husband thought I hurt myself because I started screaming "Oh my God! Oh my God!" I couldn't open it, my hand was shaking so much. He opened it for me and I put a small amount on the back of my hand. It smells wonderful - the opening isn't as sharp as the current formulation and the dry down is heavenly. I never thought I'd be so fortunate to smell the original perfume.
29th April, 2013 (last edited: 26th February, 2014)
Help me understand. When I spray myself with the wee beastie that is LHB I get the rubber tyre that Bvlgari Black is supposed to exude, or extrude, or whatever diesel on the tracks smells like. After an hour or so I begin to sniff my wrist and wonder what sort of burnouts got me here. It's nice but there is melancholia lurking nearby. Is LHB the 'little match girl' of perfumery? The cold descending, the jaw aching pity of it all, the match striking and burning out, then another, then another. That's what I think of...alongside the Velveteen Rabbit, the saddest, most tearjearking story of them all. I've never owned a bottle.
Unfortunately, many of the Guerlains are no-go's for me simply because carnation doesn't play nicely with my skin chemistry. On me, L'Heure Bleue turns into a flourescent carnation screech within mere minutes. It becomes bright and synthetic, suffocating.
My dog won't stay in the room when I test this one. A discriminating nose, to be sure.
Mitsouko works better for me, as does Apres L'Ondees. Forget Shalimar or L'Heure Bleue.
It took me a while until i got through some notes, after exploring all clove and carnation type of scents i finally realised this is strong clove-carnation composition, that odd sweet smell, that some say is honey comes from that very special note, that's spicy as well and adds that something extra to every composition,something old fashioned ( Tabu) or better say old school perfumery
Here it is mixed with beautiful yet very subtle damascena rose and powdery , dry make up iris note:-) , the same kind of things one can find in modern guerlains( shalimar initial)
I like that powdery iris dry down, and think as well as iris is common note in many Chanels Exclusifs...in Guerlain perfumes its there from an old age, and is more like voluptuous, dense,makeup kind of iris, which i prefer much more to diffusive ,soapy ,radiating iris note.
I am really trying to like this fragrance but if you have to try that hard then its not worth it right? I smell it and I cannot find what all the noise is about. It doesn't really smell bad but doesn't smell like perfume either. I'll give it one more try.....
I've worn it for 57 years as a nighttime winter scent. I keep it in stock...seal broken but capped and let it age for years before I use it. Originally Guerlain advertised this fragrance as coming from Bulgarian Roses and Star Jasmine. Time and again friends buy it then say it doesn't smell the same on them....so I like it even more! Shalimar also deepens with age.
Buttery and mossy neroli, honey and the royal opacity of the eminent iris. This regal fragrance is the silkier and more romantic Mitsouko's cousin. If Mitsouko embodies the mystery, l'Heure Bleue impersonates the romanticism. This fragrance is an historical archetype of discreet and ethereal elegance. The dry down is rosey, corporeal, musky, soapy and powdery. Sublime.
This is the most dramatic of the esteemed trio of early 20th century Guerlain classics, the others being Shalimar and Mitsouko, of course. Shalimar is the darkly beautiful stunner. Mitsouko is the eclectic. L'Heure Bleue is the somewhat moody drama student, who is quite stunning herself, but doesn't intentionally draw attention to her beauty, as there are other things to attend to.
L'Heure opens with a distinct bready/pastry note that reminds me of the slightly yeasty opening of Mitsouko, but in a more dessert-like form, due to the anise and a note reminiscent of almond butter. Plush, somewhat indolic florals create a powdery makeup-like backdrop, and envelop the opening in a light animalic cloak which is a strangely "cool" and medicinal, as opposed to the furry warmth of most animalic scents.
There is a hint of melancholy here, but I do not find that it dominates the scent. Perhaps a sad event has happened, and this is acknowledged by that dusty, wilted, almost decaying note that is more obvious in Mitsouko, but here the message seems to be to keep calm and carry on, and try to enjoy the little things. Have a pastry.
Despite the hint of melancholy, it is a very bright opening overall, and its utterly unique notes are felt well into the heart, as more traditionally florientall powdery notes begin to dominate. Even then, this is a cool, aloof powder, likely due to the relatively strong presence of iris. Never does L'Heure Bleue lose its character. It just seems to relax on the skin: the indoles dampen, the make-up and pastry note becomes a delicious memory.
The overall sense of coolness never leaves entirely, but it feels natural despite the ordinarily warm oriental structure. Instead of being cozily nested by the fire on a winter night, L'Heure Bleue is out wandering in streets, feeling the prick of the cold against her face, but not really noticing, because she is pondering some deep thought.
Unisex. Great longevity and sillage. Exquisite creation.
Interestingly I don't find this perfume to be really depressing and I'm a little surprised at all the people who say that their mood is instantly dragged down by it! Mind you, I have heard that some people believe there is a connection between fragrance and "color season." They say that certain people are "dragged down" by certain colors too. (sky blue actually drains my energy and makes me feel depressed.) So I can imagine that smells can have the same effect. Plus, the sense of smell is also supposed to be the one sense that is mostly closely linked to memories, and therefore triggers memories very easily. All of these things could easily explain why so many people say they are depressed by this perfume.
Interestingly, they say that Queen Elizabeth II wears L'Heure Bleue. Supposedly her personality type is ISFJ. I am also an ISFJ, and I also don't mind this perfume. You may have to have that personality type to really like this. :)
That said, I still kind of think I might prefer Shalimar and/or Mitsouko to this perfume. I like the powdery notes in L'Heure Bleue but when it dries down pretty much all I can smell is a very sweet amber fragrance which I might get tired of after a while. I definitely get fed up with the extreme sweetness of Samsara. Mind you, I think this smells a bit better than Samsara, but I'm still not sure if I would buy a whole bottle of this.
I bought a vintage EDT bottle of L'heure Bleue at a flea market last week. I didn't really expect to want to wear it, but I thought it would look nice in my collection. I was pleasantly surprised by this gorgeous fragrance. Even though the bottle is nearly half a century old and it being an EDT, it is still very potent, and I love its deep, powerful and almost spiritual scent.
It used to be my absolute favourite since I was nineteen, I was fascinated by a miraculous fragrance, its unique personality and the strong sense of the epoque. Nothing could be even compared with it, my first and strongest love. I was spending my bottle drop by drop, years passed, I was growing older and so was the perfume, older but never obsolete. A friend of mine made me a gorgeous gift, bringing a new bottle from the Guerlain store in Paris; I opened it impatiently and tried immediately; now I'm literally in tears - what the hell have they done to a genuine miracle?! This cheap sweetness, where it comes from? What's wrong with their noses? I'm sure mine doesn't lie to me: it's a fraud, it has NOTHING to do with my beloved perfume, it's a street whore stealing the crown and the name. L'heure bleue is dead, R.I.P. I'll never buy one again.
Of course, L'heure bleue is kind of sweet and powdery. A mixture of carnation, iris, tonka, benjoin, tuberose and vanilla with just a hint of anise will do that. Nevertheless, this great Guerlain classic has a lot of class and personality. As much as I hate the "gourmand" perfumes à la Thierry Mugler, I love L'heure bleue with a passion. Obviously, not every one can handle such a rich fragrance but those who can will make some heads turn.
I became interested in LHB because my favorite author, Jean Rhys, was said to love this fragrance. For those who are not familiar with her, she lived in early 1900s Paris and would've known the original formulation.
For me, LHB is the most depressing fragrance I have ever worn and owned. Ever. I am literally instantly depressed when I wear LHB so I avoid it, but still own it because of its historic significance and because Jean Rhys loved it. LHB should come with a depression warning because it really is that bad, "can cause extreme depression in some individuals..." I know a lot of people like it and am glad it works for them, but when I've worn it I am somehow transported to the most depressing place and mood. Some have described LHB as a melancholy fragrance and I find that to be an apt descpription. I have recently discovered Insolence and find this to be an infinitely more wearable granddaughter of LHB.
Describing Vol de Nuit once, I said I can't analyze or dissect the classic Guerlains. This holds true for l'Heure Bleue. I get an anise-like vanilla and orange blossom, but it seems like one of those immensely complex orientals of its era. Beyond my analytical skills. Still, it is my favorite of the classic Guerlains. It's been described as melancholic, moody, shadowy. Maybe this is a distinction without a difference, but for me it's less about affect or emotion than it is about a contemplative state. I tend toward reflection when I wear l'HB.
I find the simple prettiness of l'HB always affecting. This prettiness, sort of beauty on a low flame, burns its way into you. Capital-B Beauty with its drama might infatuate for a moment, a day. But l'HB's attractiveness entices over time. L'HB has no gloss, but looking at its matte finish over time, you come to realize it's your favorite color.
29th July, 2011 (last edited: 22nd August, 2011)