Negative Reviews of L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

    Find out more about L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    comerio28's avatar



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    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.

    24 May, 2014

    ClaireV's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    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....

    12 May, 2014

    scentreview's avatar



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    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.

    01st April, 2013

    testa_maura's avatar



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    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.

    07 October, 2011

    GalaBrand's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I was so desperate to try this after hearing so much about it. I too wanted to wander the back streets of Paris just as evening descended.

    However, after spraying myself I was then subjected to an hours train journey alone with it. Well I say alone, I emptied the carriage! This claustrophobic, cloying scent gave me and probably everyone within 200m a terrible headache. Its just screamed PERFUME.
    I was forced to sit and suffer enveloped in my pariah fog of suffocating baby powder and violent vanilla flowers who assaulted me all the way home. Instead of going out I jumped straight in a cab home, head hanging out of the window all the way, and jumped straight in the bath to scrub it off. Despite my best efforts the smell remained and so did the headache. A change of clothes and a further shower later I fell exhausted into bed, promising to have a few days off smelling anything!

    The next morning I was horrified to discover I could still smell it, it was everywhere, last nights clothes and everything they had touched had to be washed, as did my towels and bedsheets. But the memory remains… never again. Sorry to its many fans but it’s a no from me.

    Could you wear it with a hangover? Honey, this GAVE me a hangover!

    08 June, 2011

    Ralph's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    That this sits beside Jicky and Mitsouko is astonishing. I don't know if this has suffered from a reformulation or if tastes themselves have reformulated what's acceptable for the 'modern' palate - but, either way, this is just too much. Too much sweet marzipan and aniseed; too much lurid, migraine-making, *blue* somehow; too much Parma Violet; too much like a plug-in room 'frangrancer'.

    03 May, 2011

    Pamplemousse's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Heh - picture this: the Guerlain stand in Debenhams, dangerously unattended. Deft squirts of Vetiver and Chamade onto my brown paper Primarni bag for later sniffing. Still no attendant? I risk a sparing spritz of L'Heure Bleu onto the back of a hand.

    But, man! All I got was violets! Overwhelming, candied, stuffy, oversweet violets. Sugary, parma violets sugaring themselves all over me. Did I mention the violet? And my girlfriend hated it too!

    I wanted to like it, and still do. I'll probably even try it again sometime. But I had to scrub it off...

    Bad Pamplemousse.

    20th October, 2010

    zenana's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love Shalimar and Mitsouko, but I have to agree with those who find antiseptic notes in L'Heure Bleue -- I ordered a sample of the vintage perfume, and after half an hour, this still smells almost exactly like my dentist's office, right down to the taste of the mouth gargle, some ugly menthol wafting through it. Or maybe like an old-fashioned pharmacy. I almost can't stand it. Waiting impatiently for the dry down, but I wouldn't wear this because the top notes are so off-putting, on me at least. Sad.

    09 August, 2010

    Sunnyfunny's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is a review of L'Heure Bleue parfum.
    I've heard that the fume world falls into two categories regarding this venerable fragrance-- you either prefer Mitsouko or L'Heure Bleue, and I prefer Mitsouko. Twice I tried to wear L'Heure Bleue. The second time sealed its fate. I tried to understand it, to get past the complete and utter shock of my first application, tried to at the very least perceive the intense emotional reactions so many have had while wearing this. But my skin won't allow it.

    I do not wear this fragrance well. And that is an understatement. Its combination of notes translate into nothing more than a mismatched conglomeration of cheap, new-age bookstore incense. The first wear was confusing. The second wear was scrubbed off and the vial happily passed on.

    05 June, 2010

    marika's avatar



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    I travelled into the city from where I live just to try this scent, after reading such evocative reviews. I am at home now and about 4 hours have passed. Only now is it bearable. The first smell of it nearly destroyed me. I hated it. I just do not get it. I tried so hard, sniffing every so often looking for something to like. The only redeeming quality is the carnation hint I got occaisionally. The vanilla was ok but so like all the other sweet guerlains.I feel as though someone mixed a whole bunch of disparite scents in a beaker and stirred them up and made the equivalent of brown paint. I am in my late 40's and usually love the aldehydes so it's not a generational thing. the annise choked me and made me ask why , why????

    13 December, 2009

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    Try as I might, I can't enjoy this one. I don't think most "cold" fragrances, like this and Apres L'IOndee, work very well on my skin. The top notes here remind me of hospitals -- a musty sweetness that somehow manages to be both antiseptic and unclean. There's a urinous notes, mixed with powder, that sets my teeth on edge. As the heart opens up after the first couple of hours, the powder seems to soften and spread out, and now I get the velvety and "praline" notes that so many people are fond of. The vanilla at the bottom is good stuff, as with all these classic Guerlain's. But the opening is truly ghastly for me and lasts a long time. I'll keep the sample around and test it every so often, but so far this simply isn't for me.

    04 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 17 August, 2009)

    Hema's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    A stunning name and much positive praise for this scent together with a real desire to find that this is also my ‘one’ was simply not enough to convince my olfactory senses. As smells can evoke strong memories, I expect we all have in common the memories of older style scents on our more senior family/friends when we were children so it has a certain comforting ‘roundness’. For me, it brought forth images of an old lady tending her lavender flowers, who, because of personal problems has to wear a lot of talc to, ahem…mop things up. A lady who bakes a lot of cakes and has been wearing the same apricot lipstick for ten years (which now emits that old lipstick smell); the odours of which all combine to give us l’heure bleue. I was really disappointed with this one, didn’t suit me at all.

    03 December, 2008

    DawnLady's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I wanted to love this one, after reading so much about it, but I really didn't like it at all. When I first sprayed a little on, I thought it smelt quite pretty, but not very strong, so I applied some more. This was a big mistake. It then became overwhelmingly strong to me - reminding me of the smell of violets which I really don't like. I tried to wash it off, but just could not get rid of it. I was aware of it all day, and felt embarassed in the presence of others in case they thought I wanted to smell like that! It gave me a headache and made me feel queezy - I definitely will not try it again (though I would have to give it top marks for staying power!) I would definitely recommend trying this with caution if you are prone to headaches or nausea.

    17 October, 2008 (Last Edited: 26 November, 2008)

    unchienne's avatar

    United States United States

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    Silly, I know...but I've always been fascinated with this scent since reading about it years ago. One of the characters in a book I was reading sprinkled her hairbrush with L'Heure Bleue before brushing her hair. That oh so feminine image of a beautiful woman pulling the scent of flowers through her hair followed me into adulthood, so I leaped at the chance to acquire a small bottle online. Alas, my dreams were dashed the instant this scent touched my skin.

    L'Heure Bleue went came on strong with a cloud of musk, immediately followed by a light splattering of florals. This, while not ideal, was bearable...until a few minutes later when the acrid smell of singed crayons permeated the air. Maybe it's just my body chemistry, but this dream scent was anything but a fantasy. Nightmare, maybe.

    24 July, 2008

    taliaseki's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    I am in my late thirtees and classical music is my first choice from the beginning of my twenties. I am none of a modern lady, prefers to wear dresses and have nothing solid geometric in home design. So when i began to read and get fascinated about fragrances, i was intrested in the classicals most. I live in small city so have no chance to try these here so i bought le heure bleu and mitsouko online.
    I thought i had no chance to dislike them as i am not a kind of person that would not appreciate a fine Baroque Suite. But the nose does not work as the ear does. At the first try i have sadly noticed that i know that old type neroli too well and i hate it…. Bad and the good thing about smelling is that smells memory is packed together with the limbic recordings of the moments.
    L heure bleu is not a complicated fragrance. To my nose it opens with neroli (reminds me the old heavy arabic incense that my grangrandaunt used all together with her friends venerable old men and the pilgrim ladies) then a bit carnation (smell of the white soaps my grandmother used to aromatize the sheets) and then a very bit of vanilla? No vanilla. Neroli murders carnation and does not let even the first breath of vanilla.

    03 July, 2008

    ocpyroqueen's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love the name and the concept, but I do not like the way this fragrance smells. I don't get medicinal from it, I just get sharpish and musty and depressing. It also reminded me of a fusty, pale version of Mitsouko. I've just about smelled all the Guerlains now, and Shalimar remains the best for me, with Plus Que Jamais the only other one I really like. I can't make my mind up about Mitsouko.

    19 June, 2007

    ubuandibeme's avatar

    United States United States

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    Mitsouko dipped in sugar...I couldn't enjoy L'Heure Bleue's over the top sweetness. On my skin, it never calmed. Intensely sweet.

    07 December, 2006

    pandabear25's avatar



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    I bought a decant sample of this and was so excited to recieve it because of all of the reviews of praise for the famous L'Heure Bleue. I eagerly sprayed it on the second it came, and inhaled deeply...could this be the same mysterious and classic L'Heure Bleue that everyone is raving about? It's completely sour on my skin! I guess I built myself up to that moment when it came into contact but was so let down because the magic I was expecting didn't happen. It doesn't work well at all with my chemistry...very dissapointed.

    07 October, 2006

    eel's avatar



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    OMG! This is the worse thing I've ever smelled. With all the rave reviews i was expecting something spectacular. I'm not sure how anyone can like this. It stinks. But then again, I'm not sure how anyone can like Chanel N.5, stinks in the same way. Is age a factor in this? Could be. I think this smells like a dead old aunt.

    18 January, 2006

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