I got a sample of this at the Guerlain counter, and since the shopgirl said it was a light floral that I would like it. I didn't. I found it very heavy, and very cloying and it actually gave me a severe headache after application. I tried it on several other occasions with the same nauseous headache-inducing results. It has actually left me a little wary on trying other Guerlain frags as this is the only one I have ever had such an ill reaction to (other than Givenchy's amirage). So for me L'Instant wasn't good. More like L'instant mal a la tete. Too bad.
L'Instant De Guerlain by Guerlain, 2003
Honeyed, laundry-airy, floral, watery, almondy and barely anisy-green at once. An olfactory reminiscence of Laura Biagiotti Roma to me. I catch the initial sharp mandarin-bergamot-lavender accord which imparts a sort of aqueous, angular and classic-conservative vibe to the juice, even if the latter is on the whole bright, light and modern though decidedly complex. L'Instant is indeed really multifaceted in its floral and ambery flying silkiness. The ylang-ylang is magistrally joined with honey and bergamot-lavender in order to create the vintage feel of the smell while the further soft floral notes (first of all rose and magnolia) imprint airiness, dynamism and joy of life. The dry down is musky-honeyed, floral, with a touch of animal, powder and balsams. Love.
I'm a little undecided as to how I feel regarding this particular fragrance. L'Instant de Guerlain fascinates me, yet also leaves me dissatisfied. First off, it strikes me as being very modern and elegant. To my nose, I tend to get a lot of powdery and musky iris and amber, (this is a review for the EDP by the way). I read somewhere that this is a rather popular choice for brides on their wedding day, and I can see why. L'Instant de Guerlain is polite, pretty and classy, evidently formal in its approach, but nothing too bold. It's clean, musky powderiness is what bothers me slightly. I often refrain from using the term 'old lady', yet for once I'll say that I feel this fragrance is too old for a young twenty year old, such as myself. It's a scent for tea parties and reading a book in bed, not something to match my somewhat wild, energetic and partying lifestyle. In all honesty, L'Instant de Guerlain strikes me as a more modern and a less heavier version of the classic Shalimar and L'Heure Bleue. I noted this similarity when I first smelt it, however it wasn't until now that it occured to me that they are all from the same house. When it comes down to it, I much prefer L'Instant de Guerlain over and above Insolence EDT and Idylle which leave much to be desired, however my appreciation for Guerlain still lies with their classics, especially those produced before the year 2000.
As the name implies, tutti frutti refers to a dessert of a mix of fruits. A compote, an ice cream or the like made of various fruits where the fruit flavors enhance each other. Tutti frutti in the language of commercial flavor production has also come to mean one particular flavor: bubblegum. L'Instant, while well-composed and well-behaved is a tutti flori in the manner of the latter tutti frutti. L'Instant isn't exactly bland, just indistinct. It's a blur of the sultry floral set: lily, magnolia, ylang-ylang and others, forming a sort of pan-tropical note that flattens out when bolstered by a matter of course vanilla and musk. Less an idealized abstract floral, or a well-matched bouquet; more an actually loud, but conceptually hazy floral flavor. Lack of evolution over time only exacerbates the problem.
Whenever I think of FLOWER, I think also of Guerlain L'INSTANT. It's surely the vanilla baby powder connection, which lasts so much longer than the stages which mark the two perfumes as distinct that I cannot help but conjoin them in my mind. As this is a twenty-first-century creation of a once-glorious house (pre-Y2K), I never really expected much from L'INSTANT, and what I found was certainly nothing like classic Guerlain, although this perfume is not without its own cuddly appeal. L'INSTANT edp is creamy and powdery and dreamy like a down comforter sprinkled with fairy dust. (Oh, isn't that the name of a perfume by Paris Hilton?) Anyway, this almond-honey-nougat-down-comforter confection reminds me of the suave and debonaire Morris Townsend [played by Montgomery Cliff] in The Heiress when he tries to woo Catherine Sloper [played by Olivia de Havilland] with this line: You're everything I ever wanted in a woman. And, no, he did not lie. You're everything I ever wanted in a [comfort scent], L'INSTANT. Sweet, smooth, creamy, with a safe, dependable, vanilla baby powder drydown, the longevity of which is strictly determined by the wearer's own bathing schedule. Yes, since the dawning of the Century of Snark, the synthetic organic chemists have been working overtime chez Guerlain. But where have all the perfumers gone? Perhaps they, too, have become trapped in Twitter, frittering their lives away with the useless production of flankers and perfectly willing to settle for 140 characters of fame. [Note on versions: My first bottle of L'INSTANT edp, from the original launch, contains a much darker liquid than the refill bottle which I recently purchased (before I became disenchanted with this house after their disastrous reformulation of MITSOUKO...). It could be a result of evaporation, but the first is definitely richer and more woody than the second, and it also appears to contain discernible flowers. (Not sure whether this is an issue of reformulation or not...) In a side-by-side comparison they definitely smell different enough to make me suspect that different reviewers may be encountering slightly different perfumes...]
l get a fleeting sharpness from the mandarin in the opening, then this quickly smooths out into a floral that l can't quite identify, but must be the lily or magnolia. There is a sweet, honeyed quality to these florals which is almost cloying, & l suspect there is some mimosa somewhere in here. Suddenly after only 20 minutes there's a sweet amber which somehow comes as a surprise to me. This is one of the fastest drydowns l've experienced, & the sillage is quite soft on my skin. l love florals, & l love amber. So far l "like" L'Instant. l suspect this will really bloom in warm weather, & l may just fall in love with it. lt's classy, versatile, & apparently men love it on a woman. Edit; l tried this again today; a hot, humid, cloudy day; & the sillage was indeed much stronger. l also noticed a strange note in the opening phase; salty, black Kalamata olives! Once l'd noticed it, it was unmistakable, & actually very pleasant indeed, as it transported me immediately to a place l love. The honeyed florals didn't really appear this time, but the amber was still as sweet. l've now used up my sample, & think l need to spend more time with this one, so a decant is in order. l have to see if those olives appear again!
I was surprised that LInstant de Guerlain is not as good of fragrance as L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme - usually the feminine version of a label is a better fragrance than the masculine version. On my skin it comes this L'Instant comes off as quite Oriental. It begins with a citrus / floral that rather sparkles and glows (but not with aldehydes) for a few minutes, then switches to a honey sweet mixed floral I get a prominent jasmine, but it is a genuine floral bouquet. The sweet florals come with loads of sillage so much that I dont see how it could be a considered a daytime fragrance. The drydown is a sweet but not cloying vanilla / amber that has somewhat close projection and lasts incredibly. As an accord, the vanilla / amber is not very unique or inspired. Throughout its progression, LInstant de Guerlain is refined and it projects femininity. It may not be as good of fragrance as the male version, but it is still earns a thumbs up.
Two words that sum up L'Instant de Guerlain for me: floral vanilla. This fragrance is a perfect, harmonious blend of flowers, vanilla, citrus honey, bergamot and amber. It's instantly loveable and a great gift to someone who's a starting perfume enthusiast that wants an upgrade to their collection. Lasting power is about 3-4 hours and sillage is excellent: I was in a botanic garden with many exotic flowers and while I commented on their scent, my companion replied, "Well, I can only smell you."
The opening is nice, powdery but not overwhelming like Kenzo's Flower a softer more diluted powdery opening but i disagree with the drying down it does not smell elegant on me it smells like rotting cabbage mixed with powder i just think my skin chemistry doesn't balance this scent very well which is sad because it's from the most prestigious perfume houses in perfumery.
What Tocade is to the rose, L'Instant is to the lily. Both were created by Roucel. Both are florals. Both rely on vanilla. That is where the similarity ends. Tocade has a lovely peach "lift" which brightens what could be a dull fragrance. L'Instant has no such lift. It is a lateral lily. I kept waiting for something more, something else (I mean, after all, this is a Guerlain! ). I did a side by side comparison with Anais Anais, another lily fragrance, which seems positively cerebral now. Anais Anais starts out a citrus lily and ends a lovely leather/suede lily. L'Instant goes through no such metamorphosis. Having said all of this, I do own L,Instant and will wear it on those occasions when I am not feeling up to any challenges.
L'Instant De Guerlain by Guerlain, 2003
|Perfumer||Maurice Roucel [Symrise]|
|Notes||citrus honey accord, chinese magnolia accord, sambac jasmine, ylang ylang, amber accord|
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