Is it too feminine to be worn by men?
Thread: L'Heure Bleue
I finally obtained a bottle of L'Heure Bleue EDP. Wow! It's a very complex scent! The top reminded me of Shalimar. Is it aniseed? Or just lemon? I didn't know what it was, but I could easily tell it's a Guerlain. Then a whole bunch of flowers started to come up. Initially, to my nose, ylang ylang, roses, iris and jasmin were very prominent. It sort of reminded me of No.5 (Chanel). But then carnation, orchid..... the flowers increased in number and appeared to form a very crowded flower bouquet, which was almost as complex as Mille (Jean Patou). I almost forgot it's a Geurlain at this stage. But soon, oakmoss and ambergris began to creep up, and it at times smelled almost identical to Mitsouko. Eventually, vanilla takes over and this reminded me of the sweet drydown of Shalimar. Excuse me for my poverty in fragrance vocabularies, but I just wanted to share my experience with some other basenoters... *Very interesting fragrance.... :
Is it too feminine to be worn by men?
L´heure bleu is a magic scent.
When I first sniffed it (sprayed on a hankerchief, maybe that had some influence) I didn´t like it. I think the fluid in the bottle may also have been a little dated, but anyway; it reminded me of a wardrobe full with clothes that had been closed for a hundred years, where someone had left an old broken perfumed powder compact in one of the pockets. I kept sniffing it and sniffing it as soon as I had the chance to, so it worked its magic on me. I have it only in miniature bottle, so I don´t *wear it. I could´nt really describe it very well either. To me it´s just a big scent, intense but soft, and it smells of history and emotions. I have never had anyone in my childhood that has been using L´heure bleu, and still it smells of nostalgia. And you can really tell that it was created to invoke a certain ambience
edit: OK, I realise I made this thread more of a "female fragrance-discussion-thread" by adding my post.
There was an article quoted here a while back about "dark-side" perfumes, which originated in Elle UK. I thought it was interesting, and I kept a copy of it. It talks about the dangerous, sultry quality of many perfumes. (Because of the readership, I suppose, no thought is given to whether men might also wear any of the scents mentioned.) The focus of the article is not on L'Heure Bleue, but it is mentioned a few times.
And here:Above all, dark-side scents are complex. ‘It’s this complexity that makes dark-side scents what they are,’ says Roja Dove, Guerlain’s professeur de parfums. ‘The best ones give you the idea that the perfume is on one level, but have an enormous hidden “base” - the base is the sensual bit, the carnal bit. Dark-side scents are like black widow spiders - they lure people in, make them feel safe, then get them hooked on this voluptuous base. You get drunk on it, lost in it - it is like falling into a bottomless pit. But, the important thing is, you don’t care. All you want to do is get close to the person wearing it!
Each of the fragrance families - oriental, floral and chypre - can produce dark-side scents, but the best belong to the oriental and chypre groups. Of the chypres, Cuir de Russie, Tabac Blond, Shocking and, of course, Mitsouko, are all wonderfully dark. As are heavy-lidded orientals, such as Opium, Vol de Nuit and Narcisse Noir. Floral perfumes, by their very nature, are rarely dark. ‘After all what’s sexy about a bunch of violets or a little posy of lily of the valley,’ says Dove. But some exceptional florals qualify: the narcotic L’Heure Bleue; Bellodgia, with its thick, spicy knot of carnations; and tuberose-laced Fracas.
And here:[French Vogue editor] Joan Juliet Buck writes: ‘At 17, I bought a teal-blue velour hat and cracked open a bottle of L’Heure Bleue. A screenwriter who had been one of the Hollywood Ten told me I looked like Hedy Lamarr, but I only think I smelled like Hedy Lamarr. Or smelled the way Hedy Lamarr looked.’
After all of that, I'm curious to smell this crazy thing for myself. There are also reviews of the scent on the basenotes directory, of course.Named after the ‘blue hour’ - twilight. ‘L’Heure Bleue is a cheat,’ says Dove. ‘It gives you the idea that it’s a shy, timid, powdery floral, but it is so overtly sexual, it’s like a drug.’
I don't think L'Heure Bleue is feminine at all. It's probably hard for women to wear this fragrance if they're just looking for feminine-floral. I would rather say it's more complex and multi-dimensional than just simply being feminine or masculine. As I mentioned above, to my nose, it smells like the beautiful elements of Shalimar, No.5, Mille, and Mitsouko put together in one fragrance and took all the extra gender-determinating stuff away, in such an artistic fashion that it really wears you even though you try to wear it. It's not something you can measure on the masculine-feminine scale. It' truly smells multi-colored though it's called "bleue".... Masterpiece!
I remember “discovering” it over 20 or so years ago when I needed to buy a birthday present for my Mom. She had been wearing Bal a Versailles (another beauty!) and I just wanted to try something different for her. I had read that Joan Collins claimed L’Heure Bleue as her favorite perfume (yes I was a Dynasty fan) so I tried it and one sniff was all it took. It is one of, if not, the most beautiful perfumes ever created. I love that quote about it being narcotic "like a drug". It is true! I'm only familiar with the parfum strength and it is exquisite. The complete effect of this scent is that it draws you in, compelling you to breathe it in over and over again. It is a fragrance that just reinforces my fascination with the perfumers’ art. I feel that like all great works of art, it is gender neutral.
"Ca sent les pieds!"
The two predominant notes in L'Heure Bleue (to my nose) are iris (root) and aniseed, so it's not
what I'd consider a strongly floral scent. In fact, when I sampled Dior Homme, the first scent
it reminded me of was....L'Heure Bleue.
I don't think it's a scent that makes a big first impression, though. I sampled a bunch of
Guerlain's women's scents on test strips several years back to try to acquaint myself with them,
and it was L'Heure Bleue that still had me sniffing that little cardboard strip the rest of the
afternoon, and the next day....and the next, too. Many women who don't care for it say
it smells like Play-Doh; I don't think so, but I understand the comparison.
So is the EDT better or the EDP? I'm thinking of buying it blind from an online retailer
My preference is for the EdP.Originally Posted by Xen
You may want to check first for a mini or a mini collection like this one:
This particular set doesn't include L'Heure Bleue, but other sets sometimes do,
and that's how I first got to sample several scents like Mitsouko and L'Heure Bleue.
I eventually bought a full-size bottle of LHB, but have never used up my mini of Mitsouko.