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  1. #1
    cedriceccentric's Avatar
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    Default Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    Last week I finally had the chance to visit the renovated Guerlain flagshipstore on Paris' Champs Elysées.

    The changes are minor in the groundfloor boutique, only new counters and displays. The adventure really begins when you walk up the dimly lit staircase to the first floor. You are surrounded by golden mozaics, the walls aren't straight but curvacious.

    The first floor seen from the elevator (image comes from Wallpaper.com, there is a nice article btw http://wallpaper.com/lifestyle/859 )

    Once above you enter a large room full of daylight with in the center a giant chandelier. Arround the chandelier a circular table with all the Guerlains, each in all available concentrations to try.
    On the left wall a display with the stars of Guerlain (bestsellers): Shalimar, L'Instant and L'Instant pour Homme.
    On a long table by the side of the baywindow, La Voilette de Madame and Le Mouchoir de Monsieur in their original Bacarat crystal "escargot" bottles. La Voilette is very faint, reminding me of the "old paper" note (iris) in Après L'Ondée. I heard a SA explaining to a customer that it was the ideal "his and hers" wedding gift (800 euro for both). There were also 2 colognes for children, both in bee bottles. One with a pink sticker the other blue. I think they were called Bébé and Baby but didn't sample them.
    Next the "Les Parisiennes" collection in the bee bottles. Derby smelled somewhat brighter than I remembered), Liu, Voile d'Eté (now Quand vient L'Eté), Guet Apens (now Accroche Coeur), Purple Fantasy (why, oh why?), Guerlinade, Metallica (now Métalys) and Philtre d'Amour (a soft Aromatics Elixir clone). Actually except for Liu and Derby I didn't really care for any of the "Parisiennes". I never was crazy about any of those limited editions when they were originally released anyway. A SA told me that they would soon have a sprayer that would adapt on the bee bottles.
    Now my favorite part: a series of small windows/cabinets you open to smell long-lost Guerlains. Kadine (very ambery with cinnamon... Parfum Sacré without rose), Cachet Jaune (an oriental with lots of vanilla), Sous le Vent (that one was broken) and Ode (like Luca Turin said, Ode is very much like Joy). There was also Véga, a subtle aldehyde in the style of Liu but with less vanilla, the only one available for purchase at this point. Véga is sold in a large apoticary bottle like those used by Creed and comes in a very chic grey box....
    Next room. That's the room with fountains where customers can have their bee bottles refilled with Guerlain classics. Here are also the 3 new Frederic Malle style creations, in square bottles with pump. You can either sample them by spraying or smell them on wooden fans.

    Rose Barbare by Fracis Kurkdjian: reminded me of a mix between The Different Company's Osmantus and Rose Poivrée.
    Cuir Bélouga by Olivier Polge: I thought it was a rather heavy and linear amber/vanilla.
    Angélique Noire by Danièle Andrier: That was my favorite, the only one from the 3 that had that Guerlain touch. Smells of almonds. It reminded me of a more elaborated mix between Heliotrope by Etro for the powdery notes and Mandorlo di Sicilia by Acqua di Parma for the vanilla notes. Unfortunately it wasn't very longlasting.

    I also sampled Plus que Jamais Guerlain the new Jean Paul Guerlain eau de parfum specially blended for the reopening of the flagshipstore. It's a gourmand in the style of Angel and Prada but with a floral side like Silver Rain. Smells younger than other JP Guerlain creations. It comes in a Jicky shaped bottle with a pump (and also in a giant size). The Jicky bottle looks like to become, along the bee bottle, the new standard flacon for Guerlain. For those who don't have the time to wait to engrave a "flacon abeille" with a name, there is a selection of empty Jicky bottles (to be filled with the juice of your choice) with already printed stickers with personal messages, like for example: "Je t'aime". They come with a pump and in the same chic grey box as Véga.

    Finally the "home fragrances" section. Before arriving in that room you cross a wall with display cabinets with rare vintage perfume bottles like Coq d'Or and Bouquet de faunes.
    There are 4 home fragrances to choose from. Each available as a spray (a frosted Aqua Allegoria bottle), candle, insence and box of 3 soaps. I don't recall their exact names but there was a rose, a woody one called Tibetan someting, a third one and my favorite: Contes d'Hiver (winter tales). Contes d'Hiver reminded me a bit of Winter Delice with more vanilla.

    This was a great visit! Like an interactive Guerlain Museum. There are sales assistents (they all had the new Kisskiss lipstick as a jewel arround their neck) but they are not pushy and let you look arround in peace.

    On the spot I wanted to buy Véga, Derby and Contes d'Hiver. My BF almost bought Angélique Noire. To calm down we decided to cross "les Champs" and have tea and something sweet at Ladurée. ( I had "une coupe Ispahan": scoops of rose and rasberry sorbets with litchees, crème chantilly and a liquid coulis of red fruits. It's to die for!). By then it was time to return to my BF's sister's appartment. *

    I wish I could have returned the day after to eventually buy something. Unfortunately my shedule was a bit hecktic. So much so that I even didn't have time to meet friends who live in Paris (Sorry guys [smiley=embarassed.gif] )

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    Ooh la la, you lucky man! Thanks for the report. I would skip the friends too if I had to choose between them or Guerlain.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    thank you so much for sharing your impressions!

    I've only visited the boutique once, several years ago, but I'm eager to have a first hand look at the result of the renovations. I remember the SA's on 68 being very friendly too (despite what other people said about them).

    Back then I already had the impression it was more 'museum' than 'store': the beautiful interior with the Art Nouveau stairs, the absence of a conventional cash register (very chic), all those things really made it worth the visit. I'm sure that's even more so now.

    I had never heard of the "Parisiennes" collection. Can you tell me some more about it?
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  4. #4
    cedriceccentric's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    Les Parisiennes is the collection that resurrects mostly the limited edtions fragrances that were introduced by Guerlain every year starting from arround 1998. Some like Guerlinade, Guet Apens/Attrape Coeur and Metallica/Metalys originaly came in luxuroius numbered presentations around X-mastime. Others like Purple Fantasy, Philtre D'Amour and Voile d'Ete/Quand vient l'Eté were more modest eaux de toilettes.

    They are now all presented in the same bee bottle in an eau de parfum concentration. I think that later on we could see the resurrection of other past limited edtions like the edt based on Les Météorites, Secret Intention and the more luxurious Muguet (1999) and Belle Epoque (a Harrods exclusive).

    Liu and Derby are also part of that collection though those are really vintage and artisticly much better fragrance imho.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    OH! I am pea GREEN with envy!! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to visit there. I'd snap up the parfum of Accroche Couer and Apres L'Ondee.... then I probably would just hyperventilate about things I'd also love to have. (sigh!)

  6. #6

    tigrushka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    Many thanks for the great Guerlain report, Cedric!
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    Thank you for the report and the picture, too. It sounds like a wonderful place! I really really really want to sniff the Cuir Beluga and the Angelique Noir.
    I've trademarked the color bleu

  8. #8
    donna255's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    How wonderous!!!!!

    I agree about Purple Fantasy etc. Just because it has the name Guerlain and limited edtion does not make it special.
    DONNA

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    Thanks for great post !

    I had completely overseen the "Quand vient l'été" , one of my all time favourite Guerlains (Voile d'été).

  10. #10

    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    Dwelling on the perfume fountain.

    I wonder if France's doyenne of design, Andrée Putman, could install one at The House of Veronica.

  11. #11
    FufuLaRue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    What a wonderful read! This sounds like a dream come true. Thanks, Cedric!
    "Too much of a good thing is wonderful." -- Mae West

  12. #12
    Ladylonestar
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    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    Quote Originally Posted by cedriceccentric
    To calm down we decided to cross "les Champs" and have tea and something sweet at Ladurée. ( I had "une coupe Ispahan": scoops of rose and rasberry sorbets with litchees, crème chantilly and a liquid coulis of red fruits. It's to die for!)
    Oh, mercy, Cedric! The "une coupe Ispahan" sounds as fascinating as Guerlain's renovated flagship store! Yummy!

    I truly enjoyed your report, Cedric. I always do. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

  13. #13
    Gewisse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    Wonder bit of vicarious shopping. Loved the report and wish me and my credit card were present. I'd buy first and do pastry to cool down afterwards! LOL

  14. #14

    Default Re: Cedriceccentric at "The house of Guerlain".

    Great, great article, cedric! Thank you so much!

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