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    Default Return to Guerlain Week

    There were too many Guerlains for only one week!
    So I am going to wear some more, most of them classics which I (surprisingly) have never worn before. Thanks to Twolf's generosity, my daughter's trip to London, where she quickly spritzed parfums into tiny vials before being accosted by SAs.

    Anyone who wants to wear and discuss more Guerlains is welcome to post here.

    My Return to Guerlain Week opens with a comparison called:
    Two Different Lemons

    Jicky - 1889
    Philtre d'Amour - 1999 (original, reformulated in 2005)

    Both of these beauties focus on a celebration of the lemon, sharing similarities and exhibiting differences in surprising ways.

    Shared notes are: lemon, bergamot, jasmine, rose, iris, and patchouli.
    This set the stage for crossover between fans of Jicky, curious to try the newer fragrance. (Unfortunately the first formulation has been changed, and I don't know what the 2005 version smells like.)

    Some similar notes tempt even more comparison. To support themain lemon note, Jicky uses rosewood, but Philtre d'Amour uses verbena. To add another citrus note, Jicky uses mandarin, Philtre d'Amour uses a bit of neroli. For dryness, Jicky utilizes vetiver, and Philtre d'Amour turns to petitgrain and sandalwood. And to provide the final sweetness, Jicky relies on vanilla, while Philtre d'Amour combines amber and musk.

    However the differences outweigh the similarities in the final analysis. Philtre d'Amour hints at the inclusion of other flora--the fresh geranium, the spicy carnation, the green myrtle, coriander, and lily. Jicky openly boasts of its fauna--its leather and civit.

    Jicky offers a creamy lemon, the sweet notes swirling around the dry notes like marbled lemon sorbet and vanilla ice cream. ITs leather makes itself known early and (together with a mellow, agreeable civit) envelops the wearer like a suade blanket.

    Philtre d'Amour starts out crisp, rather dry, with a distinctly juicy lemon, on the whole rather natural. It is light but storng, with a lifting feeling, very open. Animalic properties creep in gently as time goes by, in the form of musk. Together with the petitgrain, patchouli, and myrtle, they create a woodsy, earthy accord that is quite wild and pleasing.

    Both are very sexy, with animalic attraction. While Jicky is a creamy, sweet lemon on a heavy, soft, dense leather base, Philtre d'Amour is a tart lemon on an airy, earthy, outdoorsy base.

    I wondered if Guerlain made Philtre d'Amour with Jicky in mind, with an eye toward modernization, but their paths diverge as they reach a fork in the road--Jicky sinks into smooth sweetness and Philtre rises into the dry air.

    Regardless, I love them both. They are two very fine lemons.
    --------------------------------------
    This next post is entitled:
    Springtime In A Bottle

    What better time is there to talk about Chamade and Chant d'Arômes? These two fragrances are chock-full of everything that signals to our noses that WINTER IS OVER. (My apologies to our Southern Hemisphere members. This is going to be an unintentionally insensitive post for you.)

    Chamade begins the progression into blooming season. Like tender, green growth poking above the chilled ground, the galbanum (one of my favorite notes of all time) sets the tone for the fragrance, which then progresses into an increasingly sweet green powder.

    I smelled vintage Chamade first, and I fell in love with it. The current Chamade is quite a bit drier at the onset, not immediately sweet like the old formula. I do not like this change; it was perfect exactly the way it was. Today's Chamade is crisper--whether the hyacinth, tonka, or vanilla has been decreased or the vetiver increased, I do not know, but the dryness is most apparent in the opening. As wearing time increases, both versions begin to smell alike. This discovery made me quite happy, because I would like to own this fragrance.

    I am confused as to why Guerlain would choose to make the modern version less sweet than its predecessor. It seems as though a fragrance like this stands little chance of being launched nowadays, when the first 10 seconds determine whether a customer will buy it. The new Chamade needs time to sweeten, whereas the old one bursts forth from the bottle like a lilac bush in full bloom.

    The wait is worth it, though. Chamade takes hold and settles into greens and florals, like spring blossoms on trees, powdery with pollen, hinting at leaves soon to burst forth. How can anything so soft can be so strong? It is as though it were a block of white stone tumbled in water until the edges have worn off. All the notes are integrated, but perhaps it is the hyacinth that wins my heart. More than any other fragrance, Chamade reminds me of the warm breezes of April, carrying with them the heady, ethereal scent of blossoming trees.

    My advice is to buy the pure parfum. Apply it liberally. Let the unnecessary, intrusive dry topnotes go away. Then enjoy it as it settles into its powdery, luxurious, springtime-fresh sweetness.

    Chant d'Arômes continues the journey into spring, being unabashedly about a multitude of flowers. Yet it is delicate, more so than the "summer" type of florals. This one reminds me of the first blooms of the year, the bulb flowers like daffodils, that are not very sweet. In the modern version, I was only able to obtain the EDT, which (as most Guerlain fans know) pales in comparison to the pure parfum. This weak concentration is short-lived. It provides a fresh, refined, honeysuckle note and then fades quickly. My first experience was with the EDT, and it left me doubting whether I liked Chant d'Arômes. It was too simple, and then it was gone.

    Fortunately I was able to try a vintage sample, which is much stronger and therefore enables me to track development. The opening notes unmistakably contain bergamot. These are followed by a fresh, semi-sweet floral presence of honeysuckle and ylang-ylang mixed with oakmoss. Sandalwood and vanilla complete the base but are mild enough not to interfere with the overall delicacy and clarity of the floral notes. I recommend only the parfum concentration. And be warned: do not look for sweet, heavy summer florals here. Instead, enjoy the rare, pristine, fleeting aroma of April.

    And there you have it, Springtime In A Bottle, by Guerlain.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 5th April 2007 at 10:32 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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