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  1. #1

    Default Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    The first of the year has rolled around and we've had less attention to the recent changes in EU regulations than I had anticipated. In fact the one reformulation I've knowingly tried has actually been an improvement, in my opinion--the new PdN Maharadjah has a skillfully posed rosemary note to balance the cinnamon and lavender.
    But. I'd like to pick up some vintage L'Heure Bleue and I'd be very grateful for either advice about packaging, bottle design, size, concentration, etc. that might offer a clue--or for suggestions about where to go for help.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Hey there Strolly,
    Wish I could help. I've got a big bottle of edp from about 5 years ago I think. No idea of its comparison to any other formulations or bottles. Agonizingly right in the place where one has to wonder about it no matter what is to be done. With such a famous classic I imagine one would need to worry about reformulation of each or any concentration. I don't even know how old the edp is as an offering. I'd bet the edt and of course the extrait are closer in history to any real stuff.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Ah, blessings on your head, Chris. Do you have a favorite concentration from what you've tried? Is this still one you sometimes wear?
    Last edited by Strollyourlobster; 10th February 2010 at 01:59 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Strolly, let me return the blessings.

    I wish I knew the scent better. I've smelled the edt, but not worn it. I'd have no way to think about its changes or duration in the wearing.

    I've only worn the edp two or three times, and it has been a great experience at first, and then sort of mediocre/curious the times after that. The edp is very dense and thick and like cold wet leaves going bad under bushes in the cold weather. There's very great dark florals on top, and they're dense and black hole like, sucking in your nose instead of your nose sucking them in. It's very fun, and sort of like the dense wet leaf quality that I think Van Clef & Arpels PH has, but without a dry rose or small clove quality. Something tells me there's something colored purple in the edp, but I can't remember for sure. I both really liked it and also said to myself what-is-it-I'm-wearing-and-why-can't-I-figure-it-out? Odd. Dense. The edp doesn't unwind like an edt version does, although I'm not talking about the L'HB edt here, which I don't know, but my feelings about edts v. edps in general. (I have both the edt and edp of Jicky, for example, and I like how the edt unwinds and spreads out in a more playful way.)

    Now I'm going to have to dig in the still packed boxes and find this stuff for a wearing. Our weather will be good for it maybe.

    I hope someone else will chime in too, and Mr. G probably will when he makes his rounds. (Hehehe.)
    Very best!
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Thanks, Chris--great description. Lemme know if you go box diving.
    Edit next day: I won't attempt to hide my Freudian slip here but allow me the dignity of acknowledging it. But so yeah, Chris, let us know.
    Last edited by Strollyourlobster; 10th February 2010 at 02:05 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    The packaging of the new one is beige. The older one is gold with black square.

    Also, the lot number is better if it is a combination of letters and numbers, as opposed to all numbers. If I am wrong on these, I hope somebody else jumps in.


    I hope that helps.
    Evenstar

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    So, the vintage L'Heure Bleue bug has bitten you Stroll, eh? Great!

    I still remember when I first bought (blind) a bottle of vintage LHB Eau de Cologne and splashed some on at my home desk, in front of the computer. I spent the next few minutes, literally standing still, inhaling my sillage...a bit frozen. It was achingly beautiful juice and it immediately 'clicked'. I remember smiling from ear-to-ear.

    I have tested vintage EdC, new EdT, vintage PdT, new EdP and new parfum. Of those, I have (and recommend) you get the vintage Eau de Cologne or the vintage Parfum de Toilette (or EdP). Preferably from the 1960's. How can you tell if it's from the '60's? The box! It will look like this mini Mitsouko extrait box (with the white box / black squiggly lines): http://i187.photobucket.com/albums/x...t/IMG_1553.jpg. If you cannot find a box/bottle that old (it's not easy, believe me - when they go on sale, they get snatched up - fast!) then get one of those gold boxes from the 1980's, like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/GUERLAIN-PARIS-L...item5d27e696cd

    Personally, I detest the EdT version of LhB (vintage, new, etc) - it is just too, too powdery and it seems to just radiate a clashing of notes, as if there is static on a radio station and the melody gets all full of white noise.

    One more thing: Be mindful that LhB does not always age gracefully. Many times when you see old bottles of it, you will notice that the juice has turned a very dark brown. This could be a sign that the fragrance is totally fine, but in other cases it is a sign that the top notes have turned a bit. This was the case with my Eau de Cologne. BUT...and here is the kicker: even though the top notes faded I could still enjoy the middle and base notes and I did enjoy it thoroughly.

    In fact, if you ask me what my very favorite version of LhB is, I would have to answer: vintage Eau de Cologne. It has everything I love about the scent (bread-like iris, thick and deep middle-eastern spices, woods, Guerlainade-in-spades) - all in an easy-to-splash transparency that makes it almost impossible to over apply. Unlike the fantastic PdT, which if you aren't careful, one-too-many sprays can really be TOO much, the EdC is the perfect combination of everything I like about LhB without everything that I don't.

    Sorry to ramble...but as you can see, I am a big fan of L'Heure Bleue. This is something that Tania Sanchez and I have in common.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 10th February 2010 at 04:45 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Follow Mike's great documentation of the box as sign of levels of vintageness and if you want my comment on that:
    The older the edition, the softer is the scent, zig-zag box design (or older) being the softest and most romantic, gold-black box design harder and more dense, and newest even a bit harder and denser.

    There are as many opinions about "the best L'Heure Bleue" as there are fans of the scent. Some want it to be extremely soft, powdery and romantic (the very vintage), some like it more direct and dense (newer). Some, even within Guerlain, find the EdP too hard on the clove and prefer the EdT for its more transparent powder, while others won't use anything below the very spicy extrait.

    Personally, I can't choose which one is best - I'd say I prefer vintage, but the new is gorgeous too in its spiking spiciness. Some days I prefer the fluffy powder of the EdT, some days I want it dense and wet and take PdT/EdP. Some days I want extreme spiciness, then it's extrait. In general I'm not too crazy about the Guerlain EdCs, except for Shalimar, I find them a bit too boring.

    So I guess I can only suggest: Go vintage and - if you really love L'Heure Bleue - take whatever concentration you can find on eBay

  9. #9

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Thanks! This is riches to me! Arwen, thanks for that specific tip--exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for. Mr. G, your word is bankable on this topic and your deft descriptions of the various concentrations will be so useful in my search. And Mike, what a great homage and a lovely, lovely post. Looks like I need to come by some of this.
    I've only tried it once, about five years ago--the EdP, I think. And I only wanted to know what it was like, didn't really consider wearing it. But it gave me the clearest experience I have ever had of imagining I was visiting the time a perfume was composed. I thought, Oh, so this is what 1912 was. And then all this snow somehow has me reaching for that memory of a memory. I may have to steal your phrase "Guerlainade in spades" for a song, Mike.

    So one more question (or no, I can't promise that): is this the current formulation? http://cgi.ebay.com/LHEURE-BLEUE-BY-...item2c508ced23
    Last edited by Strollyourlobster; 10th February 2010 at 03:03 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Yes that box design (vertical thin line and circular double G logo) is the current edition of anything Guerlain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post

  11. #11

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    But it gave me the clearest experience I have ever had of imagining I was visiting the time a perfume was composed.
    I have the same feeling exactly - could not have put it better. I consider L'Heure Bleue as somehow standing aside and away from perfumery as a whole - it's a world unto itself.

    A personal aside - Claude Debussy's "La Danse Sacree et Profane" (1904), or any of the "Images" (1905-12) seem to work as my 'soundtrack' for this scent. It seems so appropriate that when Debussy was composing these in Paris M. Guerlain was also composing L'Heure Bleue and that some of those listening to his works in those few magical years (it was the time of The Impressionists, after all) before everything changed in 1914 were probably wearing it . . . what a time to have been alive in Paris.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    I so much follow you on the Belle Epoque, also on the Impressionist and Debussy theme. But somehow I find L'Heure Bleue more celebrating and "smiling" than Debussy's intellectual melancholy. So I chose Rachmaninov's 3rd (1909) as the soundtrack - every time I listen to that piece, I always think of L'Heure Bleue... Spicy, brisk, with a melancholy underneath, but grand...

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    A personal aside - Claude Debussy's "La Danse Sacree et Profane" (1904), or any of the "Images" (1905-12) seem to work as my 'soundtrack' for this scent. It seems so appropriate that when Debussy was composing these in Paris M. Guerlain was also composing L'Heure Bleue and that some of those listening to his works in those few magical years (it was the time of The Impressionists, after all) before everything changed in 1914 were probably wearing it . . . what a time to have been alive in Paris.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    ...And Mike, what a great homage and a lovely, lovely post. Looks like I need to come by some of this.
    I've only tried it once, about five years ago--the EdP, I think. And I only wanted to know what it was like, didn't really consider wearing it. But it gave me the clearest experience I have ever had of imagining I was visiting the time a perfume was composed. I thought, Oh, so this is what 1912 was. And then all this snow somehow has me reaching for that memory of a memory. I may have to steal your phrase "Guerlainade in spades" for a song, Mike...
    You're welcome Stroll. It's easy for me to wax poetic about such a beautiful fragrance.

    If you tried it 5 years ago (at a department store, I suppose) than most likely you have smelled 'new' juice. If you are able to get ahold of vintage juice, I think you will be even more delighted in the 'places' it takes you.

    I'm wearing the 'new' EdP today, inspired by you Stroll, and while it throws off wonderful sillage (the Guerlinade surrounds me!) it doesn't quite reach the heights that my vintage PdT does.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    I don't have anything to contribute as whatever I had to say has been said by DustB, Mike and Mr. G, and very eloquently at that. I will thank you, Strollyourlobster, for this lovely thread though


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  15. #15

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Hehe didn't see this comment before now DustB - of course I would chime in on a fave topic, the beyond beautiful L'Heure Bleue. Thinking about it again, I think my favourite editions are the EdT and the extrait, because they are so different, yet so beautiful both. While I don't really think that the EdP adds something really new and extra. Same goes, btw, for Shalimar EdP in my opinion. It's only Jicky and Mitsouko - and maybe also Chamade - EdP (and mainly vintage) that I really cherish on their own...

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    I hope someone else will chime in too, and Mr. G probably will when he makes his rounds. (Hehehe.)
    Very best!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    I love wearing the Guerlain classics and though I've had "what smells like grandma" thrown at me a couple times with Mitsouko and Shalimar (must be a sexy grandma imho), the other day I was wearing L'Heure Bleue (current edp) and a stranger commented with: "Your cologne is so beautiful, it's heartbreaking"--that's L'HB alright.

    While I do associate this with an impressionist melancholy (I think of Monet's Rouen Cathedral series, fittingly captured at different times of day and impressions of light), sometimes I get a jazzy, upbeat vibe, especially with the neroli. I think L'HB oscillates from cool to warm (crisp iris and cherry pie) without settling down to ever "be" either.



    Like I said, I have the current edp (which I got on the cheap at Kmart of all places), but have been looking around at the vintages. No one has mentioned the blue packaging with the fountain graphic. What's that all about?
    I offer you perfume,
    More for its pleasure than for yours;
    You perfume perfume.

    --Anonymous Ancient Greek Love Lyric

  17. #17

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    That was a 1999 limited re-edition of the "Biscuit shaped bottle" (1916) that was mainly made for American export. This bottle was made for several Guerlain perfumes, each with a different label, and the one for L'Heure Bleue was dark blue with a silvery fountain, quite Art Deco in style and very different from its original romantic Art Nouveau design. For the 1999 reissue, also a 75 ml EdT bottle was made, same as today's but with the blue/silver label...

    Quote Originally Posted by Antaeusintheair View Post
    No one has mentioned the blue packaging with the fountain graphic. What's that all about?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Thanks Mr. G. I falsely assumed because of the deco style it was older. Good to know.
    I offer you perfume,
    More for its pleasure than for yours;
    You perfume perfume.

    --Anonymous Ancient Greek Love Lyric

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    OK one more thing and then I'll shut up:

    It was Mr. G who tipped me off to the rich spiciness of LHB. It's not to say that I couldn't smell the spice all by myself - I could. But wearing LhB, my nose seems to be consumed with a lot of information: It's a very complex fragrance. When I wore it, I felt extremely happy just letting the notes swirl all around me and getting caught up in them. But then when Ulrik mentioned that it was so Morrocan-spice-market oriented, I thought to myself...really!? So, I sniffed my skin very up close (nose to skin) and lo-and-behold he was right - it is extremely spicy up close. Almost like L' Eau by Diptyque or CdG EdP - spice, spice, spice! My nose tickled. But when I pull my nose away, and I catch some whiffs of my sillage, the spice recedes to the background - becoming a much larger picture.

    Fascinating. It is this very facet that has always intrigued me about LhB. It's also another reason I am eager to smell the 'vintage' extrait.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 10th February 2010 at 09:18 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Wow, I'm wearing this today. (I clearly have a recent period edp.)

    I'm digging this. Mike is exactly right above me--the smell is different depending on where around you you smell it. Complex would be an understatement. This is like nothing else. I'm homebound all day because of a blizzard that has shut down my city, but this scent makes me ache to go out and show off.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Strolly,

    i have bought a year a go a 100ml vintage 1920 edt
    in teardrop botle of LHB.
    it is dark brown juice and it came in a lavender blue box.

    it is this one

  22. #22

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    i think it is still availabble.
    it was pricey thoug!

  23. #23

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Just so everyone is aware, use of the non-marketplace forums for selling/swapping or suggesting such is against the rules of Basenotes. The marketplace is for this.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Dear Dust B.

    i just have showed a picture telling a dear member
    that it is still availabbel ON EBAY!!!

    i dotn sell mine.
    thanx for your nice words my dear man.
    Last edited by moreda; 10th February 2010 at 10:55 PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Just checking out your site, Mr. G. Really beautiful work!
    I'm a bit envious, DustB. But I think I'll have to pick some up soon. It does seem just right for the snow we're having--beautiful and a bit lonely. I'm home reading Colette, too, which is adding to this whole mood.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Quote Originally Posted by moreda View Post
    Dear Dust B.

    i just have showed a picture telling a dear member
    that it is still availabbel ON EBAY!!!

    i dotn sell mine.
    thanx for your nice words my dear man.
    Yes yes yes, Moreda. I'm sure about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by moreda View Post
    Strolly,

    i have bought a year a go a 100ml vintage 1920 edt
    in teardrop botle of LHB.
    it is dark brown juice and it came in a lavender blue box.

    it is this one [IMG]
    Quote Originally Posted by moreda View Post
    i think it is still availabble.
    it was pricey thoug!
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    good dear dust be.


    anyway..

    strolly,

    the LHB vitnage is still on ebay..
    Last edited by moreda; 10th February 2010 at 11:48 PM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. G View Post
    That was a 1999 limited re-edition of the "Biscuit shaped bottle" (1916) that was mainly made for American export. This bottle was made for several Guerlain perfumes, each with a different label, and the one for L'Heure Bleue was dark blue with a silvery fountain, quite Art Deco in style and very different from its original romantic Art Nouveau design. For the 1999 reissue, also a 75 ml EdT bottle was made, same as today's but with the blue/silver label...
    Thanks for the information. I bought a bottle like this and I had no idea what it was about.
    Evenstar

  29. #29

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Quote Originally Posted by moreda View Post
    strolly,

    the LHB vintage is still on ebay..
    Judging from the discussions about vintage vs new, I'd agree. The bottle of LHB I bought on eBay months ago really does have that doughy iris character that vintage enthusiasts mention.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    LHB is one of my absolute favorite fragrances. I was fortunate, or so I thought, to find an unopened blue ribbon box of LHB parfum. After a time, I decided to open it & discovered that the entire contents had leaked (or evaporated). The box smelled fabulous as did the intact string wrapping around the stopper. The difference I noticed between this older parfum & the one I have from the 90's was in the base. Of course, that could just be from the evaporation.
    I did an experiment, whereby I took a 1/32 oz glass vial & put the scent darkend string from the older LHB parfum with a few drops of the 90's parfum. Then I let it sit until the string came out clean. The resulting scent, albeit a tiny, tiny amount is far richer than the 90's LHB formulation. Of course it's polluted by the string but as it's just for my own use, I don't mind. It's interesting. I'll wear it most often to bed & true to LHB, it lasts well into the next day. Repetitive applications just intensify the effect. Rich, evocative, like moonlight & clouds.

    The only other version of LHB I wear is the edp but not around my husband. He really dislikes the topnotes. I find the edp version "louder", with greater sillage. It has incredible longevity, perhaps even longer than the parfum but it has a huge sphere of influence, so it's not one I reach for often.

    Never tried, edc but would like to.
    RHM's Vintage, Rare & Pretty Darn Good items on offer: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/380...old-Pour-Femme

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Quote Originally Posted by RHM View Post
    ...The only other version of LHB I wear is the edp but not around my husband. He really dislikes the topnotes. I find the edp version "louder", with greater sillage. It has incredible longevity, perhaps even longer than the parfum but it has a huge sphere of influence, so it's not one I reach for often.

    Never tried, edc but would like to.
    Same here RHM. Ray hates when I wear L'Heure Bleue around him. I usually could care less what he thinks, but I have to refrain from wearing this to bed, for obvious reasons.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Checking back in because I scored some cheap vintage EdT on ebay--Mr. G dates it to the 70's--and it arrived today! I've done more wrist-sniffing in the last 8 hours than I have for a long time. This is beautiful stuff: so many facets and shifts. The 70's EdT is a very pretty, soft version of L'Heure Bleue but it has great depth and complexity. The sort of powder and salty peach pit thing was the first aspect that struck me, and then after about an hour the spice and bready iris started to be more prominent. The sillage and longevity are impressive for one spray. 8+ hours later it's still going strong--floral powder, earthy-bready iris and a bit of spice. And the foody anise facet is more pronounced now.
    Dreamy stuff. First full wearing tomorrow. I'm psyched.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Glad to hear you enjoyed your first toe-dip into the LHB water, Snafoo.

    Remember, this is one that really needs a light hand, when applied. Enjoy!

  34. #34

    Default Re: Any suggestions about how to spot vintage L'Heure Bleue?

    Hello,

    Sorry for dredging up an older thread, I was searching for methods of dating vintage Guerlain. After scouring the internet I am happy to say that... I am no closer to where I started!

    If anyone has any clues I would be happy to listen

    --
    *EDIT* Nevermind, I found it is a dummy bottle, but it's still a very beautiful bottle. It's going on the shelf!
    Last edited by kaylus; 16th April 2011 at 01:57 AM. Reason: Found answer

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