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  1. #1
    N_Tesla's Avatar
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    Exclamation The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    I speak of Shalimar, iconic top seller for Guerlain. OMG! There is Shalimar extrait, Shalimar EDP, Shalimar EDC, Shalimar Eau Legere (two versions), and next Shalimar Ode de la Vanille. Heavans to Sigmund Freud it doesn't stop there. Think of all of the "Limited Editions" like Oiseau de Paradis and more. So, where am I going with this? I would like to see a return to new fragrances of quality that will become the classics of tomorrow and that will not happen by resting on the laurels of Shalimar. Where are these new fragrances? IMO Idylle certainly isn't one. Where are the new classics. Time to send the marketing people on a long vacation and get the creative people working. Don't get me wrong. I love the house of Guerlain, enough to care what happens to it. I have Mitsouko flowing in my veins.
    Last edited by N_Tesla; 18th July 2010 at 08:28 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    You could almost say they have all their eggs in one basket with Shalimar - Its their top selling perfume so they gonna flog it do death with a gazillion flankers . New - ish classics start with the Parisienne line perhaps ? I dont know ?

    Ive thought it for a long time they seem to be at a crossroads and Im not sure if its LVMH to blame or not ???

    The old austere classics , crazy priced special or limited editions and shovel ware like Idylle and Monsieur Guerlain

  3. #3
    Un profumo affettuoso
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    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    Indeed! You are 100% right, N_Tesla - where are the new classics??? Idylle is a nondescript, average rosy floral - and the latest Aqua Allegoria with overtones of honey is - a failure - if I dare say so. Nevertheless, I'll always be addicted to Mitsouko.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    The new classics are few and far between because so many fragrances seem to lack a point of view. If they do, they have such a restricted distribution/high price that not enough people get to know and love them...

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    I hate flankers and refuse even to try them unless I come upon one by accident in a swap. Why not just keep the classics, which will be new for every new generation, and add unique scents to them? That was a rhetorical question. I know why (IFRA and reformulation), but that still doesn't excuse the litters of flankers spawned by every popular scent.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    Quote Originally Posted by tott View Post
    The new classics are few and far between because so many fragrances seem to lack a point of view. If they do, they have such a restricted distribution/high price that not enough people get to know and love them...
    I agree with this.
    There seems to be little direction too . No 'real' inspiration to create a masterpiece /new classic.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    *looks at Thierry Wasser*

  8. #8
    N_Tesla's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    My thoughts precisely!



    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    *looks at Thierry Wasser*

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    Unfortunately the ones that could have been classics were hard to find and are now discontinued: Sous le Vent and Attrape Coeur
    Evenstar

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    I think you are going to wait a very long time for the "new classics". The marketing policy has changed, and classics are not needed. Have a big launch, spend far, far more on the bottle and the ads than the fragrance itself, hope to recoup your investment; and then on to the next. There in no attempt to create classics; they are no longer wanted, except by a very small minority. So sad, but true.

  11. #11

    Default The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    I think David's point gets to the heart of the matter. Much as I love Guerlain, there's little doubt that its current agenda is not necessarily to produce fragrances that will endure, but ones which will achieve instant success. If we want classics, in the truest sense of the word, we probably need to turn to niche houses.

    Having said that, I must stress that I'm not as damning as other people of recent Guerlain efforts. I actually quite like Idylle (there's a review on my site) although I concede it isn't a masterpiece. And whilst L'Homme doesn't appeal to me personally, it does what it does fairly well. I think Wasser may yet impress us all.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    Quote Originally Posted by persolaise View Post
    I think David's point gets to the heart of the matter. Much as I love Guerlain, there's little doubt that its current agenda is not necessarily to produce fragrances that will endure, but ones which will achieve instant success. If we want classics, in the truest sense of the word, we probably need to turn to niche houses.

    Having said that, I must stress that I'm not as damning as other people of recent Guerlain efforts. I actually quite like Idylle (there's a review on my site) although I concede it isn't a masterpiece. And whilst L'Homme doesn't appeal to me personally, it does what it does fairly well. I think Wasser may yet impress us all.
    I wouldnt say he's bad, although idylle and homme is dissapointing but he still has quand de vent de la pluie and tonka imperiale. havent tried those tho.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    To be fair, Guerlain is not the only house with schizophrenia. Just look at Chanel: they're also churning out generics to the populace and reserving the good stuff for those who actually make an effort to find them and are willing to pay through the nose and jump through hoops to get their hands on them...

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    It is the policy of pretty well every major player. Launch "Smell", then "Smell for Men", then "Smell 2", "Smell 2 for Men", "Smell Lite", "Smell Lite for Men", etc. etc. Flankers and"Special Editions", all designed for a big launch and then to be quietly forgotten.

  15. #15
    Basenotes Institution
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    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    *looks at Thierry Wasser*
    Yeah , here's looking at you Thierry Wasser..........( Your surname is appropriate. )

    Quote Originally Posted by arwen_elf View Post
    Unfortunately the ones that could have been classics were hard to find and are now discontinued: Sous le Vent and Attrape Coeur
    Agreed !
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    maybe it comes down to dollars and cents instead of scents. I could make the case that they have to crank out a few mediocre sellers to support the occasional obscure/interesting one. Just because as other companies just start pushing out hundreds, the one masterpiece release by Guerlain every 5 years will simply get lost in the shuffle.
    Tom Ford Splits!!!! - Tobacco Vanille, Tuscan Leather, Oud Wood, Noir de Noir,
    Plum Japonais, Italian Cypress,
    Neroli Portofino, Costa Azzura
    HARD TO FIND -
    Lavender Palm, Arabian Wood, Champacca Absolute and AMBER ABSOLUTE, etc...


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  17. #17
    Hillaire
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    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    I thought I'd mention Plus Que Jamais, but I don't know how "new" it is.

    It's such a classic, to my mind. I love it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    I wanted to get some really good fragrances in my wardrobe again, and I was getting soooo tired of all the hundreds new fragarances, all either non-descript sweet and flowery, or just plain vile.
    I was just about to think I simply didn't like fragrances anymore until a whiff of Kelly Caleche saved me.

    I am afraid it's all about selling a ''name'' nowadays, either a celebrity, or an old classic perfume revamped, and de-souled.
    I do think most houses really prefer to be able to launch a hip new fragrance, with a new name every few years, instead of being all stodgy and static with a timeless classic.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    The timeless classics are huge cash cows, though, let's not forget that. Shalimar, N°5, Joy, L'Air du Temps and Youth Dew are still big sellers, N°5 is probably a substantial part of the finanicial backbone of Chanel. I think it's easy to forget that there are newer classics in the making, too; I wouldn't hesitate to put Angel, Cool Water, Fahrenheit and Light Blue in that category, for example. They are not unlikely to prove as tenacious as some of the old ones have.

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    Monsieur Tesla, a query:

    Are you calling for Guerlain to return to classical French perfumery of the highest order?

    Or alternatively, for Guerlain's modern releases to aspire to a standard of excellence in keeping with their illustrious forebears?

  21. #21
    N_Tesla's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    Emlynevermore; Thank you for your query. In answer, I think some of both. The classics should remain true to their original high standard of ingredients and the new fragrances should aspire to the standard of excellence with their fore bearers. Guerlain's standard of excellence should be applied to new progressive fragrances while maintaining the heritage of it's past. Where, after all, is the luxury in creating fragrances compromised by limiting creativity of the noses and using inferior compositional materials? Guerlain and luxury IMO should be one and the same.




    Quote Originally Posted by Emlynevermore View Post
    Monsieur Tesla, a query:

    Are you calling for Guerlain to return to classical French perfumery of the highest order?

    Or alternatively, for Guerlain's modern releases to aspire to a standard of excellence in keeping with their illustrious forebears?

  22. #22

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    Every classic house seems to have its "popular" launch to the masses. YSL had Parisienne. Fun scent and very youthful, but not a classic.

    I am pinning my hopes on the Guerlain Arsene Lupin duo for something classy and not just some interpretation of aquatics for men. (The notes do seem interesting, esp. the violet and leather...)
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  23. #23

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillaire View Post
    I thought I'd mention Plus Que Jamais, but I don't know how "new" it is. It's such a classic, to my mind. I love it.
    PQJ is the most beautiful chypre of recent years! Unfortunately, Guerlain discontinued it.

  24. #24

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    This is a very interesting discussion. I think schizophrenia is a good word for it. I've said this before, but I may as well be the voice in the wilderness again: what I'm increasingly dismayed by is what seems to me like Guerlain's attempt to run after the niche market with the Art et la Matière line and the Elixirs Charnels line, all packaged in tall square plain glass bottles with orientalist names like "Chypre fatal." Um, paging Serge Lutens anyone? The scents themselves haven't impressed me much at all. The point is, if I want niche, I'll go to Lutens. But that's not what I want from Guerlain. From Guerlain, I want the absolute best quality, the most exquisite, romantic packaging, all in the very best tradition of French perfumery. At least Idylle, while only so-so, wasn't yet another Lutens clone.

    As Tott rightly pointed out, this isn't specific to Guerlain. I felt my heart sink when I heard about Chanel's new Bleu, which, I'm told, is pretty awful. Meanwhile they've discontinued No. 19 parfum in the USA, so now that and Bois des Iles parfum, my two Chanel standbys, are now practically impossible to get...

    I also don't agree that "tradition" and "innovation" are polar opposites. Look at the Robert Piguet re-releases: they are of extremely high quality while remaining faithful to the spirit of the originals and complying with the draconian EU regs.

  25. #25

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    I hate flankers and refuse even to try them unless I come upon one by accident in a swap. Why not just keep the classics, which will be new for every new generation, and add unique scents to them? That was a rhetorical question. I know why (IFRA and reformulation), but that still doesn't excuse the litters of flankers spawned by every popular scent.

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  26. #26

    Default Re: The Guerlain with Multiple Personalities.

    So I lucked out in my vintage shop snooping and picked up a half bottle of Shalimar EdC which looks to date from some time in the 60's (thanks Cleopatra's Boutique for the guides) and . . .wow. I never understood why Shalimar gets praised as the alpha and omegas of orientals; the current version is only so much frilly lace and powder over vanilla. This stuff's top notes are mainly gone (no surprise) but what's left is magical blend of civet and vanilla without a trace of powder. It delicately balances the sweet vanilla gourmand aspect with a weird sweaty sheen of the animalic with no hint of the "amber" note that marks many modern orientals. It's awesome. But now I share the sadness over Guerlain =(

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