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  1. #1

    Default What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Hi all,

    I am sad that no. 5 has been recently (post 2009) reformulated.

    I love Guerlain and wonder what L'Heure Bleu smells like. There are no samplers in my area. Can anyone compare it to some modern or even older well known frags?

    Any advice? Thanks bbs

    C xx

  2. #2

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    L'Heure Bleue (1912) is a powdery floral with the famous accord called Guerlainade (supposedly bergamot, rose, jasmine, tonka bean, iris, and vanilla).

    I get something even leathery in it.

    It is the forerunner of the new Insolence (EDT and EDP) but with less knock-down power.

    It comes after the similar Apres L'Ondee.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    I haven't tried L'Heure Bleu yet, but I don't think it's the same kind of fragrance as Chanel No. 5.
    I think L'Heure Bleu is a little more spicy and semi oriental. It has coriander and star anise in the top notes and cloves in the heart of the fragrance. Aside from that they actually do have some similar notes though! I have no idea how similar they actually smell though.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    To me it smells like carnations, and vanilla. Powdery, old fashioned and strong.

    Dans La Nuit Vers Le Jour Sans Adieu Je Reviens Vers Toi.


  5. #5

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    I would try to get a sample - this is really different from anything modern.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyDragonFire View Post
    I haven't tried L'Heure Bleu yet, but I don't think it's the same kind of fragrance as Chanel No. 5.
    I think L'Heure Bleu is a little more spicy and semi oriental. It has coriander and star anise in the top notes and cloves in the heart of the fragrance. Aside from that they actually do have some similar notes though! I have no idea how similar they actually smell though.
    It's nothing like Chanel No. 5, which is a great deal of floral aldehydes.
    Last edited by Primrose; 5th September 2011 at 06:25 AM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Agree that it's nothing like No.5.

    You don't disclose where you are in your profile but if you called the Guerlain boutique in Las Vegas, I'll bet they would send you a sample.
    A Scent Rescuer
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  8. #8

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Hmm well. Does it smell like anything mainstream? Just to get an idea. Likewhats is the opening middle and dry down like? It would have to be a blind purchase. There are NO available testers and I am not too comfortable with the perfumed court.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Although the notes are different, a lot of the classic Guerlains share the same "vibe" (Miksouko, Shalimar etc.) and you probably will either adore it, or feel like it's nice and historical, but not something you would want to wear. If you can smell any older Guerlain you might be able to guess whether you would like L'heure bleue.

    In this one, there's no citrus, no watery freshness, no musk, no leather, nothing animalic, and it is not light and airy. But still, in its own way, magical. To me, L'heure Bleue smells like a powdery sachet you put in a chest of sweaters. I pull out my bottle and sniff it's wistful aroma quite often, actually.
    I just pulled out my bottle and sprayed a bit on some paper.
    Top note: iris
    Middle: carnation
    Base note : vanilla
    Very lovely, rather dense, rather dry.

    Wistful but innocent.
    Last edited by Fleurine; 5th September 2011 at 02:16 AM.

    Dans La Nuit Vers Le Jour Sans Adieu Je Reviens Vers Toi.


  10. #10

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Fleurine's description mirrors my own experience of the scent. I would add, though, that for me the scent starts off with a faintly medicinal vibe, sort of camphory, and then develops as Fleurine described.
    Last edited by Leesee; 5th September 2011 at 07:51 AM. Reason: typos, natch!

  11. #11

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleurine View Post
    Although the notes are different, a lot of the classic Guerlains share the same "vibe" (Miksouko, Shalimar etc.) and you probably will either adore it, or feel like it's nice and historical, but not something you would want to wear. If you can smell any older Guerlain you might be able to guess whether you would like L'heure bleue.

    In this one, there's no citrus, no watery freshness, no musk, no leather, nothing animalic, and it is not light and airy. But still, in its own way, magical. To me, L'heure Bleue smells like a powdery sachet you put in a chest of sweaters. I pull out my bottle and sniff it's wistful aroma quite often, actually.
    I just pulled out my bottle and sprayed a bit on some paper.
    Top note: iris
    Middle: carnation
    Base note : vanilla
    Very lovely, rather dense, rather dry.

    Wistful but innocent.
    Thank you so much! Would you compare the dryness of this fagance to the type of dryness present in Dune by Dior?

  12. #12

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Great descriptions. No, nothing like Dune. Dune, which I like, is bleak-sandy-chocolatey with lots of ditzy flowers up top. Nothing to do with the serene Heure Bleue, which comes from an age when syrups and milk chocolates were restricted to waffles and downmarket drinks.

    As others have said, it's really hard to describe because it is quite unlike anything current, the style has gone out of fashion. Some similarities with the equally out-of-fashion and difficult to find Apres l'ondee. though AO is lighter and more herbs de Provence. In HB, I get some sort of anice up top, followed by an almost but not quite edible dessert.

    It's wonderful, but exactly because it's so unusual, it is not a safe buy, unless you're happy with spending the amount. I'm saying because I remember a recent case here on BN, forgot whom, who bought AO under our encouragements, but then didn't like the style.

    cacio

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    I did purchase a sample from Perfumed Court, and although I haven't given it a full wearing yet, it's so, so lovely.
    Even if you don't end up loving it, it's an incredible perfume. If you can get a sample somewhere, that's definitely the way to go...

  14. #14

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    @mademoiselle-c: If what you're looking for is a floral aldehyde like Chanel No. 5 BTW, maybe you could try Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent? Again, I haven't tried it unfortunately, but I've heard other people recommend it highly. It might be something you'd like more if what you want is a straight up floral perfume. Maybe you'd also like Chanel No. 19 too? I've heard people recommend that one too. I'm not trying to discourage you from buying Guerlain perfumes at all BTW, I like Guerlain. I'm just trying to think what else you might possibly like based on the fact that you like Chanel no. 5. maybe you'd also like Estee Lauder's White Linen.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    @Mademoiselle C: I just had another thought. If you go on the Guerlain website they actually have a quiz you can take. You basically say what kinds of smells you are naturally drawn to and answer a few other random questions and they recommend three Guerlain fragrances that they think you would like.

  16. #16

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyDragonFire View Post
    @Mademoiselle C: I just had another thought. If you go on the Guerlain website they actually have a quiz you can take. You basically say what kinds of smells you are naturally drawn to and answer a few other random questions and they recommend three Guerlain fragrances that they think you would like.
    I got Mitsouko, Samsara and Herba Fresca round one. And Idylle, Jardins de Bagatelle and another one I don't remember!

    How about you!?

  17. #17

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyDragonFire View Post
    @mademoiselle-c: If what you're looking for is a floral aldehyde like Chanel No. 5 BTW, maybe you could try Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent? Again, I haven't tried it unfortunately, but I've heard other people recommend it highly. It might be something you'd like more if what you want is a straight up floral perfume. Maybe you'd also like Chanel No. 19 too? I've heard people recommend that one too. I'm not trying to discourage you from buying Guerlain perfumes at all BTW, I like Guerlain. I'm just trying to think what else you might possibly like based on the fact that you like Chanel no. 5. maybe you'd also like Estee Lauder's White Linen.
    Coco by Chanel (not Coco Mademoiselle) is also a floral aldehyde. I like this better than Chanel No. 5, actually.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  18. #18

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    I've always thought of it as a sweet floral bordering on the oriental, very conventionally "old fashioned" soft and velvety, misterious and elegant, and on the same category (in my opinion) as Coty's L'Origan, Guerlain's own Après L'Ondée and Arden's Blue Grass. Thta's the vintage version, the new one is less powdery and more vanillic overall.

    Fellow basenoters have given great descriptions of the scent.

  19. #19

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    L'Heure Bleu has a narcotic like vibe going on. For me Guerlainaide is all about the heliotrope that cherry/almond vibe going on. I suggest you get a sample before you even think of buying.

    In parfum L'Heure Bleu and Apres L'Ondee are very very very close. In the edt not so. Good suggestion is Rive Gaude or even Joy.
    DONNA

  20. #20

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Sadly, on my skin the answer is - like a plastic doll's head... ;-)

    I would say get a sample or decant before buying. It may be right for you, it may not. I find it beautiful on others, but it doesn't work for me at all.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by mademoiselle-c View Post
    I got Mitsouko, Samsara and Herba Fresca round one. And Idylle, Jardins de Bagatelle and another one I don't remember!

    How about you!?
    I also got Mitsouko, Samsara and Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca. I like green and woody fragrances too.
    Again, though, if you're thinking of trying Mitsouko I highly recommend that you get a sample first. I like Mitsouko, but it is also really, really different from any (or most) modern perfumes, although some people compare it too Miss Dior and Aromatics Elixir from Clinique.

  22. #22

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    I know this topic is old and I'm not too sure if you are still interested in L'Heure Bleu Mademoiselle-C,but I just wanted to let you know that I got small samples of both Apres L'Ondee and L'Heure Bleu from The Perfumed Court. I don't dislike them, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them for you if the style you like is Chanel No. 5. They are definitely nothing like that.
    Apres L'Ondee pretty much just smells like licorice on me (the Anise is pretty dominant. I find it is anyway.) Mind you, it's the EDT that I tried. The EDP might be more floral/powdery? I have no idea, lol! It's super sweet like Samsara (if you know what that smells like) and I don't think I would buy it because I get tired of Samsara really fast, although I don't find the smell of either of these perfumes to be really "bad." I haven't tested L'Heure Bleu on myself yet, but in the "bottle" I agree that it smells very similar to Apres L'Ondee, except stronger. (I think.) I agree with the person who said it smells a lot like carnations too, if that makes any sense. I'll update this tomorrow after I test on myself to see if I feel differently about it. I definitely think they are perfumes that you should try before you buy though. I wouldn't tell anyone to blind buy these, especially because they're expensive. :/ And I have to say (not to be the Devil's advocate or anything lol!) that out of all the classic Guerlains so far I like Shalimar and/or Mitsouko the most.

  23. #23

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Okay, I just actually tested L'Heure Bleu on myself. On me it smells nothing like Apres L'Ondee. They are two entirely different things. As I said with Apres L'Ondee I pretty much only got the anise note (and maybe some carnation) and not much of anything else. It didn't even smell like powder on me. With L'Heure Bleu I can't smell the anise in it (thank goodness!) I would actually say that L'Heure Bleu is a much more "well done" fragrance, and is significantly more complex than Apres L'Ondee too, although they share surprisingly similar notes and have similar pyramid structures (in theory anyway.) L'Heure Bleu actually does smell very powdery on me when I first put it on. As it dries down it gradually becomes much sweeter. It has a very sweet base that smells like sweet amber. The drydown of L'Heure Bleu (on me) actually smells surprisingly similar to a Scent by the Sea fragrance oil I just reviewed recently called Sweet Hashish. Seriously. LOL! The powdery notes are quite different though, but Sweet Hashish is the only modern fragrance I can really accurately compare L'Heure Bleu to. It's really not a bad perfume, and I like it a lot more than Apres L'Ondee, but again, I suspect it may not be your style unless you also really happen to like sweet amber fragrances that also smell really powdery.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by mademoiselle-c View Post
    Hmm well. Does it smell like anything mainstream? Just to get an idea. Likewhats is the opening middle and dry down like? It would have to be a blind purchase. There are NO available testers and I am not too comfortable with the perfumed court.
    To me, Oscar is reminiscent of L'heure Bleue. Oscar is more cheery than LHB though ... not near so melancholy. I'm not sure why it reminds me of LHB, the note pyramid looks nothing alike!

    Top note : Peach, Galbanum, Gardenia, Bergamot
    Middle note : Rose, Honey, Orris, Cyclamen
    Base note : Cedar, Sandal, Moss, Benzoin

  25. #25

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    I completely agree with you shades - Oscar de la Renta (my sotd earlier, btw!) is just like a sunny, more cheerful L'Heure Bleue - I've always thought so! Among other subtle differences, I think it might be the anise note that gives L'HB a serene or moody feel, and Oscar has that bright punch of sparkly aldehydes that L'HB lacks. It's also a lot soapier and "cleaner" in feel to me than L'HB, while L'HB is soft and velvety rich. And more gourmandy ...that marzipan thing, I suppose. At any rate, as different in character as they are, both are direct descendants of Coty L'Origan, as is Cacharel's LouLou - all sweet and powdery (I personally find L'Heure Bleue more creamy than powdery, however) orientals.

    mademoiselle-c - if you're still looking and you'd like to explore more fragrances that are closely related to Chanel No5, I'd recommend other aldehydic florals such as Le Dix, Arpege, My Sin, Madame Rochas, Climat, Infini and Caleche. (Btw, with much respect and as much as I hate to contradict Primrose, Coco is not classified as an aldehydic floral. It's a quintessential oriental - lush florals and warm spices on a warm and resinous base ...at least the perfume and edp are orientals. I'm not familiar with the edt but I'd assume it's just a more transparent version of the original.)
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Anise, iris, marzipan, and a hallucination of violet, I'd say.
    What do insomniac perfumers do to fall asleep? They count chypres!

  27. #27

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by jujy54 View Post
    Anise, iris, marzipan, and a hallucination of violet, I'd say.
    I think that's a very accurate description to me. The vintage extrait has a deep and I mean *really* deep musk burried in the base.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    ^ Yes.
    I found the discontinued PdT breathtakingly beautiful. Something about the bright, airy floral heart and the perfectly judged musky base really does it for me.

  29. #29

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    I had to smile when I saw this thread because L'Heure Bleue is a blast of scent that is unique, unmistakeable, but hard to describe! Nothing prepares you for it. It is pierciing, chemical violet right away, like a wax furniture spray, but infused strongly with fragrant herbs, like rosemary and thyme. The herbal part is the "Guerlainade". There is nothing sexy about it at all. It may be a work of art but it is not a perfume that is easy or enjoyable to wear. Some say it makes them feel sad. It certainly has a bitter herbicidally unquiet note. Definitely one to test before buying.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    LHB is so odd—in a wonderful way to some, less wonderful to others—that I will second the recommendations that you get a sample before you commit. Marzipan, violet, and anise jump out at me. Sometimes it's all I want, other times I need a break. It is serene, still, meditative. I wear it for me, often just before bed.

    ps - I'm loving reading this thread. So many wonderful descriptions, and we're all talking about the same frag!
    pps - I just realized I already posted here. My original description was better, to wit: Anise, iris, marzipan, and a hallucination of violet.
    What do insomniac perfumers do to fall asleep? They count chypres!

  31. #31
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by mademoiselle-c View Post
    ...........I love Guerlain and wonder what L'Heure Bleu smells like.
    It smells amazing, and no descriptions are adequate.

    Quote Originally Posted by angelofthenorth View Post
    .....It may be a work of art but it is not a perfume that is easy or enjoyable to wear.
    Wrong.

    It's one of the most comfortable (and cerebral) fragrances I own, but I prefer the edt.
    Last edited by pluran; 24th October 2011 at 02:47 AM.

  32. #32

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    RATS!!!! You all have got ME wanting to try LHB now ! I had heard -It's like Insolence(got two mini s and didn't really love it /sort of tolerable/DEFINITELY Would't be my fav Guerlain /gave one to my mom) and -it's almond/anisey and after Dior's Hypnotic Poison (bitter almond-different!-but my brain was shoving into the same catagory).

    Grrr. ANOTHER frag to go lemming after....
    Fragrance Omnivore

  33. #33

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by angelofthenorth View Post
    There is nothing sexy about it at all.
    Agree. My words - true for all Guerlains except Shalimar, Jicky and Mouchoir de Monsieur IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by angelofthenorth View Post
    It may be a work of art...
    Exactly. Wearing most Guerlains (the classics only!!) is like enjoying great art.

    Quote Originally Posted by angelofthenorth View Post
    but it is not a perfume that is easy or enjoyable to wear.
    Disagree. As pluran stated it is a very comfortable and calming, rather introvert scent to me.

  34. #34

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Abstractly, L'HB smells like the evening breeze, when your day has been rife with substance; profound and meaningful.
    Physically and factually, it is a blend of depth and lightness, sweetness and spice, coolness and warmth, a multi floral on the sweet side, powdery with a slight bite to it, woodsy especially in the EDP form (to my nose at least), with heliotrope, anise and vanilla which "should" make it foody but it's not: there's nothing edible about L'HB.
    It is not a "sexy" scent because it suggests too deep an emotion, it's a very poignant, penetrating scent. It's more about the woman you want to hold as opposed to the woman you want to... well, you know.

  35. #35

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nymph View Post
    Abstractly, L'HB smells like the evening breeze, when your day has been rife with substance; profound and meaningful.
    Physically and factually, it is a blend of depth and lightness, sweetness and spice, coolness and warmth, a multi floral on the sweet side, powdery with a slight bite to it, woodsy especially in the EDP form (to my nose at least), with heliotrope, anise and vanilla which "should" make it foody but it's not: there's nothing edible about L'HB.
    It is not a "sexy" scent because it suggests too deep an emotion, it's a very poignant, penetrating scent. It's more about the woman you want to hold as opposed to the woman you want to... well, you know.
    LOL, Nymph!

    Why does the discussion of fragrance always centre on sex? Why not timeless elegance?
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  36. #36

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    All lovely, poetic, perfect descriptions of L'Heure Bleue! Can't wait to see how Guerlain will celebrate it next year for its 100th anniversary. To me, smelled up close, L'Heure Bleue has the same delightful effect as a multicoloured Indian spice market, but there is something arrestingly tranquil and anaesthetic about it.

  37. #37

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    LOL, Nymph!

    Why does the discussion of fragrance always centre on sex? Why not timeless elegance?
    Well, forgive me for not describing it the way YOU wanted it described. :roll eyes:
    I was also agreeing with Angelofthenorth.

  38. #38

  39. #39
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    l've recently gone from finding it a melancholy perfume to finding it rather comforting, though still contemplative & introspective.

    The other night l sprayed some on my bedding before going to sleep. At 3am l was woken by a long & loud rumble of thunder, followed by heavy rain beating on the roof. As l lay there listening to the incredible sound effects, while contentedly sniffing my duvet, l felt wonderfully snug & serene. The scent of L'Heure Bleue suited the moment perfectly, & l think l will always remember it as one of the most perfect sniffing experiences of my life.

    For me the scent itself is almost indescribable, but it certainly seems to inspire poetic feelings in all of us who love it!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  40. #40

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    teardrop, that is a very lovely picture and also IMO very fitting description!

  41. #41
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Like Mr. G, I find L' Heure Bleue a very spicy scent, more so than any other Guerlain scent. It was this facet that drew me to loving it, and I use sparingly my vintage Parfum de Toilette. The discontinued Eau de Cologne version (which I used to own) is even better.

    I have to be careful not to over apply it, because if I do it wears *very* powdery.
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  42. #42

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Hi
    I'm the barbarian who bought both LHB and Apres l"Ondee and kept neither. I found them both so very different in their style of perfumery that I simply couldn't see my way to wearing them, except in private. So I gave them away to deserving homes.

    I, too, am a lover of the pre-formulated Chanel No 5, and love that style of perfumery. Since embarking on my journey learning about perfumes I have discovered some more conventional floral examples that fit well into that the Chanel style I loved.

    Don't get caught falling in love with LeDix. It is magical, but discontinued and is getting harder and harder to get. Climat is discontinued and is to my mind excessively expensive where it is available.

    I bought Joy and Amouage Gold, and they both appeal in the sort of way that Chanel 5 does. I fell in love with the reissued L'interdit, The Parfums Mythiques version. Lovely, soft and feminine and drew compliments from quite young girls who I would have thought should dismiss it as 'old lady'. I also discovered Vol de Nuit and this is my favourite Guerlain. I have both the EDT and Parfum and actually prefer the EDT which is lighter and much brighter than the parfum. I also have Caleche, Miss Dior, Dioressence and other perfumes of this style, however, they are not florals the way that the earlier ones I mentioned are, they are essentially chypres.

    From what I have found in my journey, there is just nothing like Chanel 5. You'll find perfumes that are made in a similar style, but it is unique, quite unlike anything else. Coco is nothing like it, in fact, in many ways, I feel it is the antithesis of No 5. It is spicy and oriental, as well as having a lovely floral element of course.

  43. #43

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    I know this is old, but just wanted to add that I read from several sources that Queen Elizabeth wears L'Heure Bleu.
    Given all the descriptions here, it must suit her impeccably.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    L'Heure Bleue does not resemble anything modern at all, very powdery dry and old fashioned. I absolutely cannot stand it, something I cannot say about any other Guerlain. I made my girl wash it off when she wore it. I love Jicky and respect many more feminine Guerlains but this one is just plain gross to my nose. Does not resemble Chanel No. 5 at all because it has no aldehydes.

  45. #45

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    L'Heure Bleue does not resemble anything modern at all, very powdery dry and old fashioned. I absolutely cannot stand it, something I cannot say about any other Guerlain. I made my girl wash it off when she wore it. I love Jicky and respect many more feminine Guerlains but this one is just plain gross to my nose. Does not resemble Chanel No. 5 at all because it has no aldehydes.
    Too bad that this classic does not suit you. I get compliments on it all the time.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  46. #46

    Default Re: What does l'heure bleu smell like?

    'Mysterious and elegant' is a good start, 'tranquil' and I'd add 'indescribably beautiful, with a hint of melancholy that could only come from another time and place'.

    What does 'Clair de Lune' sound like.

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