I came back a little while ago from a wonderful afternoon spent at the Guerlain counter (and behind closed doors) at Neiman Marcus at Topanga (near LA) for the Guerlain Exclusive Fragrance Experience with Marie Line Patry and the knowledgeable Guerlain staff (Cindy, Julia, Karen).
Mary Line Patry started the session by smelling my skin. She said I had a sweet, musky type of skin and sprayed me with four different perfumes. Iris Ganache, Shalimar Parfum Initial, La Petit Robe Noire #2, and Sous le Vent. She said that my skin was good for gourmands. I told her I was surprised about her choices, since I have never been crazy about Iris Ganache. She asked me to give it a chance. She mentioned that LPRN #2 will be gone soon.
We talked about the other perfumes at some length. I already have Sous le Vent, so we did not talk much about that one. She also told me that my note is orange blossom, because La Petit Robe Noir #2 bloomed on my skin.
It is very impressive to sit in front of all those beautiful bottles. For a minute I thought how much I would like to separate them between a) already have, b) in the middle and up front, the ones I want, and c) the others.
She did not have an Abeille to show me, since she brought eight and sold them all, but she got her iPad out (I think it was an iPad) and showed me the previous abeille, the current one, and the one that will be issued next year. She had a very small tester of this year's abeille. We smelled it on paper. It is very beautiful, it has jasmin, I think hyacinth and honeysuckle. Then she found a tester of the old abeille, which smells more honeyed, a completely different perfume. I think I understood correctly and perhaps I should not even mention this, but I thought I heard her saying that next year's abeille perfume will be Metallys. I was curious about the Bolshoi perfume, but she did not have a tester, or a tester of London. She also sprayed Vetiver pour Elle on me.
She was very generous and gave me an atomizer with Iris Ganache so I can try it without the distraction of other perfumes. Cindy, the Guerlain counter manager went to the back to get a tester of Secrets de Sophie, because I wanted to smell it.
Once we were finished Julia took me to a back room where I got a facial, of course using the abeille creams and the Orchide Imperial creams. It was very relaxing. I loved the experience.
When we finished I got a makeover with Karen. She left me looking very sophisticated. I had never tried their makeup line, except for the meteorites powders, and I was pleasently surprised about how good the foundation felt and the colors used were gorgeous.
I ended up the afternoon having a late lunch or early dinner at the Neiman Marcus cafe. It was such a relaxing and happy experience. I am so glad I went.
My thanks to the Guerlain staff, they treated me like a queen.
2. Encre Noire
3. Tobacco Vanille
Thanks a whole lot for sharing. Wow what a treatment! Interesting news about the next Abeille (I heard a Metalys extrait being mention before somewhere) and about LPRN #2 being a one-off. Will seek out confirmation about that.
I would really like it if you get confirmation. Not that I don't believe Mary Line Patry, but perhaps in my excitement, I misunderstood.
Marie is amazing and very dynamic. Last summer i attended an event at the Guerlain boutique at WDW Epcot, after asking me some questions and studying me a bit, she gave me a scent reading and suggested Chypre Fatale for me. Its not necessarily a unique frag, but I do love it!
''Do unto others 20% better than you'd expect them to do unto you to correct for subjective error.''
Oh I met Marie Line last year and I really wanted to do this event again. But on a Tuesday, just returning from the Nola sniff, 'twas impossible. So much fun to have her analyze the skin.
Arwen, you deserve the pampering-sounds divine.
A Scent Rescuer
Every great perfume deserves a good home
Sounds great, arwen!
I think it's cool that Guerlain are taking it to the people, putting some quality time into meeting people and introducing them to the work individually. There have been a couple of events here, a little more 'open' in nature, and I know that Chelsea (Chik, Head of Fragrance) who spends time in Paris every year with S. Delacourte & T. Wasser et al, is available for one on one consultations. I am a fan of this old school approach.
I need to correct myself now. I'm usually very much agains people spreading false rumors about this or that event in the perfume world, but this time, it's myself! Because, Isabelle Rousseau proved wrong and arwen_elf right! The chief SA in Paris told me today that LPRN#2 was indeed just a limited production and will be taken off shelves as of 1st January 2012. So hurry if you want it!
Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a wonderful event. Nothing remotely like this where I am living.
I love and wear nearly all the perfumes that were recommended or your skin ( have not had a chance to try LPRN #2, but didn't care for the original).
I was sprayed head to toe in Iris Ganache in Paris and ended up buying a bottle. Moi, who allegedly dislikes gourmands! Did you warm up to it?
Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting the Guerlain fragrance whisperer, Marie Line Patry.
This took place at the Las Vegas Guerlain boutique, where I've worked with sales associate Chuck, prior to his move to NYC, and now work with the beautiful, blonde Rhonda (exquisite customer service).
Marie is every bit as striking in person as in her photos - gorgeous platinum blond with steel blue eyes and impeccably groomed and dressed. A forthright, disarming, and confident demeanor.
The consultation was fast. She didn't formally "smell my skin" - if she smelled me, it was from across a small table!
She asked if I would like some champagne and I declined.
She asked me how many perfumes I had.
She confirmed that I enjoyed the d/c Guerlain Secrets de Sophie. I responded that I very much like it as it's not too sweet, not too ambery, not too musky, not too spicy, and that it needs more staying power.
She stated she was going to find me a signature fragrance.
She asked if I wear all of my fragrances (I do, according to mood) and whether they tend to be of the same type / family (they are; I like green florals, dry florals, chypres). I mentioned, with a touch of despair, that my favorite Guerlains were ltd editions or discontinued (Philtre d'Amour, Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus, Secrets de Sophie, Vetiver pour Elle).
With her fingers, she gently swiped two fragrances, one onto the back of each hand, and they were glorious. Hours later, at the airport, they were still glorious.
She asked if I had ever considered L'Heure Bleue parfum and I replied that its levity and history intimidated me. She stated only the parfum with my skin type, never EDT.
She applied L'Heure Bleue parfum to one forearm and L'Instant Magic to the other forearm. The LIM has lovely top notes, but, unfortunately, completely fell apart within 10 minutes of application on me; the top is quite appealing, though. The L'Heure Bleue is a stunner; serious, complicated, uncompromising, and regal.
Her brief comments about my skin got me intellectualizing (privately - I didn't say these thoughts outloud) about why I don't wear strongly sweet or musky scents very comfortably.
I attempted to converse with her about a couple of my favorite Guerlains, two she had not chosen, and she immediately replied "____ is a beautiful fragrance" and stared blankly back at me with no further comment. When I asked how I would know that these perfumes I was wearing were right for me and smelled good, she stated directly, "Because I chose them for you". She was confident and undeterred in her selections. She is not at all conversational; she watches you and takes everything in, analyzing.
Seriously, I do think this woman knows what she's doing and highly recommend having a consultation with her if you'd like to find a Guerlain (or two!) to make your own.
As a little background, she would have lost all credibility with me had she chosen to apply on my skin any of the young, fluffy gourmands. However, I did not mention this fact to her - it was actually my little test to see if she knew her stuff. Gratefully, she didn't remotely consider them and took me into a direction I did not expect, even after all my years of perfume wearing.
It's strange, but I feel like I learned something important about myself through this experience, and I gained considerable confidence as well. If you have the opportunity - give it a try!
I purposefully did not state what we chose - the experience, while not at all intimate, ends up being quite personal and Marie helps you discover more about yourself. What is important is not what others choose, but what ends up working for you. It was a far more revelatory experience than I expected and I highly recommend it to anyone.
Awesome story seattlelight. I also think LHB parfum is exquisite, and I have a mini of L'Instant Magic that I really enjoy - so it's interesting that those are the two she chose for you.
"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple"
-- Jack Kerouac
Thanks for the beautifully written report. Did you buy either of the two that she recommended? And, ultimately, we are all curious -- what did you get? Please?
Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus -- first a couple of years ago I shrugged at the possibility, then I became curious, and now -- tearful, as I have never had a chance to test it.
Hi mikeperez - it was my first experience with LHB parfum. It is the only parfum I've ever worn that makes me wonder if I am up to the task of being its wearer - and that surprises and intrigues me.
L'Instant Magic - the top notes are a delight. If you can wear it with that effect all the way through, you are a lucky one! I read somewhere that Marie wears LIM as a signature. It smelled quite harsh on me after 10-15 minutes and the harshness simply increased over the length of the wearing. It is not an easily found Guerlain; I don't believe I've ever seen it at our local Sephoras, and I'm sure I've never seen it at the major department stores in this region. It is even difficult to find L'Instant here.
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Hi Twolf - The short answer is no, I didn't buy the two. Yet.
The longer answer is that, during Lent, I don't purchase any fun, extraneous items. No clothes, shoes, perfumes, lipsticks, makeup, books, etc. It's my way of sacrificing and, believe me, by about week 4, I'm ready to splurge! That's when I start whining to my family and friends and feeling sorry for myself. However, that's also when I realize how much time and resources I spend on things to the detriment of experiences and personal growth.
Okay, homily over. So, obviously, I'm going to make a purchase after Easter! The wait is painful, but I am accomplishing things in other areas of my life that have been neglected.
I'll let you know what I purchase when it's done, but it will be several weeks!
Very good decision, you will feel more rewarded then having had more chances to test wear your possible fragrances.
On a side note, your writing style is excellent -- and I do not tend to say it very often -- and if you are not doing it for a living, please think about it, OK?