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  1. #1
    LiliB's Avatar
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    Default L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    Last year, in the throes of a mad purchasing binge, as a newcomer, I tried LhB current formulation EDT. I was way too inexperienced in perfume appreciation to have any real idea of what I was dealing with. I found it old fashioned, a challenge to the olfactory senses, too medicinal and aniseedy to get any idea of what the fuss was about. It just seemed impossible that anyone could wear it in today's world. How wrong I was.

    This is a cautionary tale for those who are new to Guerlain, and new to vintage. It took me perhaps a year to develop my olfactory senses to even the point where I could detect the nuances of various perfumes.

    I tried and rejected a number of lovely examples of classic perfumes too hastily. That Nahema that I felt was just too much to be wearable is now a personal treasure that I value above so many of my other treasures. I'm getting Shalimar again, because I think there's going to be far more to appreciate now, than my inexperienced senses could cope with last year.

    I feel obliged to give my reassessment now. Having just purchased a darling little vintage mini parfum, a tiny exact reproduction of the classic bottle complete with little glass stopper, I finally realize what this perfume is all about.

    I'm a lover of glass, though not besotted by bottles, but seriously this little bottle is a delicate work of art, so lovely to look at, so fragile in its composition, that having it for the bottle alone is worthwhile. Its adorable little stopper has an impossibly thin glass heart shape on it, just like the real thing

    A couple of little dabs yesterday and I finally 'got' it. This is a work of art. I won't bother trying to analyse the notes, which have been done by far more experienced noses than mine. For me, the perfume brought out an almost addictive desire to smell that wrist again and again.

    The mood, far from being pensive or introverted, for me was a pleasure-filled discovery of nuances, now violet, now aniseed, now florals, a hint of iris, sandalwood carried on a soft breeze, truly lovely, but all too fleeting on my skin. I find it surprising that others say this is a strong perfume, with decent longevity. On me it lives like a gorgeous poppy, for just a moment, and then disappears, leaving behind a longing to experience that feeling again.

    I'm fortunate to have just bought an older EDT, the one in the blue box with the Art Deco style silver fountain on the front. There are high hopes for this. I think the blending of the notes in the modern EDT has coarsened the experience intended by Guerlain and lost the harmonious, melodic journey that the vintage creates. That medicinal note is totally absent to my nose in the parfum. The anise in the vintage is just a hint, a pretty short brushstroke on a broad canvas. The violet is impossibly delicate, again, just a recurring theme, in a symphony of notes.

  2. #2
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    mikeperez23's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    I believe that EdT you have in the art deco styled glass is from the mid 1990's.

    I love LHB, but I have never liked the EdT (vintage or new). Only Parfum de Toilette, parfum and that wonderful rare Eau de Cologne which is my FAVORITE version. Currently I only own vintage PdT, but I plan on getting the other two one-of-these-days.

    Enjoy!
    "One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple"

    -- Jack Kerouac

  3. #3

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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    I agree with you that l'Heure bleue (as well as Apres l'ondee) is so removed from current tastes that at first it is completely incomprehensible. All these delicate notes, heliotrope, violet, neroli playing the most serene melody. I have a vintage edt and an edc, and they are both wonderful.

    cacio

  4. #4
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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    Apres l'Ondee current version is so far removed from how it was!!!! I swear, I picked up the new version in the bee like bottle and all I got was a pretty iris fragrance. Apres in parfum and the older edt are all glorious heliotrope, in fact quite close to what L'Heure older (80s)parfum was. They could be kissing cousins.

    I am actually too scared after sniffing modern Apres to even go near L'Heure.
    DONNA

  5. #5
    gandhajala's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    Quote Originally Posted by LiliB View Post
    ..I find it surprising that others say this is a strong perfume, with decent longevity. On me it lives like a gorgeous poppy, for just a moment, and then disappears, leaving behind a longing to experience that feeling again...
    I have a few bottles of the older extrait (not old, but the dark, pre-most-recent-reformulation) and find longevity & sillage excellent. One spritz is quite sufficient for a day's wearing.
    A certain BN perfume fairy was kind enough to send me some of the EdC and I, like Mike, find it wonderful.
    *sigh*

  6. #6

    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    Apres l'Ondee current version is so far removed from how it was!!!! I swear, I picked up the new version in the bee like bottle and all I got was a pretty iris fragrance. Apres in parfum and the older edt are all glorious heliotrope
    Also, a rooty iris in my book. Very nice but too fleeting (but so was the old EdT). I disagree about Apres l'Ondee Extrait - the samples I had were a more prominent iris than the EdT, which was indeed a glorious heliotrope.

    I have quite some different vintage forms of L'Heure Bleue. The thrill of it all for me is the florals (heliotrope) with only hints of the musky powdery pastry base initially. This I get best in the vintage EdP. I dearly love it. The old PdT is more musky, animalic - fantastic as it is. The old EdC I have has outstanding longevity and is very much along the lines of the PdT, but much lighter - more floral, but with a slight musky (animalic) heftiness.
    I also love the pre-reformulation extrait. I celebrated the 100th birthday in style by bringing home a special limited edition 60 ml Baccarat to my perfume cave earlier this year.
    One of my GREAT GREAT perfume loves and the only classic Guerlain that was instant love (from a newer EdT that was).
    Last edited by Larimar; 7th November 2012 at 07:49 AM.

  7. #7
    donna255's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    Have to admit the older edt lasts really well on me. I get a good 5 hours, but not massive sillage from the edt.
    DONNA

  8. #8
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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    It's a very special scent, I love it because it never resolves but keeps a dynamic tension throughout its life on your skin. This tension is the evening moving into night, the sweet violets and anise of childhood teetering into the medicated creams and spicy cloves / eugenol of the adult world. Its a warm coat on a cold night and light years ahead of most modern perfumes.

  9. #9

    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    I like the modern version of LHB, not having tried any other versions. I enjoy the floral with the herbal undertones that is unlike most newer scents.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  10. #10
    Super Member KarmaLee's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe C View Post
    It's a very special scent, I love it because it never resolves but keeps a dynamic tension throughout its life on your skin. This tension is the evening moving into night, the sweet violets and anise of childhood teetering into the medicated creams and spicy cloves / eugenol of the adult world. Its a warm coat on a cold night and light years ahead of most modern perfumes.
    This is a gorgeous description of my love for the blue wonder. Thank you!
    Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.
    W. Somerset Maugham

  11. #11
    Oviatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    So glad to hear that you all are wearing and loving this magical scent! It is beyond special.

  12. #12
    LiliB's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    I'm pleased to report that I have received my L'Heure Bleue and what a delicious find that was. It is an EDT, but in direct contrast to the modern version I had last year, this one packs a punch.

    This is definitely something that you need to have given up your 'learner plates' as a perfume aficionado. It challenges and surprises, but it also delights. This is delicious stuff, truly a thing of another era, but something I know I will treasure and wear just for me on numerous occasions.

    L'Heure-Bleu-vintage-EDT.jpg

  13. #13
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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    This is a really lovely, calm and considered thread with some gorgeous posts about L'Heure Bleu.

  14. #14
    Dependent southerngardens's Avatar
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    Default Re: L'Heure Bleu - a re-assessment

    I do so want to try it!
    The Collectors Sale is coming soon to the Basenotes Marketplace!
    Guy Roberts' 1983-84 intro, "AMOUAGE" parfum/ FAB 3 box presentation/MINT!!!-Vintage.possibly Antique-Guerlain Eau De Hegemonienne EDC/60%full/ purchased at estate auction of a NY dept. store magnet(Mays)/authenticity guaranteed-Box sets of Belle d Opium & Dior's Dune pour femme-Eau de Gucci, Elegantly boxed drawer liners w/Gucci No3 scent + a partial bottle of Gucci No.3 as an added value combo, Tom Ford's 'White Musk'.......

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