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  1. #1

    Default New L'Heure Bleue - is it that bad? (Turin & Sanchez)

    I have a sample of post-2010 L'Heure Bleue and I like it.

    But I am very new to fragrances and I am very influenced by _The Guide_ (Turin & Sanchez). Sanchez's famous denunciation ("nothing like...") of the post-2010 L'HB formula in their '100 Perfumes' really puts me off. Does the current formula bear any resemblance at all to what is described in the original review?

    Does anyone here actually like the new L'HB?

    Either way, how would you describe it?

    I know I should just go with my own nose, but it's incredibly frustrating not having some guidance, not being able to compare with the vintage myself (I don't have the £££ to start blind-buying expensive vintage stuff just out of curiosity.... do I????) and not knowing whether what I've got in my sample is anything remotely like the old stuff.

  2. #2

    Default Re: New L'Heure Bleue - is it that bad? (Turin & Sanchez)

    Sanchez doesn't say that the current HB is bad, but that it is not what it used to be. Vintage HB had a very special, atmospheric, dreamy quality to it. Very serene, with almost edible nutty notes, but never falling into gourmand territory, and with some kick from carnation-like notes. The current one is not completely different, but in my opinion it has lost some of the dreaminess and near edibility of the original. It feels less unique, it is a very good, slightly spicy floral, but without its original feel. Unfortunately, some of its main ingredients have been severely restricted, in particular heliotropin (almondy, mimosa like notes) and eugenol (carnation-cloves), so there's little one can do. And there wasn't really anything like it in recent perfumery, so there's no substitute (Apres l'ondee did share some of the structure of HB, but apparently it has also changed because of the restrictions).

    So, in sum, the current HB is good and if you like it, go ahead. But if you get the chance, try to smell vintage as well. As you say, vintage Guerlains reach such high prices that one should not even try to purchase without proper experience and knowledge. And, as usual, who knows. One can get lucky and find a vintage bottle (in this case, vintage means pre-2010) in a brick and mortar store for a reasonable price.

    cacio

  3. #3

    Default Re: New L'Heure Bleue - is it that bad? (Turin & Sanchez)

    I agree that the current LHB is much changed from the vintage. What I find in the vintage is that it is so much better balanced than the modern. The anisic, almost medicinal quality that put me off the modern, is more gentle and much more intriguing in the vintage. Mind you, having said that, I am only speaking about a vintage EDT, not the parfum, which is another thing altogether. The parfum is glorious and so much more multi-dimensional than either modern or vintage EDT.

    I found a tiny mini of the vintage parfum and although it was costly ($50 for memory) it was a golden opportunity to put the true nature of this marvellous perfume to the test, to see just what the perfumer wanted his user to experience.

    Keep this in mind. It may a viable alternative for anyone that might like to try the original, without competing for a full bottle at outrageous prices. In fact I have found that minis can give one a range of experience of some of the finest perfumes of the classic vintage era, at a considerably smaller investment than full bottles. I prefer them to decants from TPC and Surrender to Chance, because you tend to pay really high prices for relatively tiny amounts. At least with a mini, generally the smallest amount will be 3mls and sometimes as much as 7.5mls. Good value, relatively speaking.

  4. #4

    Default Re: New L'Heure Bleue - is it that bad? (Turin & Sanchez)

    The current Parfum and EDP still smells like L'Heure Bleue - and it is a unique fragrance, so let's be thankful for small mercies, but as mentioned upstream, it has lost depth and the sultry attitude it once had has been tamed. A tragedy in my opinion, as I consider it the most beautiful perfume on the planet. That said, I would say enjoy it for what it is because it is still an unusual scent and miles better than a lot of stuff out there. There is an interview with Thierry Wasser here on basenotes where he openly discusses the challenges he faces in trying to maintain Guerlain classics in the face of the ludicrous restrictions handed down from EU / IFRA - he is passionate about the work and I'm sure he is doing everything he can.

    In some ways the more recent L'Heure de Nuit is a more satisfying piece of work than current L'HB as the initial L'HB scent is there, but held in check by by some contemporary musks (I am assuming) which gives the whole thing a bit of shape, altho I would suggest it should be called L'Heure d'Apres Midi, because it's more of a bright daytime feel, quite upbeat.

  5. #5

    Default Re: New L'Heure Bleue - is it that bad? (Turin & Sanchez)

    We have discussed it in several threads here (they should show up by using the search function). I had my reformulated extrait exchanged by Guerlain two years ago. The new extrait had lost its anisic spiciness, the florals were pale and the whole thing was watery thin with noticeably less sillage. I think it is pretty bad and I also think that Monsieur Wasser, since he had to reformulate it due to new restrictions, took a chance and 'modernized' it, made an inoffensive 21st century office-friendly version. It's detectable as L'Heure Bleue, but that's all. If you are really interested, try to get hold of an EdP (golden-black box) or an extrait tester etc. (there used to be plenty available in the U.K.). The older extrait had a light ambery colour, whereas the new is a pale yellow (fittingly!).

  6. #6

    Default Re: New L'Heure Bleue - is it that bad? (Turin & Sanchez)

    Thank you everyone for your helpful comments and guidance. And sorry for posting this (I think) in the wrong place. I can see I should still be confining myself to the 'just starting out' area.

    Anyway, I'm very excited to have just purchased a vintage EdT and a vintage mini parfum on Ebay. Somewhat impulsively (woops, sorry bank balance) but...... well hopefully it will be interesting/worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Sanchez doesn't say that the current HB is bad, but that it is not what it used to be.
    I think (from memory) she says the post-2010, while "pretty" (which to me is damning it with faint praise?) is "nothing like" the previous formulation. From what you guys are saying that sounds to be a bit of an exaggeration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larimar View Post
    We have discussed it in several threads here (they should show up by using the search function).
    Indeed I did a few searches here before posting, but could only find lots of discussions about different vintage formulations (e.g. 2006 vs 2007 etc.) and lots of discussion about how disappointing/reduced/changed the post-2010 formula is (but without anyone saying what the new one is actually like, just that it's not as good). I wanted to find out what people think about the current version on its own terms.

    I think it is pretty bad and I also think that Monsieur Wasser, since he had to reformulate it due to new restrictions, took a chance and 'modernized' it, made an inoffensive 21st century office-friendly version.
    Going off topic here, but gosh, why would he do that?? I'm not disputing it, just amazed that they would be so cynical and patronizing to their customers. Why not just keep as true to the old version as possible within the restrictions and do a new version called something like 'L'Heure Bleue Moment/Legere/Maintenant' or something, for the office crowd?

    It's detectable as L'Heure Bleue, but that's all.
    Sorry but what does this mean? I suppose I will find out when my old EdT & Parfum arrive....

  7. #7

    Default Re: New L'Heure Bleue - is it that bad? (Turin & Sanchez)

    Guerlain is owned by the LMVH conglomerate, so cynical and patronizing would not be surprising. But HB was not their money maker, for this behavior one should rather look into the stuff that currently occupies most of Guerlain's real estate in store, the little black thing. As others have pointed out, I think the reason is simply that the main ingredients of HB are now restricted, so it is not possible to do anything too close to the old juice. If you will, with a painting metaphor, it is like one were asked to replicate a painting but without some of the main colors, like asking somebody to reproduce a painting of the sky without the color blue.

    cacio

  8. #8

    Default Re: New L'Heure Bleue - is it that bad? (Turin & Sanchez)

    cacio has nailed it for me. Please share YOUR view when you receive your vintages, cashmerecardi!

  9. #9

    Default Re: New L'Heure Bleue - is it that bad? (Turin & Sanchez)

    Quote Originally Posted by Larimar View Post
    cacio has nailed it for me. Please share YOUR view when you receive your vintages, cashmerecardi!
    This! Since you'll be receiving your vintages soon, you'll have a chance to compare for yourself. Once you sniff them I suspect what people have said here will "gel" and you'll get what many of the comments mean. And then -- please share your impressions!
    Anakin: What was that all about?
    Obi-Wan: Well, R2 has been...
    Anakin: No loose wire jokes.
    Obi-Wan: Did I say anything?
    Anakin: He's trying.
    Obi-Wan: I didn't say anything!

    -ROTS


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