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  1. #1

    Default Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    LIDGE, and to a less significant extent, the Wasser-era remake, L'Instant EDP, is the talk of the town when it comes to post-Héritage Guerlain masculines, and I can see why; it was a high-end "French" version of the gourmands that became so popular around 2007/2008, a kind of sophisticated Pure Malt.

    I've always preferred its EDT forebear, good ol' LIDG, in both its vintage and current post-Wasser form, though both vintage and current have substantial differences. The vintage 2004 release extends neatly from the 1990s unisex trend and also serves as a strong Polge-era Dior Homme predecessor, an exquisitely delicate take on the floral masculine that doesn't get enough praise for its careful construction in our community. You can tell it's a post-Guerlain Guerlain in the sense that the classic Guerlain DNA is not so much reproduced as it is gestured at, but it's by no means an inferior creation that is unworthy of the house. Few niche or artisanal houses are releasing scents with the same kind of sparkling intricacy at the moment. If it gets lost in the shuffle, it's because it's hard to call it a full-on innovator: it's more of a very thoughtful attempt to accommodate its cultural moment rather than to alter its trajectory.

    The Wasser reformulation of the EDT keeps the central accord, but it feels like a bit of a flanker to the EDT than a recreation of the original composition. It's a bit "heavier" overall, shifted in a more cacao-heavy direction to keep it in line with popular appetite for gourmand facets; it's still floral, but the floral bouquet feels less important.

    Those floral notes and their prominence in the scent's evolution marks the biggest difference between these versions and the impression they leave. Wasser-era Guerlain still utilizes higher-end synthetics, so the current doesn't leave a "cheap" impression, but the complexity of the florals is stripped out, so the florals blend into a pleasant muddle rather than executing the very precise, nuanced ballet they perform in the original. The citrus and cacao are amped up in comparison and the dance between them pushes the florals backstage; it's still not a syrupy, candied creation like the Wasser-era take on the L'Instant EDP, but it does feel like an attempt to rework it in the EDP's image.

    They may be variations on the same formula, but they do feel like the creations of wholly different perfumers and scents that might be worn by different kinds of people. The original L'Instant EDT feels "vintage" (not in a "deep vintage" way, but in the same way that the floral masculines of the 90s feel very out of step with the current cultural scene); it's a high-end dandy scent that's fairly out of line with contemporary luxe styles (not unlike stuff like the great Luciano Pavarotti).

    The Wasser take feels more in line with what you might expect from a commendable current-day designer exclusive from it or one of the other mainstream houses, and more in keeping with the gourmand-y scents that have been released by Guerlain under his tenure. Still nice, but a decidedly different experience.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    I like LIDG way more than LIDGE / edp. I had a sample that I liked enough to get a bottle. I got a bottle of the current version, and it hasn't really worked out. It's in deep storage. It sounds like if I'd picked up the original version, which is maybe what my sample was, I might have been happier.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Thank you for this detailed review of the two versions of LIDG EDT. I haven't seen many thoughtful comparisons between the old version and what's available now. I'm a huge fan of the original EDT as well, and have also always greatly preferred it over the EDP/Extreme version. Luckily there are still some bottles of the original floating around at affordable prices. Thankfully the EDT still flies somewhat under the radar, although it seems the prices have been creeping up in the past few years.
    Currently wearing: Ombre Noir by Lalique

  4. #4

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    I like LIDG way more than LIDGE / edp. I had a sample that I liked enough to get a bottle. I got a bottle of the current version, and it hasn't really worked out. It's in deep storage. It sounds like if I'd picked up the original version, which is maybe what my sample was, I might have been happier.
    I don't entirely understand your tastes, but from our interactions here, I'd assume that the vintage EDT is far more your speed than the other L'Instant releases, vintage or otherwise.

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    I don't entirely understand your tastes
    Early 80s masculines.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Strangely and based on very subjective personal experiences till now-both LIDG and LIDGE are among the few masculines in whose case did not any significant difference or even the lack of any difference between various formulations/vintage versus reformulated.

    So far, did notice, rate and perceive their current releases, batches and/or versions of these largely if not entirely indistinguishable to the former selves, likely unaffected by any change so far. While not rejecting to get vintage versions of each, would only do so if price differences to current ones is minimal and otherwise would not have any problem to get present day releases of either.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    Early 80s masculines.
    You say that but your love of Guerlain suggests otherwise!

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Great post and write up Brooks. Thank you. That was so well written I thought it was an old thread lol.

    I have a bottle of the edt that I enjoy and am sure it is the current, but not 100% sure. It's was an easy grab and choice to wear. The bottle looks and feels classy. It's really the last Guerlain masculine pillar that makes any sense to me. Not really a fan of Guerlain Homme and L'Ideal Homme ( although if I was forced to wear Homme I wouldn't mind, but not crazy at all for L'Ideal).


    Can't stand reformulations or reworkings.
    Seeking: Bottles/decants : of Pomegranate Noir, Midnight in Paris EDP, Feeling Man, Essence of John Galliano, Azzaro pour Homme (vintage),...etc.

    Seeking decant/sample of Aramis Calligraphy Rose, Penhaligon's Esprit de Roi, PdE Ambre Russe, Jil Sander Feeling Man ....etc. I have samples to swap.

    More HERE
    Please PM me !

  9. #9

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by cpp214 View Post
    Thankfully the EDT still flies somewhat under the radar, although it seems the prices have been creeping up in the past few years.
    A side-effect of supply dwindling, alas.

    I did want to bring some attention to it while bottles are still floating around. If folks are interested in the vintage EDT, now's the time to snag it or grab a decant.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
    I have a bottle of the edt that I enjoy and am sure it is the current, but not 100% sure.
    Which bottle design is it? I'm pretty sure the change in formulations followed or closely followed the switch to the "Listerine" bottle.

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    Which bottle design is it? I'm pretty sure the change in formulations followed or closely followed the switch to the "Listerine" bottle.
    It is the bottle before the "Listerine" style. I thought there was a formula switch before, but I could be wrong.
    Seeking: Bottles/decants : of Pomegranate Noir, Midnight in Paris EDP, Feeling Man, Essence of John Galliano, Azzaro pour Homme (vintage),...etc.

    Seeking decant/sample of Aramis Calligraphy Rose, Penhaligon's Esprit de Roi, PdE Ambre Russe, Jil Sander Feeling Man ....etc. I have samples to swap.

    More HERE
    Please PM me !

  12. #12

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
    It is the bottle before the "Listerine" style. I thought there was a formula switch before, but I could be wrong.
    You're right. There was the post-IFRA version, which came before the 2016 Listerine re-release.

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    Early 80s masculines.
    when we were young!
    slow is smooth

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    500ml of the EDT and 300ml of the EDP before the bottle change hasnt really pushed me to try the new bottles.
    FWIW, I have 2005 and 2015 bottles of the EDP and do not smell a remarkable difference between them.
    I have 2004 and 2013 bottles of the EDT and they also do not smell any different to my nose.
    Maybe some day I'll smell the new bottles and comment, I'm just not all that motivated.

    I'm suspicious of anyone claiming post-2000 origin fragrances are reformulated to smell significantly different, although it is possible.
    It seems DHI reformulation threads surface annually here.
    I've owned bottles across the last 6 years of batches and cannot smell a difference worth banging on a keyboard about.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Even for Egoiste - my favorite, I'm curious how the vintage smells. But LIDG is the only one I'm not curious about it's original formulation. I love it how it is now.

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  16. #16

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaMav View Post
    I'm suspicious of anyone claiming post-2000 origin fragrances are reformulated to smell significantly different, although it is possible.
    Seems strange to be so skeptical, given that we know that IFRA resulted in a substantial slate of reformulations. So there was a major shakeup in the middle of the 2000-2020 period.

    I think folks cry "reformulation" too readily, but this fragrance has been out for long enough that it has seen a lot of changes in the industry and material sourcing.

    My thoughts above are based on judging these variations side-by-side. The post-2016 EDT and earlier stuff is definitely different, but YMMV as to whether those differences strike you the way they strike me. Those who know a fragrance very well are more likely to emphasize minor distinctions; I've worn a *lot* of L'Instant EDT.

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    I like LIDG way more than LIDGE / edp.
    I'm just the opposite to you.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    Early 80s masculines.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    You say that but your love of Guerlain suggests otherwise!
    Oddly enough, my tastes also lean toward pre-1990 masculines, with a soft spot for the great Guerlains (and a few other classic feminines). Maybe it’s just the oakmoss.
    Currently wearing: Ma Liberté by Jean Patou

  19. #19

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    Oddly enough, my tastes also lean toward pre-1990 masculines, with a soft spot for the great Guerlains (and a few other classic feminines). Maybe it’s just the oakmoss.
    I have my favorites from the 70s and 80s, but the bulk of my collection is 90s and onwards.

    My tastes mostly break down into four categories:

    1) Classic eau de colognes and their subsequent reinterpretations/reimaginings

    2) "Barbershop"-y fougeres/chypres/orientals and their reinterpretations/reimaginings

    3) "Dark" masculines with contrasting gourmand elements and woody/earthy/smoky elements

    4) Tobacco-dominant fragrances of various stripes, mostly overlapping with categories above

    5) Realistic, fresh, garden-y floral fragrances


    L'Instant doesn't neatly break down into any one of those categories, but it has aspects of a few of them.

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    I'm glad this thread was posted. The reason I say that is because I bought a new bottle of the edt about a month ago.
    In 2012 I bought a 200ml splash bottle of the edt. I wasn't into Guerlain back then like I am now. This past year I've become a Guerlain Maniac so to speak. The huge vintage bottle I had was from 2004 when l'instant just came out. I liked it but it seemed way too sophisticated for me and the opening was very old school to my nose. My tastes in fragrances weren't very refined at the time I have to admit. I made a huge mistake by giving this fragrance to my best friend who really liked it. I really regret it now but he did give me back the empty giant bottle. There was a tiny bit left so I got to compare the very first batch of l'instant with a new bottle. I have heard that anise has really been restricted and this may be the reason why they are so different.
    The vintage was an old Guerlain for modern times. The drydown on the original was very good however and the fragrance was somewhat richer.
    BUT I love the new edt. It's incredible in my opinion but it's quite different. The opening of the original is not here but I just think the new l'instant smells incredible. If ONLY it had better longevity this would be my signature scent. Maybe Wasser wanted to make the new l'instant more modern well he has achieved that and more. BUT the longevity just isn't there I think not like it should be. 4 hours and I'm being generous.
    Now the same thing happened to me recently when I tracked down an older edt bottle of Guerlain homme. It smells wonderful but is too light.
    I should have got the edp. But the edt should be ok in the summer I guess. I'm very curious now to try l'instant edp. It seems strange that these edt versions are
    subtle because habit rouge dress code was a beast when I tried it recently.
    So I just want to say the new edt of l'instant is amazing and better than the original edt but the vintage had better longevity and was a bit more old school Guerlain.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    FWIW, I get great longevity from the Wasser EDT (8 hrs or so).

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    Seems strange to be so skeptical, given that we know that IFRA resulted in a substantial slate of reformulations. So there was a major shakeup in the middle of the 2000-2020 period.

    I think folks cry "reformulation" too readily, but this fragrance has been out for long enough that it has seen a lot of changes in the industry and material sourcing.

    My thoughts above are based on judging these variations side-by-side. The post-2016 EDT and earlier stuff is definitely different, but YMMV as to whether those differences strike you the way they strike me. Those who know a fragrance very well are more likely to emphasize minor distinctions; I've worn a *lot* of L'Instant EDT.
    I think bottle freshness and lack of maceration has more to do with differences people smell between old and new bottles in this century.
    I have bottles of the EDP and EDT on both sides of 2010 and just dont smell it.
    Maybe if I'm bored and want to spend money I'll order the new bottles of both and report back.
    I can always give away the bottles, who wouldnt love to be gifted a bottle of L'Instant?
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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    FWIW, I get great longevity from the Wasser EDT (8 hrs or so).
    I'll try it again tomorrow but I've heard that the current edt is subtle well from the reviews I've read but I'm glad it's working so we'll for you I hope it gets stronger on me.

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaMav View Post
    I think bottle freshness and lack of maceration has more to do with differences people smell between old and new bottles in this century.
    I have bottles of the EDP and EDT on both sides of 2010 and just dont smell it.
    A number of prominent perfumers have been very open about reformulation. It’s not just the smeller’s imagination or perfume’s age, although both those play a role in perception. Conversely, a lack of perception doesn’t mean there’s nothing to perceive.
    Currently wearing: Ma Liberté by Jean Patou

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    I never bonded with the EDT, I remember smelling it in the original bottle a few years ago while nice I wasn’t a fan how it was blended compared to the Extreme/EDP. I also tried the modern current bottle style wood cap of the EDT, and still found it underwhelming compared to the EDP, my biggest issue was performance, with EDP I can adjust sprays accordingly with the EDT I felt more sprays never gave me the performance I wanted. I may revisit it one day to see if I missed something the few times I wore it. I’m aware it’s not a loud fragrance (EDT) but I’ve wore other quieter fragrances and still got the performance I wanted. Now as for the EDP I’m a huge fan I love everything about it the blending the smell how it performs and the more I wore it I understood it more and never grow bored of it just a pure joy to wear. I recall wearing the clear bottle reformulation after they removed the brown sides and there is a slight difference between that bottle and current wood style top EDP. I would love to smell the original extreme, to see how it compares to the clear sides non brown sides bottle and the current wood style cap EDP.
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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    I totally forgot that wasser is not the original perfumer. That may explain why it's so different now.
    Now that he is the in house perfumer at guerlain he can tinker with it if he wants to.

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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    A number of prominent perfumers have been very open about reformulation. It’s not just the smeller’s imagination or perfume’s age, although both those play a role in perception. Conversely, a lack of perception doesn’t mean there’s nothing to perceive.
    By the same token, if our mind wants to find a difference, it will, even if its not really there.
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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaMav View Post
    By the same token, if our mind wants to find a difference, it will, even if its not really there.
    Sensation and Perception 101.
    In fact even if one doesn’t want to find a difference, just knowing there is there is a difference in batches or bottles can lead the mind to finding differences in smell. I’m not saying there hasn’t been reformulation or commenting on the quality of any reformulation, it’s just how the mind works. One really needs to try double blind testing to even begin to eliminate those subconscious biases. Not sure how to account for differences dues to age/maceration/oxidation.
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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaMav View Post
    By the same token, if our mind wants to find a difference, it will, even if its not really there.
    Sensation and Perception 101.
    Which is why I said imagination plays a role in perception.
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    Default Re: Guerlain L'Instant pour Homme EDT: Comparing the Vintage to Current

    I haven't smelled any version of this fragrance so I can't say what differences there are, but the big oakmoss rollbacks of 2002 and 2011 (first to tree/oak hybrid then to near-banned useless levels of restriction without expensive filtration) may not have affected this one so much because it was released post-2002, meaning the perfumer/house had likely already accounted for future further restrictions.

    Sorta why a lot of post-2011 designer stuff seems to have nearly no variance besides perception of strength from older bottles that have gotten some air in them. Unless you're doing all naturals or intentional variance like Creed, I think the differences between 2000's perfumes still made and their original release counterparts will just be adjusted the sliders on a graphic equalizer ever-so-slightly one way or another.

    I'd like to sample this at some point, but Guerlain has almost no presence in Seattle. All Nordstrom carries is the cosmetics and all the mom and pop shops have are the Jacques Guerlain classics from 100 years ago.
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