Perfume Directory

L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme (2004)
by Guerlain

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L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme information

Year of Launch2004
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1028 votes)

People and companies

HouseGuerlain
PerfumerBéatrice Piquet
Creative DirectorSylvaine Delacourte
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme

L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme is a masculine fragrance by Guerlain. The scent was launched in 2004 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Béatrice Piquet

L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme fragrance notes

Reviews of L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme

There was a lot of hype and disappointment in almost equal measure surrounding this one, as the men's side of the perfume market is often subject to the same sports-like posturing, gamification, and oneupmanship within the ranks of its enthusiasts that plagues most other hobbies dominated by heteronormative CIS gender men, and since the "last masculine made by a Guerlain" had already released, failed, then passed into memory, all the chips were put in one basket for L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme (2004). The Late Béatrice Piquet composed this scent (often abbreviated to "LIDG" by the community) as a nod to the classic Guerlain style with touches of the house "Guerlinade" interwoven through a then-modern gourmand style, and was doing the best she could as a perfumer for hire in those transitional days before Thierry Wasser was appointed house perfumer to replace the ousted Jean-Paul Guerlain, but reception was initially divisive. Intervening years saw the gradual warming up to the stuff thanks in part to a richer and smokier L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme Eau Extreme (2005), then the usual reformulation/repackaging hysteria from vintage purists leading everyone who hadn't really appreciated the original release to suddenly view it as beloved but misunderstood godhead, reviling the new editions as wanton destruction of something beautiful and calling original bottles of "LIDG" (and "LIDGE") the last great Guerlain masculine. Sifting through all collector's Stockholm syndrome and influencer hype could have an adverse reaction to this stuff being smelled for the first time, so I ignored the scent and all the associated screaming for years, only sitting down to sample L'Instant de Guerlain long after that screaming had died. What did I find? L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme is objectively beautiful and well-made with a nod to both the past and contemporary design, but isn't an all-purpose kind of scent worn as a signature, nor is it instantly gratifying.

L'Instant de Guerlain introduces itself as stubbornly French in the opening salvo, full of structured citrus and floral top notes over something rigid and dry. There are touches of sweetness here and there as with all Guerlains exhibiting an oriental style (by far the biggest hallmark of the storied house outside its citrus), so if nothing else it seems Piquet did her homework on the family whose shoes she was tasked to temporarily fill. The bergamot and lemon join with elemi and lavender, blended in with jasmine to make a purposfully delicate introduction, leading into a heart of hibiscus, anise, lapsang tea, and cacao. This gourmand heart is something of a presage to Dior Homme (2005) but without the flamboyant iris to femme things up, and brings in the modernity of the fragrance. Gourmands were just starting to patina in the eyes of the mainstream by then, filtering down to the drugstore brands which ruin all fashionable trends with their intentional ubiquity, but here the subject is treated rather lightly and rests on an almost chypre-like backbone which keeps "LIDG" timeless. The base is cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, that "Guerlinade" note fans of Habit Rouge (1965) will recognize, oakmoss, and a touch of ambrette seed to bring some muskiness. L'Instant de Guerlain pour Home never screams for your attention, which is in stark contrast to most 2000's masculines either high on sour candy aromachemicals or bloated with scratchy woody amber accords, meaning it's hard to peg this as a 2000's scent without knowing so beforehand. Weartime is average, sillage for the eau de toilette standard "LIDG" experience is good but projection is not extroverted enough for compliment seekers, while the best use for this is in cooler or more-temperate conditions as romantic and/or formal wear. L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme isn't nearly as fussy like some of the more "classic" Guerlains such as Jicky (1889) or L'Heure Bleue (1912), but I wouldn't call it a casual wear.

Where I see the confusion lying in how people reacted to the original release of L'Instant de Guerlain is with the deliberate mixing of old and new concepts. The composition is a gourmand treated like an oriental chypre and gives off huge mature vibes despite having some sweetness, a few key gourmand notes that were trendy at the time, and an overall "lightness" that was favored with compositions aimed at young men at the time (like the ozonics going 'round back then). The woodiness and patchouli would be hard to get over for guys used to loads of coumarin, amber, and musk in their gourmands, let alone the "Guerlinade", which is its own world of old-school filligreed blending containing vanillin among other things and was the furthest thing from what young guys obsessed with "sportiness" were seeking back then. On the flipside, mature Gen-X guys loved chypre-like bases and typically go nuts for anything containing noticeable bergamot, lavender, sandalwood, and oakmoss in that "dad's aftershave" configuration, but the cacao, mild sweetness, and overall transparency of the composition screwed the pooch at first sniff for guys who wanted another Héritage (1992) from the house. Generational blockheadedness aside, a lot of guys felt then that this was too feminine or subtle, which informed the more intently-masculine "Eau Extreme" version, showing that Guerlain sided with convention and mature buyers, which was who were keeping their doors open anyway. In hindsight, I think L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme has long lived down any controversy, and smells like a bargain with niche-like style at designer price points in a modern market where you can't have artistry and curb appeal in the same sentence, unless you want to pay hundreds for it. L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme is not instantly likable, but as with most Guerlains, exhibits a level of perfume mastery that in itself is a pleasure to watch unfold on skin. Mission accomplished in passing the torch Béatrice Piquet, may you rest in peace. Thumbs up.
28th April, 2020
Just picked up a bottle of this based on my fellow Basenoter's reviews. All of the accolades are well-deserved! I'm really loving this gorgeous fragrance so far. Nothing too in-your-face or off-putting about it at all. Dries down to a 'similar' vibe of the glorious Heritage -- woody and elegant. A true gentleman's fragrance worthy of adorning the wrists of every true scent fanatic. Well done Guerlain! A super safe blind buy ... and you'll thank yourself for taking the risk. Got it for a song on the big 'A' as well.
01st November, 2019
L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme feels somewhat disconnected from Guerlain past and Guerlain present, a wonderful little detour for the house that marked its entry into the "masculine gourmand" style that dominated the first decade of the new millennium.

L'Instant is so dignified and tasteful that it's easy to write off as being too well-mannered for its own good (there's not even a hint of a "bad boy" streak here), and that's no doubt why it's often passed over for its brasher sibling, Extreme/EDP. There are thrills to be had here, but only for those who find sophistication exciting.

This is, indeed, sophisticated, boasting one of the most artfully balanced compositions ever attempted in this genre. The cacao here is a sublime achievement; here, the cacao almost floats, suspended in the mid-air above the sandalwood-patchouli base, with floral and citrus notes providing uplift and a light touch.

The heavier, more syrupy "Extreme" flanker goes for a full-on gourmand approach and sadly dispenses with that delicate, distinctive effect. Alas, ours is not an era for refinement, and so Extreme eclipsed its more accomplished older sibling, and I don't see the tide turning anytime soon.

L'Instant EDT offers gentle but steady projection and remarkable longevity.
07th September, 2019
Soft lemon citrus coco patchouli. Fairly light. Composed and sophisticated. A bit light for my tastes. Lasts quite a while, but softly.
07th September, 2019
Well I've had this for a while now,
This is a nice skin scent, doesn't project off the skin much.... but the pleasant scent is one just for the wearer.
Nice, very different. But nothing to scream about.
So if you want a Scent that will get attention or get you noticed..... you will have to look elsewhere.
Still worth a try tho.
Nice powdery dry down.

Scent 5- 10
Performance 4- 10
Silage 3.5- 10
29th July, 2019
A solid oriental with a somewhat novel twist.

L'Instant is a solid oriental that starts off nice. Where it shines is when it gets to the base, which, unfortunately, is awfully fast in this case. It really seems to shed all of the notes pretty quickly, except for the base, and what sets it apart from other orientals is the cacao pod. It gives it an almost gourmand quality to it, as the cacao pod has a scent similar to baker's chocolate. The sweetness in L'Instant comes from the sandalwood, while the cacao pod has a very dry, chocolate feel. When I first took notice of the cacao, it almost seemed similar to iris, and although they don't share the same note profiles, you can find some slight similarities between this and Dior Homme (2005). It's a very nice scent, but it goes to the drydown too quickly, and that brings me to my chief issue.

After less than two hours this is a skin scent on me, and it's fading fast. It was nice while it lasted, but this scent is so ephemeral that I can't justify paying that much for it. Perhaps it's just the weather, or my application of it today, so I won't ding this too hard for the poor performance.

Very nice scent with poor projection and longevity.
28th June, 2019

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