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Wild Gardener

More than a Feeling

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L'Heure Bleue - the witching hour, when day slips into night. Dusk falls, and orange lights on the banks of the Seine twinkle in the deepening blue. The atmosphere is cool, elegaic...

Some people find l'Heure Bleue sad, and indeed, there was something weighing on Jacques Guerlain's mind when he composed it. Jean-Paul Guerlain later told Michael Edwards his uncle had a premonition he couldn't describe - and so he expressed it in the way he knew best - in a perfume. With the benefit of hindsight, it seems that Guerlain wasn't just trying to evoke the end of a day with l'Heure Bleue, it was the end of an era he was trying to portray. Within a couple of years, Europe would be plunged into the First World War, the bloody conflict that decimated the population and brought to an end the halcyon days of the Belle Epoque, the longest time of peace for centuries.

As darkness descended on the continent, and the shells bursting on No Man's Land outshone the lights of the Quay d'Orsay, Guerlain's creation of purple violets & orange flower may have begun to feel like an augury - a sad and accurate prophesy...

Fortunately for us, memories of the conflict fade away but the perfume lives on. A monument to it's time, and a timeless marvel, l'Heure Bleue is one of the finest-ever works of olfactory art.

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Updated 26th September 2020 at 07:49 AM by Wild Gardener



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