Perfume Reviews

Reviews of L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme by Guerlain

Total Reviews: 189
This is gorgeous stuff. Like Guerlain's legendary "Guerlinade" base, it's hard to describe and not fully agreed upon, but it smells amazing and complex and unique, but still crowd-pleasing.

I definitely smell vanilla and dry tobacco, together with Guerlain's signature green sweet pea note and topped with citrus. But the notes kind of don't matter because everything melts together into a fabulous smell that's just "Guerlain."

I miss the great Guerlains, and all the discussion about which one had the best Guerlinade instead of discussions about how they all suck now. This and LIDGE were probably the last great mass-market scents they put out, before the great marshmallow-fication of the house ruined everything. Thumbs way up.
21st November, 2020
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
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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
I was always fascinated by L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme when it used to occupy the fragrance tester counters of local Sephoras and other department stores. The word I'd use to describe this wonderful scent is magical!

It's a powdery oriental scent with a laid-back, composed construction. Strong star anise is immediately evident after spray-on, with a slight bit of bergamot and lemon citrus plus a light dusting of pepper that adds a smooth headnote combo. Jasmine and hibiscus inject a subtle floral heart that doesn't scream attention to itself. And there is a tiny smidgen of lapsang souchong tea, a note that I truly enjoyed in Bulgari Black as well. Finishing touch of cacao mixes with patchouli and sexy sandalwood.

Has a very nice, classy quality that makes this a memorable wear for cooler weather, casual or formal occasion. A nice scent to have in ones collection!!



10th December, 2018
It just goes to show that you don't need to spend £250 on a niche fragrance to smell like magic! LIDG is one of finest examples this.

In truth, LIDG is quite a simple fragrance. Not generic but very simple. There is nothing new here. Nothing ground breaking. It does however smell stunning. Picture a handsome man in a well tailored suit. That's what this smells like. This is what I would call a fragrance for the well groomed man. Jeans and t-shirt just wont work. Formal and work. In fact this could be the perfect work scent. Classic, pure and simple. It lacks a little in the longevity department but I think this is supposed to come off as a discreet scent. Almost as an extension of ones skin.

08th May, 2018 (last edited: 20th May, 2019)
This spicy fresh breeze,
Quintessentially Guerlain,
Wakens my senses.
18th November, 2017
High quality juice , that speaks " I'm rich ".
Evening wear only in my opinion , and for 35 and over only in my opinion.
It gets compliments, and tons of attention , the people who dont give you compliments still smelt it, and enjoyed it , but were too shy to approach you .
One of the best evening wear scents out there !
10th October, 2017
Originally I didn't like it. To me it smell like old people wear. With strong cacao and patchouli notes. But now I think it is one of the most sophisticated smelling parfum. Equal to any niche.
09th May, 2017
This has a quiet austerity to it. It's mature, but comes off very well made and quite beautiful.

I typically detest gourmand fragrances, but this one is my exception.

The individual notes are detectable for me. The best thing I can say about LIDG is that it's a fragrance that teaches you about fragrance. It has layers, they're all there. The longevity and projection are well above satisfactory.


10.
07th May, 2017
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A nice scent that has a refinement to it that makes me only want to wear for more formal events. The cocoa is the main note that stands out to me, but it comes off as a smooth, powdery choco/vanilla. Citrus is just present in the beginning, provides a bit of freshness. After that, it's all smooth, refined cocoa with some patchouli and florals.

It seems to dip its foot into both a mature man's scent and also a modern scent for much younger but still refined guy. An interesting personality on LIDG for sure.

Performance is excellent, not beastly.
10th March, 2017
Simply the best eau de toillete available...its refreshing yet dirty ..its annoying yet captivating..its edible yet poisonous ..be assured ...every lady I've come across has gone a bit strange over this.
28th January, 2017 (last edited: 22nd June, 2017)
xiuxia Show all reviews
United States
Blind buy online and I got the 125 ml for a good price. I had been reading about this scent for a while now and it always seemed like it would be up my alley. The only other Guerlain frag I have is Shalimar and I'm a man. I bought that one because people here enjoyed it so much. I do like powdery fragrances and gourmands so I suspected LIDG would work for me.

My first impression was the anise and I got something green and floral. It seemed too feminine and the opening was sharp. My second impression was how well blended it is and how elegant the scent is. Everyone talks about how it would be for formal occasions or cold weather and I think you'd want to classify it that way because it exudes a certain level of sophistication.

I don't like anise and that set me back, I was a little disappointed, but after about one minute the sharp top note receded and I picked up some of the citrus and not necessarily cocoa, but the gourmand accord. I detect the Guerlainade and also the lavender slightly. At that point the scent became crack to me. My skin is quite oily and projects powerfully and compared to the paper I sprayed it on it mixed beautifully with my current chemistry.

A little longer and it opened up more like a fine wine. I caught some musk and other things in the background, almost undetectable. The blending is gorgeous and refined. This is a great scent and I didn't mind as it moved towards the powdery point.

Great blind buy, worth every penny. I'll wear it to work and out. I'll update this review as I continue to wear it this month. I'm so stoked on it I haven't even whiffed my Terre D'hermes, which I also got in the mail, or my Pure Malt.
21st January, 2017
LIDG, as it’s affectionately abbreviated, is notable for a few reasons. First, it owes a heavy influence to Pierre Cardin’s (for men) clever use of lemony citrus buttressed against a mossy and sweet vanilla base. Secondly, it paved a way for Guerlain’s masculine fragrances, bringing the stodgy brand to the modern man. Grandpa can have his Heritage & Habit Rouge but Junior can have LIDG!

LIDG start out with a soft and bright citrus accord, smelling like a grove of lemon trees. The Star Anise joins the lemons, bringing to it a touch of spice so that the lemon doesn’t get bored. I’m hard pressed to smell any the listed floral notes as the Guerlainade (warm cocoa, vanilla & patchouli) takes over. If there ever was a classic plush accord, then this is it.

LIDG is not only one the best men’s scents from Guerlain, it also stands up as one of the best in the genre.

8/10
25th August, 2016
Like, not Love. A well done fragrance from start to finish, but a bit of a letdown. It is a bit powdery for my liking. Overall a quality scent for the cost. I find it to be a unique, rather linear fragrance, however it lacks amplitude. On my skin the sillage and longevity were good but not great. I typically don't like to use more than 2 sprays of any fragrance, one if it is good juice. L'Instant is not even noticeable at the end of my day wearing it; you may need to reapply after a while. Key thoughts: unique, versatile, tame, uninspiring.
02nd July, 2016
Dark choco, patchouli and jasmine. Perfectly done. A keeper.
01st July, 2016
I enjoy some sweet, modern synthetics, and L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme (2004) is not a world away from Polo Red (2013), to my nose, although I prefer the Guerlain.
30th May, 2016
When the sun is out, I love having the sweet and herby scent of L'Instant de Guerlain on my skin. It invokes an exotic, slightly atmosphere. Quite magical.

For other occasions, be it rainy or cloudy days or after sunset, it tends to come on too strong for my taste...
28th May, 2016
I bought two bottles of this when it was going for £21 on Amazon, which is just ridiculous value. I had already tried LIDGE which I considered too rich and heavy for my tastes and needs, but figured that a toned-down cocoa and enhanced citrus version might be perfect for me. This is, I am pleased to say, exactly what happened.

LIDG is not edgy or ground-breaking, but comforting, refreshing, inviting, and above all, versatile. For me it opens up with sharp citrus and moves rapidly through the gears to a slightly spicy and still refreshing floral stage. As someone who rarely has "longevity issues", the dry-down is generally of equal parts cocoa, sandalwood, and musk, and lasts the whole day. I find the Guerlain version of scent progression more representative than the usual three-stage note progression in the case of LIDG.

Depending on how much and where I spray, I find I get subtly different performance day-to-day. Sometimes the citrus lasts all day, sometimes patchouli arrives early and dominates. With this scent, it's probably a case of finding what you look for.

I understand that this was controversial in the early days with Guerlain aficionados. Surprising, and a shame, because not only is this generally excellent, but there is little controversial about it in terms of scent alone. Having compared it with the likes of Heritage and Habit Rouge, I do not detect the guerlainade, but no bad thing in my view. LIDG is a distinctly Guerlain fragrance not because of the guerlainade family resemblance, but because it mirrors rather than overlaps with prior Guerlain masculines: the class, development, the hooks and the blend quality are very familiar.

This has become my signature in short order. Perhaps the essence of the "Guerlain moment" is that it reels you in with the freshness, and keeps you close with the comfort and familiarity.

Suitable for any and all purposes. Perhaps I would not wear this in very hot weather; but not particularly an issue in the UK. A favourite and highly recommended.

Oh, a quick shout-out to the flanker, LIDGE - not something I would buy myself but other reviewers have it spot on - clearly related to the EDT in theme but different enough to justify owning both if you like them.
04th March, 2016
Was expecting more from Guerlain. This is Shalimar Pour Homme. Which is great since every other house is producing crappy stuff. At the price point I would recommend it. But don't expect to be wowed

Edit:
After a few months and I tried it again. I think this is a masterpiece. The top is not awesome and I guess that is what made me lukewarm to it earlier. That and the fact that I was a newbie then. But now, after trying a lot more frags and developing appreciation for development, I highly recommend this to everyone. The development is great and it lasts hours.

18th December, 2015 (last edited: 24th October, 2016)
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
I really like this although it is not for me--it is too gourmand (trop sucré, trop cuisiné) for me and... I do not like cocoa as a note. That said, L'Instant de Guerlain achieves a real balance between the bright, fresh, "cool" opening and the sugared warmth that follows. When it first came out I tried it on from a tester at--of all places--D.R. Harris in London's St. James' street and as I walked down Piccadilly I kept smelling on myself a kaleidoscope of candies--from boiled sweets to chocolate truffles and everything in between. I thought at the time, "this is what Willy Wonka must smell like." Great for a confectioner, not so much for me, although my wife loved the drydown. This is that wonderful Guerlain pâtissier/confiseur note taken too far for me. Wonderful Art Deco bottle.
16th December, 2015
L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme comes off as a good balance of fresh, spicy, and woody elements, especially at the opening, after which the citrus freshness fades. The citrus notes listed are bergamot, lemon, and grapefruit, but I don't specifically get any of those. The anise and jasmine also figure prominently in the opening, which is slightly cloying but also intriguing.

The cacao in the heart seems to draw a lot of attention, and if it's there, it's limited, but it's definitely submissive to the some of the other heart and base notes, like sandalwood and cedar. The base has some patchouli to give it an earthy resonance throughout its dry down.

Projection and longevity are both strong, especially for an EDT, though, not, say, in the A*Men or 24 Gold range of EDT power.

This reminds me of Chanel Pour Monsieur in terms of scent and the blend---both very classic, masculine options that work the fresh/spicy/woody blend very well. It also of reminds me of Bleu de Chanel in the sense that the individual notes are secondary to the art of the blend.

It's very inexpensive on fragrancenet ($29 for 50ml, $39 for 100ml) so it's an unusually good value at those price points. This could certainly be a man's signature scent, at the intersection of several categories, and strong, but not overwhelming. This certainly increases the hype for the extreme version, which I intend to try soon.

7 out of 10
17th November, 2015
This for me is a pleasant, initially dark, wood scent, opening a little sharply (do I detect a bit of oud?), quickly calming down, and brightened with a delicate citrus.

As it develops, a gentle, warm amber accord supports the sweet wood (sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver). This is a sophisticated wood fragrance, in the class of other Guerlain scents in this category (Heritage, for example).

I don't detect any green notes (odd that Turin called this a "green citrus), which makes this for me all the better.

As it dries down. I long for a spice note to develop, as in Derby, but the restraint of the perfumer in not doing so, adds to the spareness of ultimately a fine, warm, masculine wood.
12th November, 2015
Only because it's not my type of smell does it get a neutral rating. No doubt high quality formulation, just can't get past the powdery, sweetness. I have a full bottle staring at me right now!!(gulp!).
04th November, 2015
JonB Show all reviews
United States
You need to like gourmand fragrances and sandalwood in order to enjoy this. I am not the biggest sandalwood fan (unless the scent is light and dry). At the open, the citrus top notes counterbalance the sweetness, but upon drydown, there is only very sweet musk and strong sandalwood. This combination just is not attractive to me. One thing I've got to admit though is that this is a masterful, smooth concoction. Longevity on me is more than adequate; it's just that I sometimes wish it would go away. I am going to be generous and give this a neutral rating.
29th August, 2015
One of my favourite evening fragrances. Incredibly well blended. Smells sophisticated and effortless at the same time. No need to say more about this!
20th August, 2015
Not much I can add to all the great previous reviews of L'Instant. The opening is a wonderful cocoa and orange that I wish lasted longer. That's really my only, very small complaint. The dry down is a sweet woods. Very elegant masculine scent. I also like L'Instant as a fall-winter fragrance. Definitely a thumbs up.
15th July, 2015