Guerlain Apres L’ondee

Once the temperatures start rising just a little, as I’m rolling through my decanting early in the morning, before my day job starts, there are always a few perfumes in certain seasons that I can’t pass by without spritzing. 

If it’s spring, it is Guerlain’s Apres L’ondee.  Violets in rain.  Created by Jacques Guerlain and launched in 1906, it has notes of bergamot, neroli, aniseed, hawthorn, violet, heliotrope, iris and musk. 

The scent of the time between death and life, clinging to the earth in the rootiness of the iris and musk, but stretching to life with the neroli and violet, with the anise and hawthorn giving it a little interesting rhythmic funk  just so you don’t forget how to really live in the in-between spaces.

For me, it is full-on, heady, unadorned, and unfettered joyous sorrow – tears in rain, where you cannot tell where your tears end and the rain starts; the joy racing through your veins because you still feel and are rejoicing and lamenting for all that life should be and is and isn’t.  Apres L’Ondee is the tension in life, weighty and weightless – perfectly blended, but always separate. 

March and I have joked forever that we will have Apres L’Ondee piped in during our funerals because that’s how we want people to feel when we go out — sad to see us gone, but forever glad that we lived.

Am I over the top in my love for Apres L’Ondee? Yes, absolutely. It makes my heart sing every time I smell it, rejoicing in all that life is mixed with regret for all it will never be.  There are very few perfumes that never fail to make me appreciate living as much as Apres does.  So what perfume “does it” for you?

Completely off-topic, can we talk about American Idol for a second?  That guy with the weird hair bangs that did Billie Jean — love him, just close my eyes when he sings.  Ramiele, why is she still there? At least Chikezie (sp) was interesting and entertaining.  Ramiele adds nothing to the show except shortness and whining.  Who is voting for her? If it’s you, stop it, I mean it.

Elizabeth May 23, 2008

What a beautiful description; this will be my next unsniffed bottle purchase, thanks to [email protected]

vanessa April 4, 2008

Apres L'Ondee definitely does it for me, also Sous Le Vent - where the first is about dampness, this is about a parched landscape in summer - I am imagining Provence. I am seriously thinking of buying a bottle of the latter, even if it means remortgaging the house!

2scents March 31, 2008

It's my 14 y o stepson voting for Ramiele. He always asks is he can watch when "that hot short chick" sings. Alas, I am after the two foreigners on the show...

therealslf March 30, 2008

:(( Feeling a powerful need for Apres l'Ondee? How about a full vintage bottle...and I quote the eBay listing: "An original, large unopened bottle of Guerlain's 'Apres L'Ondee' Fragrance first created in 1907, contained in the beautiful and highly sought after 'Empire Bottle' which was introduced in 1902 and created by Pochet & du Courval' NB: There are some indentions on the top of gold stopper. Fine example, in wonderful condition, (given age) with the original seal intact and bottom label intact Large and very heavy: 1k! Still Sealed with original contents; No Original box" Perfumistas, you'll want to see all this seller's listings, just for interest and wow factor. Pictures will set you drooling. Let me guess; somebody here knows who this person is. All I know is, for a while I was feeling like Scarlett O'Hara with this perfume binging; now, I'm back to Emmy Slattery...

Amy K March 29, 2008

A few years ago, soon after I had first discovered MUA and the wide world of classic and niche perfumes, I ordered a pack of 30 samples from someone on eBay. It contained a wide variety - Chanels, Serge Lutens, many things you would find at LuckyScent, etc. (I sniffed quite a few and immediately threw them into my swap pile because they were "too much" for my inexperienced nose. Boy, I was really kicking myself over it a few months down the road!) One of the samples was Apres l'Ondee. As soon as I tried it, I knew it was A SPECIAL PERFUME. It wasn't like the rest. I certainly didn't have the vocabulary to describe what I was smelling or even what I liked about it, but it felt like something that had been custom-made for me. It was the first reasonably expensive bottle of perfume that I ever purchased for myself, and I'm sure I'll go through many more. I still don't think there's anything else quite like Apres l'Ondee. P.S. I love the picture for your post! It goes so well with the topic.

sylvia March 29, 2008

you make apres l'ondee smell heavenly. i haven't smelled it yet, but a sample from a swap is waiting for me at my house. and about idol. ive only watched it a few times but the other night i was at my friend's house and we were watching and she has tivo and that guy (david cook?) came on and we rewinded it like 3 times. i was blown away! if he doesnt win, i dont know what's wrong with the world...

therealslf March 29, 2008

I'll cover American Idol first, en hommage to how the cosmic vibrations have linked a singer and a perfume as appreciated in common... Dana-of-Billie Jean-and-Eleanor Rigby-etc. is definitely the talent in the group. Ramiela should last one more than Kristy, only because her instrument is better. Sayesha gets better every week, hang on to her for a while; my 10 year old is taken by David Archuleta, so I'll have to root for him 'til close to the end. I feel compelled to shout "I've had Apres l'Ondee in my shopping cart for a month!," but I'll resist. ;) I will say "thank goodness for decanters and their aiding and abetting of our sybaritic pleasures..." I am so looking forward to sampling this one...perhaps the more pedestrian Amer Idol shared sensibility will translate to an equally shared appreciation for the Guerlain. As for what perfume makes me appreciate living...moving beyond the wet dirt in spring, and the scent of the top of my baby's head (now back in the day), or the brief joy of the scent of an iris flower (yes, some DO have a scent, and I'm not thinking of the lemon type)...I'm so early into a big time exploration, that I don't know. But I do know that Bois des Iles settled right into my core, and Goutal Songes was an unexpected somewhat guilty extended pleasure. Let's just say I'm grateful I don't suffer from amsonia.

violetnoir March 28, 2008

Great minds think alike, Patty, because I happen to be wearing the parfum today. It is so perfect for this time of year. I was introduced to this wonderful fragrance around 1994. I was in a local English-themed boutique looking for a violet fragrance. They did not have one, but a woman in the shop overheard me asking for it. And thank goodness she did! As she approachs me, she opens up her purse and asks, "Have you ever smelled this? I always carry it with me," as she whips out a bottle of the EdT. Wow! I was blown away by her openess and generosity! She spritzes me right there in the store and, well...the rest is history. I run out, buy a bottle, and wear the EdT continuously for about a year. I went through at least two bottles of it. But I always loved that parfum bottle. You know the one that looks like a little woven basket with the rose-cut crystal stopper on top? I may have told you this before, but several years ago an old friend discovered a couple of bottles of the parfum at a perfumery in the Carribean and was kind enough to pick up one of those bottles for me. I love my Apres L'Ondee parfum and the bottle. Hasn't it been, sadly, discontinued? Sorry to be so late and long-winded, but I wanted to share that with you, P! Thank you for taking the time to read it. Hugs and love!

Lavanya March 28, 2008

What a beautiful post, Patty!..I have to spend more time with 'guerlains'!! For me..I think there are more 'real life' smells than perfume (heck perfume is real life too but you know what I mean..:)) which inspire that kind of reaction/emotion..stalks of tuberose do that for me, also an afternoon after the first rains..*love*..some of the Jar perfumes did that for me but I wouldnt know for sure since I can't afford to spend more time with them..:) Regarding American idol- Chikezie was endearing wasn't he?..I am not a big fan of Kristy lee cook either nor of Syesha (though she has been singing really well, but I dont feel moved)..and I am not voting for Ramiele..*grin* David cook (the guy who sang Billy jean), also Michael Johns and Jason Castro (except for last week).[This is the first time I have/am followed/following American Idol sooo religiously- maybe because this time the songs being performed are slightly more to my taste?]

Eileen March 28, 2008

Your description is so good, I'll have to give Apres l'Ondee another go. My first try turned into a powder bomb, but maybe with spring here, it will be different. BTW, your choice of picture is great!

Elizabeth March 28, 2008

All I can say about Apres L'Ondee is: It has become a part of me. I recently won a bottle of the parfum on Ebay (okay, you can all hate me now!) and just looking at that sweet little bottle makes me happy. Now, if only I can make it last for the next fifty or so years...

moi March 28, 2008

I, too, am over the top in my love for Apres L’Ondee. It is heartbreakingly beautiful. Guerlain never ceases to amaze. As for perfumes that "do it for me"? Many. But the most recent emotional and at the same time visceral reaction I've had to a perfume was Andy Tauer's Lonestar Memories. Brilliant.

noyna March 28, 2008

I love Apres L'Ondee, it feels so tender...a fragile, innocent wonder. As for its fleeting quality, yes, I think that's part of its charm. I was a Japanese lit gal long ago, and particularly enjoyed the aesthetic of 'mono no aware,' or 'the sensitivity/pathos/melancholy of things.' An awareness of the transience of things, which just heightens their beauty all the more. Okay, sakura flowers do the symbolic trick well enough, but I think Apres L'Ondee is the perfect essence of mono no aware, in all its evanescent heartbreak.

Billy D March 28, 2008

No question: Iris Silver Mist--haunting, tragic, beautiful, tasty, sexy, and, yes, in my opinion, masculine. loooooove.

alba March 28, 2008

I've always thought that Apres l'Ondee was ever so short-lived on my skin that I've never dared get a bottle. But I do love L'Eau d'Hiver, Jean Claude Ellena's "homage to Apres l'Ondee". It's just so lovely. When I wear it, every now and then I get a faint whiff of something that's so luminous, so beautiful that I wonder where it's coming from. Realizing it's me makes my day.

Tigs / Erin March 28, 2008

I just bought a full bottle of this, and it was long overdue. Probably in my top all-time three, maybe even in the top spot. And to think I thought I couldn't do violets?! I love your funeral idea. I would also like a wake at which they play Sam Cooke's "Good Times". I'm not kidding.

Dusan March 28, 2008

Heartbreakingly beautiful review of a (yet another) perfume I have been meaning to try. I do have to get my rearside over to the Court one of this days... "where you cannot tell where your tears end and the rain starts" - this is why I love you, P! :x

Elle March 28, 2008

What a beautiful post! Diorling and Micallef's Automne are probably the two most life affirming, comforting scents for me - not exactly sure why, but they are. I never wear them w/out feeling compelled to say a little silent prayer of gratitude that they exist and that I exist.

chanel22 March 28, 2008

What was the complete list of 10 favorites by Luca Turin? Are will still expecting his new book sometimes soon?

Louise March 28, 2008

Lovely post, Patty. I must re-try Al'O-I sniffed it early in my obsession, and it wasn't "enough" for me. Given my new-found love of violets, though, worth another try. Though I doubt it'll hang around long. Spring is tough for me. Few lighter scents work well and last. I revert to Calyx a lot, and Fresh Sake. With frequent relapses into rich Vintage Femme. Hey, what's not springy about that /:) Re American Idol. David...Archuleta...that's all!

sweetlife March 28, 2008

Wow, Patty, that was gorgeous. I have just begun Making Friends with Violets lately, but I still only get along with them intermittently. Between your review and the gorgeous one over on Bois de Jasmin I really want to see the magic in Apres. Sigh. I'll keep trying...

Flor March 28, 2008

I am deeply in love with Apres L'Ondee. It is too beautiful for words. It's part of my Guerlain trio of faves: Mitsouko, L'Huere Bleue and Apres L'Ondee. It's those three that made me fall in love with Guerlain. Ramiele is not the only one who needs to go. What about Kristy? Cute smile, but not AI material at all.

kathleen March 28, 2008

That was a particularly beautiful post. I love the picture as well, what's its story? I have never tried Apres l'Ondee but it certainly sounds as if its worth a sniff. I haven't tried many of the Guerlains everyone seems to love. So many lovely smells to experience. I imagine I'll get there. Bois des Isles is a scent that makes me joyful, I think of Venice when I smell it. Also, when himself breaks out the Silver Mountain Water I know that summer has begun. It makes me feel carefree. I'm waiting on a new supply of En Passant, as I cannot begin springtime without it.

HikerChickNH March 28, 2008

OK, this sounds lovely, but we have just received 5 inches of snow (and counting)...I need a perfume which connotes "love-winter-but-sweet-fancy-Moses-let's-get-on-with-spring-already" ...or maybe I should just give up on ever being warm there a self-defeatist scent? Maybe with a base of despair? Aha! Black March! Only will be Incense Rose, since it makes me insanely happy! Happy Aprea L'Ondee-ing, all you lucky lovelies! Heather

Kim March 28, 2008

Marina and Wendy - I'm number three. Violets don't do well on me - and I think it is the heliotrope goes powdery/marzipan in a bad way on my skin - L'Heure Bleue is another no-no for me. Am I the only one that gets that weird playdo/marzipan from these two? But I still love Guerlain! :x

Kristy Victoria March 28, 2008

Hooray! So glad to see this on the day I decided to wear Apres L'Ondee. :D

Lee March 28, 2008

You ole romantic.:x

March March 28, 2008

Sigh. I wondered what I was going to wear today, and now you've picked it for me. It's warmer and slightly damp outside. Perfect day for Apres l'Ondee. @};-

chayaruchama March 28, 2008

Dear God. I love AL'O, but it breaks my heart with unfulfilled yearning.The parfum lasts longer- but perhaps the ephemeral nature of this scent- like the transience of life itself- gives it this particular character. [Now that I've shown myself to be the 'wankeress' I truly am, I shall SHUT UP ALREADY !] So many scents make me appreciate living, I couldn't pick just one. Mossy things, civetty things, earthy things,singing florals, resinous things. My, my.What a slut.

Wendy March 28, 2008

Marina - make that 2 people in the entire universe who don't love Apres l'Ondee. The heartbreaking thing about it is that is smells like a very soapy violet on me after the initial lily of the valley/green hit. I think I'm anosmic to the musk in this scent. :(( I'm hoping that experience will make me appreciate this classic more.

Silvia March 28, 2008

I am totally with you on Apres L'Ondee, there is something heartbreaking about it. Bois des Iles is another one that moves me.

carlene March 28, 2008

Oh no. Something else to sample. You guys are killing me. (In a good way.)

Marina March 28, 2008

I am the one person in the entire universe who doesn't love Apres L’Ondee. I do, however, and tragically, love Quand Vient La Pluie. :((

Sylvia Scarlett March 28, 2008

Apres L'Ondee actually started my perfume craze. It makes me so sad that I will never be able to smell it in perfume form, only in the EdT which is wonderful like a sunny and crisp Spring morning, but equally brief...

MattS March 28, 2008

Oh my god. I must stop reading these posts or I'll end up dying the most fragrant smelling pauper the world has ever known. Ya'll have led me to the House of Guerlain and I worship there freely, but can never leave. Jicky. Mitsouko. Just got a bottle of Habit Rouge, this. Violets, iris, and musk. Oh my. Tell me it's really too femme for me, tell me you forgot to mention the notes of garlic. Tell me if you have a preference in concentration. Extrait, probably? I keep saying I'm not going to buy anything for a long while, but this, this...Now tell me L'Heure Bleue reeks. Idol has not managed to hold my interest this season; something about all the contestants seems a little bland to me. I've yet to make it through an entire episode without dozing off. Further off topic--I just want to rant a moment. I just received my first purchase from Barney's (Chene) and amidst all the layers of paper wrapping in the box, there was nary a sample to be found. I was dumbstruck. I don't expect them from the discount etailers but this is a high-end department store. Nothing but my purchase and a whole lot of paper. Saks has always hooked me up with lots of extra goodies, many of which led to full bottle purchases, so it makes good business sense to throw in a little swag. Hell, the samples are half the fun of receiving a package; I usually smell those first. But enough of that...I'm gonna go think about Apres L'Ondee.

Eva March 28, 2008

Patty Wow - what a really beautiful post!! Making me feel all misty. At this stage of my life I am stil searching for that "one" as there are way too mnay that hold my attention right now but when I was a youmg girl in mid to late teens there was a perfune by Jean D'Albret called Princess D'Albret and it captivated me totally. It could bring to such a serene, gentle and safe place after all the turmoil of teenage years. Always can remember how graceful it made me feel when I often felt so clumsy back then. Big sigh!