Guerlain – New York, Moscou & Tokyo

Okay, I finally have the little devils in my hands.  I’m not sure why I always rush for the Guerlain new releases so quickly. Hope maybe?  Hope that they’ll hit something magical again like Double Vanille or Bois d’Armenie or even – Yes, I know, I’m crazy – another Jicky or Mitsouko.

As far as the bottle size. I look at this two ways, and can’t decide which is worse or better. Though the price is in the neighborhood of the La Matiere line, $200’ish, at least you get 200 mls in the bottle instead of 75.  The other way I look at it is that they could have put them in a 75 ml bottle for $100, but more likely is that they would have put them in a 75 ml bottle for $150.  Hermes does this crap too.  100 ml bottle is $120. 200 ml bottle is $200.  I mean, seriously?  Oh, well, they clearly are marching to the beat of their own marketing people with these choices.

Marina reviewed these on Monday.  I spritzed New York first, just based on Miss Marina’s thinking it was the most interesting.  Notes are narcissus, roses, daffodils, plum blossom, cherry blossom; fir cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla and orange.  This is a wearable Winter Delices for me. The florals balance out all of the spices and fir, which are so over the top in Winter Delices, and it renders them soft and warm instead of whacking you in the face with a fir tree and a cinnamon stick. It definitely has a nice smoky leather note that is enchanting and just about right for those of you that like leather, but don’t want to smell like you’re outfitted head to toe in rawhide.  I definitely do like this one and will happily wear it on those days I don’t want to be a dominatrix, which is most days, kinda.

Moscou has notes of fir, white musk, mimosa, lilac, incense, rum, saffron, fruits (cranberry, redcurrant, raisins, plum), bergamot, lemon,  absinthe, almonds, chocolate, vanilla and  tonka bean.  Marina thought it was Flowerbomb lite. I sorta get that because it leans sweetish, but they added in a lot of gourmand notes to make this a great floral gourmand, and on my skin it veers way off into a lovely gourmand territory instead of sweet flowers.  I seriously do like this one.  It’s got the perfect balance of a gourmand – rich enough, but not so sweet that you’re gaining weight smelling it.  The saffron, I think, really saves it on all counts.  This is my favorite of the three, hands down. Not because I like the notes so much better, but I think they did a great job ot blending them and rendering it a compulsive sniff on my hand.  My nose has been glued there since I put it on, it’s just charmingly gourmand.

Tokyo has notes of jasmine, violet, Hinoki cedar and green tea.  It’s a great floral woody tea.  It’s my least favorite of the three. Not because it ‘s a bad scent, but I just don’t think it’s very memorable.  I like it well enough, it’s well executed, and it’s a fairly perfect spring/summer scent or just a scent you’d like to wear to an office or wedding when you don’t want your scent to wear you.  I don’t get much jasmine in it, it’s way heavier on the wood and tea.  It is fresh without having that “fresh” nasty smell at all. So I do give them props for that. At least Guerlain knows how to make an open, fresh perfume without resorting to the tampax fresh accord that is prevalent in every nook and cranny of the world.

I do have enough in my sample set to do a giveaway of one set of samples to a commenter.  So of all the new Guerlains in the last 10 years that they have released, which are your favorites?    Or which do you believe to be the most Guerlain-esque, if any, or do you think the whole house has just crumbled into ridiculous?

58 Comments

  1. Does the reformulation of Mitsouko count as happening in the last 10 years? Just kidding – Attrape-Coeurs comes in just under the wire in 1999 and I like it. I don’t love it, but it’s miles above the horror that is My Insolence. I like Pamplelune, too – it’s a nice, summery scent.

    These sound interesting – especially Moscow.

  2. As in your 1st paragraph, I really enjoyed Double Vanille and Bois d’Armenie. I also liked 68 I was also able to try Habit Rouge (albeit not truly a new release) in pur parfum form, and it was fabulous! Did not care for Homme though. Please enter me in the giveaway drawing.

  3. I would love to enter the drawing! Of recent releasesre-releases, I’ve most enjoyed Plus Que Jamais, Voilette de Madame, and Bois d’Armenie. I think the house has become erratic and lost its focus.

  4. I have Pamplelune but never wear it. I’m not into vanilla, but adore SDV. I would not invest in them, but enjoyed my samples of Cuir Beluga and the Rose one from the Art et Matiere line. Attrape Coeur I like in Winter. I find Guerlain to lack the cohesive scent identity that is so strong, say at Chanel. I wear Eau de Guerlain more than any other Guerlain scent. But I would love to try these…

  5. I’ve certainly purchased my share of new Guerlain introductions in the last 10 years, but after much soul searching, I realize that my favorite of all of them is Cologne 68. I could wear this every day. Why don’t I?

    That said, I would love to be in the draw for the new city scents. 🙂 Thanks!

  6. hands down it’s Art et Matiere Angelique Noire – this has a lovely bitter note on me that counteracts & cuts through the Guerlinade and I’m almost through my first bottle. I don’t think Guerlain has crumbled into ridiculousness yet but crumbled it has. Re-releasing Djedi would go a long way to changing my mind!! And not a reformulated, watered down version in a 200 ml vat either,please. would love to be in the draw for the samples.

  7. I’m only starting to explore the world of perfume, but I would love to smell these. Please include me in the sample draw. Thanks!

  8. I like Cologne du 68 very much, just got a bottle. I love Quand Vient la Pluie and like Bois d’Armenie and Oriental Brulent (these three being the most Guerlainesque ones). To my surprise, I am obsessed with Gourmand Coquin (but maybe it is only infatuation). Iris Ganache did not work for me at all. I have not tried SDV, Cuir Beluga, or the other Art et Matiere perfumes.
    These sound very intriguing. I would love to be entered in the draw, please. Thank you!!

  9. Double Vanille has become, for me, the vanilla against which all other vanillas will be measured. It’s gourmand without being foodish; all booze, vanilla, tobacco and incense. I also love Chypre Fatale, although I don’t think it’s really either, and Bois d’Armenie. Please enter me in the giveaway drawing – thanks!

  10. I find this new trio well-made and pleasant: Moscow is a berry-floral-musk in the “new” Guerlain style, New York is a reworked Winter Délices (normal, it’s by JP Guerlain) and Tokyo, by Annick Ménardo, is actually a little more interesting in its build than it’s being given credit for…
    That said, for me, Guet-Apens/Attrape-Coeur remains the best new Guerlain in the past 10 years, though the L’Art et la Matière series is mostly excellent, and Insolence Eau de Parfum is very good, though absolutely not somthing I’d wear. I still think it’s a shame they let go of Mathilde Laurent.

  11. It’s a tie between Bois d’Armenie and Cuir Beluga for me. The drydown of Bois d’Armenie is one of the best scents ever, and Cuir Beluga is just all-around pleasant. I would love to try some new Guerlains, so please toss my name into the hat.

  12. Unfortunately, the Guerlains I have access to are not very diverse and of the last 10 years I kind of got stuck with Pamplelune for summer (wearing it today). 🙂
    I love the review, they all sound totally interesting and totally wearable to me.

  13. Bois d’Armenie and L’Instant Homme Extreme. Please enter me in the drawing. I’d love to try New York especially – I wanted to adore Winter Delices but it smacked me in the face with a burnt gingerbread fist, so I’m still pining for the perfect Pine.

  14. I wish these were in parfum formulations. I think that there’s a chance I would have appreciated them more if they had the deeper, more concentrated quality of a parfum. Maybe. The newer Guerlains I’ve most loved are Bois d’Armenie, Plus Que Jamais, Angelique Noire, Attrape-Coeur, the new Sous le Vent, Quand vient l’ete and Cuir Beluga (when I’m in one of my vanilla phases).

  15. My easy access to new Guerlains is limited to whatever my local Nordies and Neimans get; smallish stores, so we typically see only the heavily-marketed, mainstream stuff. Meh. I don’t think I’m their target market, and few of their new offerings grab me.

    That said, Tokyo sounds intriguing. Please enter me in the draw.

  16. I go to the extremes with Guerlain — either the Aqua Allegoria type scents or real old school (Vol de Nuit parfum, vintage Mitsouko). The in-between scents just don’t seem to sit well on me. It probably says more about me than about Guerlain..

    Please include me in the draw — these sound interesting and may prove to be the missing middle ground!

  17. I like/love many of the new-ish releases, particularly in the L’Art et la Matière line. Cuir Beluga, Rose Barbare (which smells okay on me, but stunning on a friend), Iris Ganache, Insolence edp and Quand Vient la Pluie are my favorites. Unfortunately, I have not liked anything since L’Art et la Matière, although technically, Insolence edp is more recent, I suppose. Keeping my fingers crossed that I will like one or more of these, so please enter me in the draw.

  18. I would like to try all of the new Guerlains; please enter me in the drawing. These all sound great.

    Of the new ones that I have tried, I liked Iris Ganache and Chypre Fatale the most. Iris Ganache is just so smooooth. I wasn’t impressed by Gourmand Coquin and whatever the third one was….however, I wasn’t initially impressed by Chypre Fatale either, so I’d like to revisit those other two. SDV, QVlP, and Reglisse didn’t ring any bells for me.

  19. My favorite is Double Vanille. 2nd fave is Atrape-Coeur. Would love to try Tokyo. Please enter me in the drawing.

  20. My favorite recent release is SDV. I’ve not been hugely impressed with anything else I’ve tried – it feels sacreligious to say this, but I’m not a huge Guerlain fan, recent releases or otherwise. However, who can pass up the chance of free samples? 🙂 Please enter me in the draw.

  21. I have a sample of Double Vanille I’ve been playing with–I’ve worn it out twice now and people have asked me about it (in the good way)–though I still can’t quite get over the idea that I’d achieve the same effect by dabbing on the baking extract from my pantry! Must be my skin–I can flatten out the most sophisticated fragrances. Actually, years ago, a biochemist I sat next to at a dinner party told me that’s a redhead thing, she said we’re perfume killers!

    I quite like the AA Figue Iris. It’s good for the Triassic era heat and humidity we’re experiencing right now–the fig gets all creamy and mysterious but the powder keeps it from being cloying…

    Oh and please enter me in the draw. I too live in the middle of nowhere and would love to get my hands on something new.

    • Hmmm. . . maybe that explains something. I’m an almost-redhead (chestnut hair and freckled Irish skin), and my skin seems to cancel out certain fragrances– not scrubbers, sadly, but things I might actually like. Meanwhile, one of my favorite scents which lasts beautifully on me is Chanel no22, which I have seen recommended as a “redhead’s perfume”. I had thought that “scents for hair color” was some old-fashioned marketing concept; maybe there’s a grain of sense buried in it somewhere.

      • Yep, I’ll bet that’s it. The worst luck I have is with Annick Goutal–whatever of hers I put on, it turns to insecticide (which is sad as Eau de Ciel was one of the first perfumes I ever fell in love with– I can only enjoy it on others)…

  22. I like Double Vanille, which is vanilla but not at all foody on me. Insolence made me really wonder what the heck happened at Guerlain. Overall, I would be happy if Guerlain only released its pre-1980 scents.

  23. I like vintage Mitsouko, and ALO. Of the newer releases, Bois d’Armenie is my fave. I much prefer their older things, but most of them are a bit musty on me. These sound a little more approachable. Marina had me lemming New York, and you have me rethinking Tokyo….please enter me in your draw, thanks!

  24. Hello! So glad to see these reviewed, makes me want to go test them out myself. I am a semi-fan of flowerbomb so i may like the Moscow. Thus far, my Guerlain favourites are Metalys (the relaunch) and Oriental Brulant, which i can’t get enough of. I tried very hard to love Cruel Gardenia but it was terrible on my skin, so that one was a loss. Thanks!

  25. What a great review! thank you!

    Does it count that I’m sort of moving backwards into Guerlain? I’m not at all entranced by any of the newer iterations, unless we count Attrape-Coeur as new. I have been gobsmacked by vintage Shalimar parfum – having only smelled Edt in earlier times I’d developed a profound dislike for it, only to be totally hammered by a little vintage bottle I found in an antique store.

    However, hope springs eternal and I would love to be in the draw.

    xoxo>-)

  26. I’m pleased to see so much love for Cologne du 68. It’s one of my favourites too (though woefully misnamed as I don’t think it’s very cologne-like at all). I also think Metalys is underrated (particularly by the LuTan Clan) and L’Instant pour Homme is one of the best masculines around. I like several of the Acqua Allegorias and some of the L’Art et la Matieres and even Oriental Brulant but I think there have been so many releases in the last 10 years trying to tap into every corner of the market that the brand aesthetic has been obliterated along the way. Chanel has a coherent brand with fewer releases all of them having a certain degree of class (even if I do loathe Coco Mlle) and a similarity in packaging. Armani has a coherent brand with the Prives at one level, the mid market Ondes at another (which I like more than most, I think) and the Emporio Armani mass market releases. But not only do the new Guerlains have nothing in common with the old releases, they don’t even have a shared aesthetic with each other. There are just too many. Sadly I think the only way they can do it is to go further down the “classy gourmand” route which means I won’t like it but I might at least respect it. In any case, I would love to try these as I everyone seems to have a different favorite which at least makes life interesting.

  27. Was Insolence in the last ten years? That’s the recent Guerlain I seem to like best. But I’ll admit I haven’t tried very many of the latest ones, because the old classics seem much more interesting.

    I’d love to try out this trio, so please enter me in the drawing.

  28. I haven’t tried many of the newer Guerlains mentioned; that said, I would like to be included in the draw, as well. New York sounds interesting, esp. if it “has a nice smoky leather note…”

  29. Ah, Guerlain. Today I’m wearing Mitsouko–the EDT on the back of one hand, the EDP on the other so I can compare them.

    My favourite Guerlain of the last 10 years is L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme, which may not get as much love as it deserves because it’s in all the department stores, but it is fantastically well done, just a genius piece of perfumery–sexual without being cheap, indisputably masculine without resorting to any of the usual clichés, and unlike anything else on the market without being weird or unwearable.

    Please put my name in the draw: maybe I have another favourite out there waiting for me.

    • Would love to hear about the comparison of the EDT vs EDP! What are you concluding?

      • The EDT starts off very loud and rackety, in a good way, and stays fairly loud and sharp through most of its life. The EDP is much, much subtler, with all the edges filed off and the surfaces sandpapered smooth. It’s like the same person in two different moods: whooping with glee, or murmuring endearments in your ear.

  30. Well, now I’m really interested to try these because every reviewer I’ve read picks a different favorite of the three! (So I’d love it if you would put my name in the draw.) The Guerlain I was immediately drawn to recently was Bois d’Armenie.

  31. I gave up on Guerlain. Some of them wear me, some I can’t properly smell, I forget that I own a couple of them, and most remind me of furniture polish

    • The more I think about it, the more this sounds like my own relationship with Guerlain!!! Only instead of furniture polish, they go all old, musty house on me.

  32. I am not very experienced with Guerlains, so I don’t know most of the classics. But I do love Bois d’Arménie and SDV. Please enter me in the drawing for these samples. 🙂

  33. I love Double Vanille, but the recent Guerlains I wear the most often tend to be Aqua Allegorias — Figue Iris, or maybe Herba Fresca. I would love to try these. Please enter me in the draw!

  34. The last ten years? Well, they have not sunk into complete ridiculousness over that time period. I love Angelique Noire and Attrape Coeur. Also, Insolence EdP, No. 68, Iris Ganache, Cherry Blossom parfum, Mayotte (hey, I love Mahora!), Double Vanille and L’Instant are all lovely.

    I would say that Guerlain sank into the ridiculous over the past year or so, but this new trio sounds promising.

    So, please enter me in the drawing. Thanks, Patty!

    Hugs!

  35. I really like the L’Instant..it sits so well on my skin for hours…I think it’s the masculine version….and I have tried a mall vial (TPC) of Bois d’Armenie which I found utterly calming and enchanting…and surprisingly seem to waft forward every now and then throughout the day reminding me of how delicious it was. I didn’t think it was admired by anyone else! Glad to see it IS.

    Please enter me in your generous drawing…

  36. I really like SDV and Iris Ganache (unfortunately, I broke my decant). I also very much enjoy Insolence. I would love to try these new scents. Thanks.

    Donna

  37. My favorite has to be Guerlain L’Instant pour homme but the only other recent Guerlain I’ve tried is Homme and that isn’t my cup of tea ;0 I’m more of a fan of the classic masculines like Habit Rouge and Vetiver and I’m trying to score a bottle of Heritage hehe ;0 Hopefully one day they will produce a masculine fragrance that are at this level.

  38. I rather like Plus Que Jamais, partly because I like its name and I like Luca Turin’s tagging it as a “disenchanted chypre”. Bois d’Armenie began to smell like toasted marshmallows on me; since I dislike that so-called treat I’ve lost any taste for the fragrance.

    But hope springs enternal, so please enter me your drawing. Thank you.

  39. I would love to try these!! I think my favorite release recently was Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus: my first FB in a year. Although, I do also love Insolence EdP!

  40. Well call me kinky, but I like being whacked “in the face with a fir tree and a cinnamon stick.” I have a decant of SDV which I like, but otherwise it’s only the AAs (Winter Delice, Figue Iris, Herba Fresca) that have kept Guerlain in play for me. Still, like Gretchen, hope springs eternal, so please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  41. Does Herba Fresca count? Basenotes says it was introduced in 1999. I loved that one, wore it exclusively for a summer, and still like it a lot when it’s hot and sticky out.

    If I have to pick something more recent, Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus. I’m still trying to decide whether or not I need more than my sample.

    I did not care for either SDV or Cuir Beluga, which makes me a bit of an outlier, I think!

    I would love to be entered in the drawing :). Thank you for the great reviews!

  42. My all time favorite Guerlain is still Jicky, hands down, but I would like to try the new scents. They sound interesting. Please enter me in the drawing. Rosie

  43. Of the past ten years? That covers a lot of territory; pampelune, many of the AA’s and def. SDV. Bois de Armenie is pretty great too. Please enter me in the drawing. M

  44. Yaaaay, I’m glad to read you liked Moscou so much. It was my absolute favorite of the 3 and to be honest, one of the most charming new Guerlains. As to your question…… Hmm.. If you had asked me 2 years ago I would have told you the best new Guerlain is Attrape Coer. However it disappointed me 2 weeks ago when I retested it at the boutique. I don’t know if they changed it, I hope not. I also hope my nose was having an off day or something, cause I used to think that stuff was godly. More testing is required, but that’s difficult since I do not have any of the new batch available. Would love to hear your thoughts on it if you do.

    Further.. I think L’Art et La Matiere is absolutely wonderful and I ADORE most of its offerings (Cuir Beluga, Bois d’Armenie, Angelique Noire are my faves. I would buy them all if I could afford them all) I even think the Rose is excellent, and I am not normally a rose fan!

    Moscou impressed me so much that I will consider acquiring a bottle.

    As for Guerlain as a house…Damn. They still make good (and sometimes great) stuff (*points to L’Art et La Matiere etc.*) so I can’t in good conscience say anything bad about that. Having said that, I am starting to get REALLY angry at the way they handle their image and the way they have basically pretty much released 80 new things, but they are all freakin unavailable and you have to trek all the way to Paris (or I guess NY or Las Vegas for US perfume lovers). No, really. This ‘exclusivity’ thing is really getting on my nerves and the very obvious haughtyness with which it is presented by the brand itself is rubbing me the wrong way even more.

    Plus lets not forget that just because it’s expensive, numbered and ultra-exclusive doesn’t mean it’s not crap. Case in point: Mon Precieux Nectar. Exclusive name, banal juice.

    Lastly and I am really sorry for the book Patty and readers (have you reached this far? really? thank you :)) I could really do without the synthetic smelling Aqua Alegorias. Pamplelune, Herba Fresca and one more or so are WONDERFUL, but the rest are chemical and sometimes sticky messes.

    Whew, sorry again for the super long post. I guess I feel stronger about Guerlain than I thought.

  45. Hi Patty. I’d love to be eligible for the draw. I can’t say that on paper this series sounds Wowza, but you never know. Tokyo’s the most likely to be up my alley, but I could imagine it being very boring and done to death.

    I didn’t think I had smelled any new Guerlains, then realized the AAs count. I like Herba Fresca and would take a bottle of Laurier Reglisse if it were thrown at me. I’m still pissed at the house of G for discontinuing Coriolan, though I didn’t even discover it until AFTER it was DCed.

    Still haven’t gotten my hands on any of the SDV. Someday.

  46. I think that my favorites of the new ones are SDV and Cuir Beluga, but I haven’t tried all of them yet. I’m behind with my sampling! I do love Herba Fresca and Winter Delices, and I would love to have a bottle of Vol de Nuit. Please enter me into the drawing as these new ones sound nice.

    Thanks!

  47. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not familiar with the new Guerlains (I’m new, be gentle) but would love to be entered in the draw.
    Thanks!

  48. Would love to be included in the draw – thanks, Patty! Can’t say I’ve tried many new Guerlains. As others have mentioned, I wore Pamplelune for awhile til I got feedback that it smelled like BO. So sad cause I really loved it, but didn’t want to wander around wafting body odor. Recently purchased a bottle of Insolence EDP unsniffed. Unsure about it.

    I was never familiar with the classic Guerlains, so have been trying them over the past few months. Wow. I understand the genuflecting by the perfumista/o world. Truly stunners. Jicky, L’Heure Bleue, Chamade. Can’t wait to try the rest. I have a bottle of Mitsouko EDT, but haven’t found the love. A friend sent me a decant of the parfum, so I’ll have to give that a go. For some reason, chypres just aren’t my thing. Haven’t found one that I can truly say – yes, this is incredible. Perhaps I associate them with my mom’s perfume Y? Perhaps I immediately think, oh, that’s a mom perfume? Who knows? Some day perhaps I’ll see the light…

  49. I really like AA Pamplelune and for a while I was in love with and sprung for an expensive bottle of Angelique Noire, but I seem to have gone off it. Last time I wore it, I actually felt nauseous, so I’ve retired it for a while. Hopefully I’ll get back in the mood for it in the fall/winter.

    Tokyo sounds interesting. I’d love to be entered in the drawing.

  50. I was fortunate enough to win Marina’s drawing of these samples, so please remove my name, if you haven’t drawn yet…..

  51. not too late to get in on the draw, am I? very curious about these as I am a sucker for several the L’Art et la Matière line

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