Floral Romantique by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2011

Hiya Posse, I have come late to Floral Romantique because I thought the name was shit. Funnily enough reading Black Narcissus I find I am not alone. He is WAY funnier though. Not sure why but I bought a decant is a split a little while ago and am only just getting to it now, six years after release. Oh well, if they didn’t bring out so much I might get through 1/100th of it in the year it was released.

For some reason these Elixir Charnel scents when they first came out made me wonder what the hell was happening at Guerlain. Slowly over the years though I have come to see them as an era, the flavour of an epoch in Guerlain fragrances.

Floral Romantique by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2011

Floral Romantique by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2011Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Ambrette seed, Mandarin, Petitgrain, Mate, Neroli
Heart: Jasmine, Tiaré, Lily, Orange blossom, Ylang-ylang
Base: Benzoin, Cedar, Smoky tea, Castanea sativa

Dewy citrus on jasmine blooms in the early morning, the luscious tropical banana hints of ylang, lily trumpeting to the morning and the creamy tea greenness of mate all combine to create a lavish bouquet of white flowers. This bouquet is the radiant sheer style of the 21st century made most famous by Elie Saab and Gucci Rush. Guerlain does it gently, elegantly, a poised and sophisticated edition of their siren calls.


While very pretty it’s like the outrageous fun has been wilfully misinterpreted for an older generation or a less flamboyant young market. Floral Romantique is lovely, lovely in the way slightly overthought art. Art without whimsy or genius can be. Art created by perfectly talented, tasteless artists can be.

It reads like I don’t like it. I do. In fact I like it very much and think I could easily purchase a bottle and wear it to the dregs, so easy a companion Floral Romantique seems to be. Once I stop asking it to be like the things it poorly imitates and let it be itself. A perfectly blended, luscious, radiant white floral with hints of tea and vanilla then it becomes exactly as gorgeous as I’m sure Thierry Wasser meant it to be, and infinitely more fun.


Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies and Black Narcissus
Guerlain counters in large department stores

You might also like to read March’s paris Adventure on Perfume Posse.

Do you love any of the Elixir Charnel fragrances from Guerlain?
Portia xx


Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies

  • Ann says:

    Hi, dear!! I missed this one, too, but now you’ve sparked my interest. Sometimes you need something pretty, lovely and undemanding in your repertoire. Thanks!!

  • Tara C says:

    FR was a bit boring to me, I prefer Oriental Brulant, Gourmand Coquin and Chypre Fatal. Didn’t care for French Kiss either. But overall I think it’s a nice collection.

  • Musette says:

    somehow this one swept right past me – huh, imagine that! 😉 But gosh, you make it sound PRETTY! and you know I am All About the Pretty – and so I must try this. And if I fall in love with it, I will BEAT you! <3 xoxoxoxo

  • malsnano86 says:

    Oh Lord, I love this thing and couldn’t really tell you why, except that it is Just So Darn Pretty without being brainless and teenaged. (Also, The CEO reacts positively to it without fail. He says it smells “like your skin, but better,” and since he’s totally unfamiliar with the YLBB acronym for describing lipsticks, I have to think that it’s a superb compliment.)

    I don’t have a bottle, but I blew through a (pricey) 5ml decant fast and then bought another one this summer, and it’s half gone already. None of the other Carnal Elixirs did anything for me, but then this one is just exactly up my alley. You know I love the just-pretties!

    So now I’ve got to go read what Neil said about it… okay, I’m back, and he wasn’t terribly complimentary, was he? He and I have quite a few favorites in common, but not this one.

    • Portia says:

      Hi there MalsNano86,
      YAY! I’m glad you like it too.
      HA! Neil is often at parallel opposites to my way of sniffing but whether he loves them or hates them I enjoy reading his take, it’s ALWAYS a sideways view.
      It’s easy to imagine you loving FR, in fact I think Thierry Wasser may have made it with you in mind.
      Portia xx

  • tiffanie says:

    I’ve not sniffed any of the Elixir Charnel line but would jump at the chance should I ever encounter tester bottles. I am a Guerlain gal. Floral Romantique sounds like it would be my cup of tea.

    And thank you for the dive down the perfume blog rabbit hole. I visited the Black Narcissus, then found that Mark Behnke reviewed FR at CaFleureBon. I enjoyed March’s Paris adventures and Angela’s multi-part companion stories over at NST. It feels as if I’ve been on around the globe this morning.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Tiffanie,
      Part of the fun of this passion is that we are all able to access frag heads around the world 24/7. All of us have different voices and different impressions of the same fragrances. It makes it all the more interesting for me, and hopefully for you.
      Portia xx

  • Kathleen Smith says:

    The only one of the Carnal Elixirs I’ve sampled and then quickly purchased is French Kiss. I’m not sure why I purchased a full bottle; I love the fruity fragrance but it’s not my style to wear frequently. I adore vintage Guerlain and try to sample the newer releases and reformulations; however, like you commented, there are so many! I’m curious to hear comments about the other Carnal Elixirs.

    • Portia says:

      Hi there Kathleen,
      I love the name for French Kiss, and kind of don’t. It makes me want to buy a bottle and spritz myself lavishly so pop,le will ask what I’m wearing. Then I’d be embarrassed to say.
      I know, I’m an oxymoron personified.
      Portia xx

  • March says:

    OK so this was a perfect post to make me go back and check it out, and to give it a chance on its own terms, because I know exactly what you’re talking about. So thank you.

  • Taxi says:

    I have & like Floral Romantique but my favorite of the Wassers released early this century is Voyage London, now dc’d, at least in the US. I still have enough to wear it freely.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Taxi,
      My fave from that line is Voyage Moscow. They are rich, sweet and super glam. I really liked the line but was too slow to purchase. I have about 1/3 of a bottle bought from a mate.
      Portia xx