Guerlain Metallica (Metalys)

Sunday was the first day in a long while of calm warmth. Sunshine. I did a big clear of the garden, took the first walk where I didn’t wear a woolie hat and coat (a fleece sufficing).

The news here has said that this autumn/winter was the wettest in 130 years.

Wednesday is the Vernal Equinox. Spring can’t come fast enough. Will definitely be finding some way to celebrate/mark the onset this year. Maybe salmon and asparagus. Plus ice cream.

I had mentioned when I reviewed Zara Vetiver Pamplemousse several weeks ago that there were three other decants waiting to be looked at. Today, it’s Guerlain Metallica. Before I picked that up I’d sprayed on another of the decants with plans to do that but it turned out to be a really unpleasant, very muddy and linear leather and I simply didn’t have the oomph to bother with it. All I will say is I put it on a blotter and sprayed my beloved By Kilian Dark Lord on another and sniffed them side by side. DL smelled like you want a leather to smell and this other thing smelled like … not what you’d want a leather to smell like. Little oomph, a weird cleaning product aspect, something else ‘fresh’. Who puts ‘fresh’ in a leather perfume?

So, I moved on to Metallica* and breathed a sigh of relief.

We’ve seen a fair bit of Guerlain on here recently. For me, Guerlain is my classic house. There are things I like from Chanel, Caron, etc, but the Guerlainade generally sings on my chemistry – in various different permutations.

Anyway, Mettalica. Per Fragrantica, this launched in 2000 and the nose was Jean-Paul Guerlain. Notes include orange, bergamot, grapefruit, carnation, ylang, spices, iris, orange blossom, rose, vanilla, tonka bean, amber and musk.

I have a lot of time for Mettalica even though, like l’Heure Bleue, it is not a Guerlain I can wear. It is beautiful but it has a cardboard-playdough thing (carnation, iris?) that doesn’t not sit well on me.

I never really get the orange, bergamot, grapefruit top. It’s straight into a scratchy/ peppery aspect and then a bit of rose emerges, along with ylang. It is indeed spicy – and as it warms up the vanilla and tonka come to the fore.

The development is interesting – as I find to be the case with most Guerlains, whether I can wear them or not. In the end, it dries down to a cardboard/pepper complex vanilla. Longevity is very good — at least eight hours – and it is compelling and interesting from open to close. Towards the latter part of the drydown I detect something ‘metallic’ but that could be the power of suggestion. And then it does this twisty: showing a bit of vanilla-marzipan which is unusual and a bit unsettling but not at all sickly.

This feels very classical in its makeup – and the notes are legible, as opposed to the mashup you sometimes get with niche perfumes.

The story is that Metallica launched and then there was the a ha with regard to the heavy-metal band and it re-launched in 2005 as Metalys. It is discontinued. Maybe the whole name thing was just too much trouble.

It was released in EdT in the Parisienne line as 250ml of juice. The presentation is ‘metallic’ and the design is similar to the bee bottles.

I found an auction site offering a bottle of Metallica, along with a couple of other things, as a lot priced at £650 – which doesn’t seem exceptionally pricey to me – particularly given current bottle prices.

Anyway, I will keep the decant and play around with this on paper and fabric. Even though I know it’s not a ‘me’ perfume, it’s definitely something I want to smell again.

And I may start to watch that auction site to see if anything else interesting pops up.

So, happy almost spring – and Metallica. Thoughts?

*My decant is labelled Metallica rather than Metalyis so maybe it is the original release …

Pics: Pexels and mine

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Every time I think of Metallica, I can’t help but think of the whole Napster fiasco. I have never tried Metalys.

    • cinnamon says:

      Had to look up Napster. I think Metallica/Metalys is worth trying if it somehow pops up.

  • AnnieA says:

    Mettalica the band has always been big on IP (intellectual property), and they had a huge fight with Napster back in the day.

    Couldn’t think of any perfumes I have with a metallic note, but would be interested in hearing about other ones.

    • cinnamon says:

      Ah. It does make sense — also given how many artists were ripped off in different ways.

  • March says:

    You know my heart belongs to Guerlain … I know I tried this and for the life of me, I can’t remember how I felt? I’m getting ready to unpack some of my perfume storage, I will have to keep an eye out for it. The apricot tree out front is blooming! This is very early, we’ve had a warm winter (for our area) and frankly I’m thrilled.

    • cinnamon says:

      Yup. Where are things stored that you don’t have out? We don’t get apricots here that I know of but people grow peaches. Hoping my apple tree performs better this year than last.

  • Tom says:

    I remember when it came out and yeah, I got Play-Doh. I moved on quickly. Apparently they did as well.

    • cinnamon says:

      I sort of like the idea of a Play-Doh note but I can’t recall anything where it worked on me. Still, it’s an interesting idea…

  • alityke says:

    We seem to have April showers a bit early, the temperature is still on the low side with some early morning frosts when it isn’t raining. The neighbours magnolia is flowering, sadly it doesn’t have a fragrance. I’ve been naked for over a week, DH had a heavy cold & bless him, he’s shared it with me. So I’m febrile, have a sore, itchy throat & inner ear & a cough. So I’ve not been up to sniffing, only snoozing when the paracetamol cuts in.
    I do have a sample of Metallica/Metalys that must be over a decade old. I remember thinking that it has held up well when I organised my samples & decants recently. I also get a mineral or metallic twang from it.

    • cinnamon says:

      I hope the cold recedes soon. I have two friends who have gotten something that is really hanging on. There are loads of magnolias here. I haven’t yet gotten near one to see about scent.

      • Dina C. says:

        The deep pink magnolias, called Saucer Magnolias, are out here right now. They’re beautiful but don’t really smell. However the white Grand Magnolias, which are often used in scents, smell lemony and sour. The south-eastern USA has a lot of them. Each blossom can be huge — bigger than a teacup sitting on a saucer.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’ve never sniffed Metallica or Metalys but it sounds interesting. All the old Guerlains are worth giving an “audition” in my opinion because they are so often good. March 20 is a red letter day in our family: my brother’s bday, my daughter’s bday, and the day my husband proposed to me. Spring has arrived early to Washington DC. The cherry blossoms are gonna be at their peak this week.

    • cinnamon says:

      I wouldn’t have sought it out but was very pleased it popped up in the recent parcel. I don’t know if it can be found easily but if you cross paths I think it’s worth a go.

      Have a lovely vernal equinox with all the celebrations. Love cherry blossom — and the magnolias are gorgeous here this year.

  • Portia says:

    OOOHHHH! It seems we have hit a Guerlain seam in the perfume universe. Tom, then me and now you Cinnamon. So cool.
    Metallica is nice. It never really sang on or for me but I do understand the grand love people have for it, especially the way it was presented. So gorgeous.
    I was laughing to myself about your anti fresh leather tirade. That’s a combo I love. The Memo range does a couple of stellar fresh leathers, even aquatic leather. YUMMY!
    Portia x

    • cinnamon says:

      There is so much to mine regarding Guerlain. This was a quite a surprise for me. As to fresh leather, maybe it’s a chemistry thing? Or maybe not — ’cause the mystery leather (I’m not going to name it) just made me incredibly twitchy and I had to wash it off. Even the blotter had to go into the trash fairly quickly.