There comes a day (or more than one) in your life where you realize what a fickle bitch you are, and my day came this week. There was a time that I admired the house of Guerlain, but many of their scents just weren’t me. Caron girl here through and through. Hey, don’t worry, I still am!! But now I’ve become a Guerlain ‘Ho. From the skanky drydown of Jicky parfum that makes me feel like I’ve gone slightly feral to the difficult Mitsouko that reminds me of all the complexity and strangeness of humanity — repelling and attracting at once, I do love them all. I’ve even changed my mind on the L’Art et la Matiere line. The old saying, if I recall it correctly, roughly goes “Caron for the Queen and Guerlain for the Courtesan.” I thought I was a Caron Queen, only to find out I’m willing to be a Guerlain Courtesan.
Guerlain’s recent additions in the last year or two have been hit and miss for me, though I’m always jacked when they pull something from their back catalog, like Candide Effluve that’s coming out in October. ‘Tis a shame that it’s only coming in a Limited Edition bottle for over 3k. Yeah, you read that right, $3,000 smackeroos. My credit card is quivering in fear in my wallet right now (yes, of course I’m getting it, are you nuts?!?! I may never get to sniff it otherwise). But that’s still a month away, and there’s two new Guerlains to talk about!
Quand Vient la Pluie was introduced last month, with notes of heliotrope, violet, rosemary, sambac jasmine, and praline. I have heard that the parfum has amber in the base, and the edp has not. What strength I tested? I don’t know. The lovely Francoise put (Perfume) on the outside of the sample box, and I’m thinking for the French that is meaning the parfum, and I’m getting amber in the drydown… so, yeah, parfum? Now, I’m going to triangulate between this release, the release of the Spirituese Double Vanille and Iris Ganache and Bois d’Armenie. That way those of you familiar with the IG and BdA will have a reference point here, or at least a nonreference point.
La Pluie starts off like candied sunshine, and I mean that in the best way. It tips and dips around that praline note early on, which had me on edge, thinking this may not end well, even though it is very pretty, and then it went in the right direction, away from that sweetness, but retaining the beauty it added to the scent. It’s very different from Iris Ganache, I don’t find them alike at all, except that they each have that slightly sweet note popping up, though it’s not the same sweet note, it has a similar feel maybe? Not sure how better to explain it. It’s not got that melancholy iris that Apres L’Ondee has. It is happier, with an elegant drydown that’s only slightly sweet or almondy, sort of a background thing. I don’t know that it’s going down as one of Guerlain’s masterpieces, but it is definitely Guerlainish and quite lovely. I’ve read elsewhere that people had it vamoose on them quickly. I didn’t find that to be the case on me, but most Guerlains stick to me like glue, and I’m not sure if they were testing the edp or the parfum. If you’re not a big fan of the sweeter aspects of Guerlains, like Iris Ganache and Mayotte, I’d be surprised if you will be a fan here. There’s not a drop of smut in it that I can detect, so you skank lovers can move along now, nothing to see here.
Spirituese Double Vanille is the latest limited edition from Guerlain. It goes on almost medicinal and then quickly melts into its incense base layered over the vanilla. Notes of vanilla, benzoin, frankincense, spices, cedar, pink pepper, bergamot, Bulgarian rose and ylang-ylang. I get almost no ylang, and the rose is nestled so far in, I still wonder if it’s there. It’s all incense, spice and vanilla and something slightly sharpish in there, but not unpleasant sharp, just prickly. Not sweet, dry, and it reminds me of something else, maybe just more like real vanilla after it’s been baked in something? I’ve been OD’ing on it. When I first smelled it, I thought it was reminiscent of Bois d’Armenie, but then I smelled them again next to each other, and not even close. Armenie is smokier, woodish. I found the open of Double Vanilla be be closer to the open of Iris Ganache, though the drydown is not the same, they diverge fairly quickly after the initial medicinal blast — IG off into iris-ville and DV off into dry incense-ville.
Now, extrapolating all of this out into which ones work best? Well, my opinion is you should put all four on together. I stink gloriously to high heaven in the best possible way. I’m not kidding! I’m leaving a sillage wake that could kill someone, but I think I smell phenomenal and anyone keeling over after I pass by should be grateful to expire with such a lovely scent in their nostrils. I’m floating in a cloud of incense, armenie papers, vanilla, iris, heliotrope with just a hint of candies hovering nearby. I need to make up a quad sprayer so I can wear this to bed. I want it in all of my clothes and my closet. The only thing that would make this better is… Yeah, le Labo Patchouli!
I had so much of the Double Vanille on me yesterday when I went to the grocery store at 8 a.m., they could have slapped a label on me and called me an incense cake. I’m used to it, and I never realilze how treacherous the scent level gets until I’m outside of my office and in a more, um, normalized atmosphere.
What’s in it for you? You too should smell like me. I know we’ve been doing a lot of giveaways, but I think we all like doing them, and I hope you guys like them too. Just add a comment to this post, and I’ll enter you in the drawing for a sample of all four of these gorgeous things. Double entries for those that give me the best tip on learning Latin because right now my Latin I class is actually making me study, which is a totally new phenomenon for me, and I’m not exactly sure of the best way to go about memorizing the damn conjugated verb endings, though in theory it sounds easy, but in practice, associating this with the root is causing me a lot more actual having to think time than I care for. There must be some easy mnemonic?