Guerlain Spiritueuse & Pluie


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?

  • Huysmans says:

    If you like gardening, most plant genus names come from Latin with some plant explorer’s name tricked out in the species name. It’s useful in medicine and chemistry as well, but hy would you ever need to phrase anything in a dead language unless you’re channeling Ovid. Good luck to us all in the Guerlain triple lucky dip.

  • Rowanhill says:

    I thought I should have bought all of those lovely Guerlains when I tried them on at Nieman Marcus in San Francisco. But they are so outrageously expensive. Please enter me in the draw, I would love to try the combo again.

    As for Latin, no good ideas for the tackling the grammar, but there are weekly world news in Latin, Nuntii Latini, produced by the Finnish Broadcasting Company
    Something more current in comparison to the old sword and shield topic.

  • Calshopper says:

    Good for you for studying both French and Latin! I have been thinking about starting classes at the Alliance Francais to improve my fragrance pronunciation.

    The best way to learn a language is immersion – going somewhere where you are forced to use it. Since that is a tough proposition with Latin (the Vatican is the only place I can think of that they might speak Latin!) you might want to see if you can find a language camp.

    Can’t wait to sniff the new Guerlains! 😡

  • Sarah says:

    If you know French, Spanish or Italian, well, that’s an obvious help (though perhaps, Latin should be learned first as an aid to the other three). At any rate, also, think about all those Latin masses and if you don’t know it, join a choir. Or read a medical or scientific dictionary. After a while, things should start clicking.

    Oh, and please enter me. 🙂

  • Connie says:

    Hi Patty … what a great site! I even ordered a sampler pack today from the Perfumed Court. Newbie here … Please include me in the drawing.

    Sorry I cannot help at all with latin … but if you need help in French or Spanish …

  • G.G.S. says:

    I like most vanilla-based fragrances, and am a fan of L by Lolita Lempicka, and the incensey Guerlain Bois D’Armenie, so was pleased to see your SDV review. Hope to try it soon. (Will get to try it sooner, if I’m lucky enough to win a sample!)
    Was just weargin a sample of spicy, woody, Montale Boise Vanille, and decided it wasn’t something I would buy for myself. I would like it on my husband though.
    I am out of town, so the Perfumed Court vanilla sampler (20 fragrances!)I ordered recently is at home waiting for me to get back. I plan to do a “complete” vanilla fragrance survey.

  • Kyra says:

    Are you doing Wheelock’s Latin? If so, it is totally worth it to spring for the Vocab Cards and Grammatical Forms Summary. Yeah, it’s all in the book as well, but it saves you endless amounts of page flipping. After you stare at the sheets for long enough for brute force translations, it will start to stick. And practice aloud; you might feel like a prize idiot, but you will sound erudite and it really helps. And sure, put my name in for the Guerlains.

  • Dana says:

    No new tips on studying Latin here. I did study French years ago and am struggling with Spanish now. I haven’t found any alternative for verb conjugations other than drill, drill, drill.

    Please include me in the draw. That Double Vanille sounds wonderful.

  • Cheezwiz says:

    Hi Patty, good for you for studying Latin!

    I’ve always been curious about Latin myself, since its at the root of the romance languages, and so much of English is based on it as well. I’ve always been fascinated by languages and think Latin would be interesting to learn. If not too late, please enter me in your draw!

    P.S. I’m also delving into history. I made a peculiar (well, for me) purchase last week – a beautifully illuminated bible. Being in France surrounded by all those masterpieces only highlighted how ignorant I am about the role of ancient mythology & Christianity in Art. I’m going to see if I can get a grasp on some of the stories I’ve only heard fragments of. I had a completely non-religious upbringing, so it certainly felt like a bizarre purchase! I also picked up a book on Greek Mythology of which I know very little either.

  • Jeanne says:

    Latin you really are amazing… however I don’t think I can help you at all with it. I do,or am,shamelessly writing for a chance at the Guerlain prize. Yo know sometimes a bad skank can wanna go good. I think I am feeling like a primped woman of the demimonde.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Oh baby.
    You want Latin ?
    My guys will pleasure you, in FULL.Geeks all, but wicked pisser handsome.
    Classics is the name of the game- bona nomen, bona omen.

    Guerlain and Caron both love me, and it’s mutual.
    I really WANT to smell like incense cake, lol.

  • Lavanya says:

    I have to get more acquainted with the Guerlains..I have
    smelt some but have not spent too much time with them..
    Please enter me in the draw..(sorry, can’t help with the Latin bit..:))

    And Patty, are you doing a Caron Split sometime?

  • Solander says:

    Hello again Patty!
    I read “vanille” and though naah, pass, and then I read your review and damn! enter me in the drawing please!
    I just love the dirty bits in Jicky, so cosy, reminds me of L’air de rien but something about the combo with the crisp herbs really makes it stand out among the “cosy musks” Might be the only lavender I can wear…
    I really like Shalimar on the test strip, need to do a skin test… Vetiver and Habit rouge are also some I’ve smelled in stores and really liked…
    Oh and then there’s the gloriously horsey Guet-Apens, but I doubt I’ll ever get my hands on more than the sample I was generously gifted…

  • sweetlife says:

    Put me in the drawing please, these sound loverly! 🙂

    I really admire your language learning. I’m actually pretty good at picking up languages when I can speak them with other people, but I dread rote memorization and all the workbook type exercises that go along with most of the classes.

  • Carol says:

    Can’t help with the Latin (sorry!), but would love to be entered in the draw – thanks!!

  • tmp00 says:

    I think I was a Guerlain courtesan before I became a Caron queen, so I took a different route to the same end.

    From what I remember having taken Latin (about a year after the language was officially dead, so the memory is hazy), it’s all about the repetition. Luckily I don’t think there were many irregular verbs there. Yes, it will help with the French immensely too.

  • Divalano says:

    I’ve never gotten Guerlaine but hmmm yes, I’d love to learn. But the queen/courtesan analogy has me intrigued. So yes, enter me, bring me onto the dark side, baby! :d

    Learning languages … well, only I ever did Spanish but I agree with all those citing memorization drills. I learned the complete conjugation of the regular verbs (hablar, comer, etc) thru verbal drills, and then when I’d get lost with some other verb I’d recite the drill & it would come back. The irregular verbs like ir …well, I had to just drill & drill. Make it into a chant or a song.

  • sybil says:

    Hooray for you for learning Latin and French. I took 3 yrs. in high school…apart from vocabulary benefits, learning the parts of speech was an enormous help when I went on and (started!) learning German and Spanish. My sister the Latin teacher would tell you to say the endings out loud, over and over. Write them down, trace them with your finger on the glass in the bathroom. Have your (probably) amused children quiz you. Try several approaches and see which one clicks for you…You’ll get there! OSTMUSTISNT! Does this look familiar? I’ll ask my sis if she has any other tips. Oh…and please put me in the drawing!

  • Twibbet says:

    I am still embarrassingly Guerlain-ignorant. I think I get psyched out by them on the rare occasions I actually see them in stores. I need to win a drawing and spend some quality time at home with them and see if we might have a relationship 😡

  • noyna says:

    Ooh! Please enter me in the drawing! Sadly, I have no tips for Latin, as I am miserable at languages that conjugate. Or have complex tenses…

  • rachael says:

    I only took spanish in highschool, and I never found an enjoyable way to study. Flashcards are a pretty universal study tool though, since it encompasses both rewriting and testing. Please enter me in the drawing!

  • Gina says:

    Please do enter me in the drawing, Patty. Great review! I’m dying to wear all four of these at once. As for the Latin…hmmm. I wish I could help you there. I’m learning French, have been for many years, and the only thing that really gets me to “get” it, is to use it often. If I say something in English, I think it in French. Also, immersion. Which doesn’t help you.

  • Linda says:

    I would love to try these treasures– I’ve been wrestling with myself over Vanille Spiriteuse, too. You crack me up with your layering and sillage-monstering.

    There’s got to be a book, movie script, or something in that concept. “She smelled… wonderful… gakkkkk!” said the dying man.

    Unfortunately, I never learned any Latin. I did try Spanish and French at one time, which results in quite a mangled version of each… they’re too alike!

  • IrisLA says:

    We were disappointed to learn that the Latin teacher at DD’s high school retired last year. They are having trouble finding another teacher. Phooey. Learning Latin would certainly help with vocabulary on the SAT.

    Guerlains to try – yeah! Please enter me in the drawing.

  • Teri says:

    I have to second the poster above who suggested you chant the verb endings. My dad, who also went to Catholic schools and thus had studied Latin, clued me in on that. So clearly it’s a tried and true technique of long standing.

    I took Latin and French both for three years in high school, and you should DEFINITELY find that your Latin studies will help your French studies. Most modern western European languages (French, Italian, Spanish) are all based on Latin. There is considerable symmetry between the languages.

    So many times over the years people have asked me “Did you ever do anything useful with that Latin?” The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Besides the expected near-perfect score on the English portion of my SATs, I rarely have to open a dictionary. Most of the more complicated English words are based on Latin roots. And between the Latin and the French, I can generally read text written in both Italian and Spanish, which has proven useful as I work in an international business.

    I am one of those poor souls on whose skin all the Guerlains go bad. There isn’t a one I’ve found that I can actually wear, so you don’t need to enter me in your drawing. I do adore them on others, though, so I’m pleased to see that you’re now promoting them. :d

    I can, on the other hand, wear the Carons with ease. Hmm.. does that say something about my moral….errr….probity? lol

  • Sudsy says:

    Patty my dear, I am soooooooo willing to be a “stinking to high heaven Guerlain Courtesan” you just can not imagine!!:d

    Please… if you could put me into the draw, both I and my lecherous beloved Lord & Master, would be eternally grateful!:x

    Is Latin one of the languages of love & beautiful fragrances? Sorry that I have no help for your studies.:(

  • Kelly says:

    Oooh, please enter me. You know I’m ALL about the sillage :d

  • donanicola says:

    Well I have come at things from the opposite end so to speak – ahem. I was an out and out courtesan (have loved Mitsouko for years and years), had a thing for Samsara when it first came out, and recently added Vol de Nuit, Sous le Vent, Nahema, Chamade, Parure to the list. And I’ve finally “got” Jicky though Shalimar continues to elude me. But I have queenly aspirations since seeing the light on Tabac Blonde. And I love Alpona and Poivre. Good luck with the linguistic studies, Patty! I have very basic french which I lamely supplement with a dictionary when necessary. Please would you enter me in the drawings – the DV interests me alot since I discovered I don’t always hate vanilla. (I’m enjoying PdN’s crepuscular vanilla candle at the moment!)

  • Nina says:

    Me please! Put me in the draw! Anything that triangulates with Bois d’Armenie just has to be sniffed. Oooh, Patty, how I would love to be in your sillage wake…

    Latin is just wonderful, and let’s face it, all you’ll ever need for any practical purpose are the roots. The endings are just for exams. I mean, it’s not as if you’ll ever be in ancient Rome having to ask if there’s air-con in the room, is it?

    I used to enjoy imagining Latin words as names from the Asterix books.

  • Louise says:

    Patty-bravo for studying Latin. I had just a bit in high school, and it not only helped with my Romance languages, but also English vocabulary learning. A long time ago, I put together a course for English as a Second Language students in which we explicitly taught Latin roots and suffixes, prefixes, etc. The students comprehension of English zoomed!

    My only tip on memorization-an old idea that there are 2 main ways to get a memory solidified-repetition (yup, practice), and saliency. The capriccio’s idea of linking Latin to scent is great-or any other cue that moves you (variety of chocolate for me would work).

    Please enter me in the drawing-I am growing to love the Guerlains of late.

    Happy Weekend to all!

  • Christine says:

    We should all endeavor to stink like you. PLUS man, a dry vanilla base plus incense…sign me up!

    Although, can I just say, Christ on a cracker…$3000. Whoa. What do you and your husband have as “real jobs” because holy moly. Also, is your or your husband’s company hiring. I can relocate. 😉

    In the meantime, I’ll just have to ask you to enter me in drawings. Maybe one day I’ll win one.

    • Patty says:

      Will do!

      Warren would laugh himself silly that I’d use his money for perfume. 🙂 I actually have like two jobs that are part of my main job, plus the decanting business. But even with that, we had to think long and hard about that Candide Effluve (Diane and I are splitting a bottle). Even though we can sell a little bit of it in samples, it’s so darn expensive, that’s a very small offset, but it’s just one of those collector’s things you just want. I’m still a little freaked out by it, though.

      I have a teensy bit of an old Guerlain, about 1/2 ml that I spent a fortune for, KRISS. It’s really beautiful, but I guard it with my life. 🙂

  • Marsi says:

    Patty, you stink so good; make me, too! Please enter me in the drawing!


  • Jamie says:

    Ooooooh, I really, really want to try Spirituese Double Vanille.

    Please enter me in the drawing.l-).

    Wish I could help you with the latin……

    • Patty says:


      Actually, Pam gave me a priceless tip that’s actually working a LOT better. 🙂 I just had the order to memorize mixed up and doing it by singular 1st present-imperf-future, then singular 2nd person present-imperf-future, then singular 3rd, etc., is working, it has a rythym to it that fits.

      There is nowhere else on the internet where such smart people hang out and sniff perfume too.

  • I only know “Church Latin” and enough to be dangerous. I understand “Teach Yourself Latin” by Gavin Betts is supposed to be good. I’m really impressed that you are trying to learn French at the same time!

    As said above, Fortuna Buona!

    • Patty says:

      Well, I’ve got my Church Latin down, but you’re right, it makes you dangerous! 🙂 Real Latin is much more difficult! Maybe if I say some more Hail Marys in Latin, she’ll give me a hand.

  • March says:

    Um … I think it’s great that you’re learning Latin, but why? Are you moving to Latin America? (Didn’t Dan Quayle use that first? Non-jokingly?) French seems like enough on your plate at once. If I’d known I was going to turn into a perfume ‘ho I’d have taken French instead of Spanish, so folks like Louise listening to me pronounce French perfume names don’t wet themselves laughing.


    PS These sound AMAZING. And I don’t think we have to choose. And to anyone who thinks Guerlain’s the leightweight sister, I have these words: Mitsouko. Jicky. Vol de Nuit. Sous le Vent.

    • Patty says:

      Because I’m an idiot? No idea, really, just something I’ve wanted to do for probably 20 years or so.

      It’s not too late to take French, you know. I’m finding that the longer I spend on it, the less silly I feel about that ridiculous pronunciation and having to speak through my nose and all guttural on some sounds. It seems like, spending so much time with French perfumes, learning some French was becoming essential.

      My prediction is that you won’t love Pluie as much as I do, or at all. But I think the DV will work for you. marina thought maybe there was some immortelle in there, and I do get that impression, that if it’s not immortelle, it seems immortelle’ish.

      • March says:

        Immortelle?!?! 😮


        Yep, I’m in. Does it smell like Lolita Lempicka “L”‘s much classier older sister?

        • March says:

          Well, you go, woman! I’m proud of you. Latin does come in really handy in vocabulary issues.

          My fantasy — one of these months I’m going to join my daughter in piano lessons. We got her a decent upright, and I have ALWAYS wanted to learn to play.

    • Louise says:

      March-do you mean that you’re not actually pronouncing French sooo badly on purpose? To be oh, so funny? No way!

      • March says:

        Yah yah. That was hilarious during our sniffage at Nancy’s, you’d say something like, “have you tried Frenchmumblemumblemumble?”

        And we’d say …. whut? Boyz dee Ills? Quand Vee-ent La Plooey? Mays, NON!

  • Alica says:

    Oh, I would be glad to test these new treasures from Guerlain. Thank you Patty for giving a chance to me through drawing.

  • bluechile (Cathy) says:

    Please enter me in the drawing for the Guerlins, they sound…interesting. I love the classic Guerlains and have found the (few) newer releases that I’ve tried to be inoffensive, but nothing has grabbed my heart.

    Kudos to you for learning a new language! At 40+ I decided to go to nursing school, and the first thing I had to discover was my learning “style.” Some people learn better by listening, some by reciting orally, some by writing. So to cover all the bases you could write some flash cards, and record yourself saying them out loud, and then listen to the recording. As to latin specifically, I can offer no tips. I’ll ask my daughter if she has any from her Latin 101 class that she’s currently taking in college.

    • Patty says:

      Will do! The newer releases, some of them, have grown on me. I think they’re not as bold as the stuff of old, but they do have charm.

      Congrats on the return to nursing school! And great tips, I think you’re right, hit all of the learning centers. I normally can use any of them, but this is hard!

  • Judith says:

    I am concluding that the new one is not for me. I find IG and (yes) SDVanille too sweet, although I love BdA. I love Latin, and agree with Pam’s advice to chant aloud (she should know, after all!). But I have always found that writing things over helps with (all) language learning, too.
    Amo 😡

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, I’m thinking those wouldn’t work for you. I thought *maybe* on the DV, if the vanilla in there worked for you. Sounds like non?

      Another Latin’ite! Okay, off to get my little chants going. Memorize, memorize, memorize. I’m usually pretty good at memorization, not sure why this is harder.

  • Pam says:

    Hey, what happened to my post?? I hit “save” and the thing vamoosed into the ether. Bah.

    Anyway. . .

    Patty, I congratulate you on your decision to take Latin. Taking Latin is like eating fish; it boosts brain function. Plus, it’s fun. Okay, okay. I confess. I’m an old Latin teacher, so I would say that.

    The best way to memorize verb endings is to chant the endings ALOUD. It’s hands down the best way to get those endings surgically attached to your memory. Besides, once you get the basic active verb endings down pat, you’re simply building onto them. Even the irregular verbs still use those basic endings in their forms. The oral/aural thing really does work here. Flashcards can be useful as well, but chanting aloud is the best way to learn Latin endings.

    P, you have my email address on the dashboard. If you ever need help in anything Latin, let me know and I’m happy to oblige.

    Fortuna Bona! 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Thanks, Pam! I think it’s something more people should do, even when they’re practically ancient like me. 🙂 Okay, I’ve got the chanting thing down. I was already doing it accidentally, and now that makes perfect sense!

      So in which order should I chant, singular present, imperf, future in all three, then going to singular? I think I Might have gone the wrong way, if that’s the case, because that way makes more sense.

    • March says:

      Pam, our spam filter gets bored with nothing to snack on but Viag_ra, animals, shemales, and mother-son action (hey, let’s see if this message goes straight to the spamhouse!) So occasionally it eats interesting fragrance messages, I have never determined a pattern (except it eats Louise’s messages regularly).

      I’ll go look and fish it out if it’s substantively different than what you’ve retyped. In the future, you can leave a comment that says, yo, put your gloves and noseplug on and go fish me out of the filter.:-w

  • Rappleyea says:

    It’s been waaaay too many years since I took Latin – ouch! Sorry I can’t help you there. But my sample of La Pluie arrived yesterday and I’m already in love – so please add me to the drawing. I can’t wait to sample the other scents.

    • Patty says:

      Isn’t it beautiful? It’s got this elegant, princess thing going on, which should put me off a bit, but the longer I had it on, the more I was loving it.

  • Anne says:

    I don’t really get most Guerlains. But Caron? Coup de Fouet and Parfum Sacre? Fact is, none compare. But, and that’s a big but, Sous le Vent is amazing.

    Would love to try Spirituese Double Vanille. Vanilla, benzoin, frankincense, spices, cedar, pink pepper, bergamot? Swoonable. The ylang-ylang can stay in the bottle.

    Latin? Shouldn’t you be brushing up on your French?

    • Patty says:

      Agree on Sous le Vent, and I add Djedi to that. They are my two favorite old Guerlains.

      I am doing French at the same time! 🙂 That’s actually going okay. I finally got my sister to start doing the tapes too so we can practice. It’s hard to do it in a vacuum and not have someone to practice with!

  • Helen T says:

    Oh no, Double Vanille sounds like it might make it onto my wish list. I’m still making my mind up about the Iris Ganache, which I liked more than I expected to, but DV sounds irrisistible.

    Please enter me for the draw, I hope to win and be put off it completely…okay, I lied about that last part!

    • Patty says:

      Well, I’ll cross my fingers for you that you hate the DV. I’m still surprised I like it. I hate vanilla with a passion, though I keep finding these weird pockets of vanilla love that shock me. That indult vanilla, Tihota, much as I want to despise it, really is addictive. It’s sick. 🙂

  • Divina says:

    Please enter me in the drawing as well!
    Wish I had a great tip for Latin, might have helped me at school and saved me from the wrath of Latin teacher! This brought back an especially embarassing memory of being called upon to recite the cases (nominative, genitative, accusative etc) of the noun “coulter” and stammering like crazy because I didn’t have a clue! *groan*
    …I am curious though… why Latin?

    • Patty says:

      I’m pretty sure, if I had had this in grammar school, I’d have a really embarrassing memory of it. But I have to say, the discipline of learning it has a sort of masochistic beauty to it, like a hairshirt.

      Why Latin? I think it will help my French, and I’ve always wanted to learn it and never really had the time/opportunity at the same time. So this fall I saw an online class being offered, and I thought… wth?

  • Lee says:

    Honey – practice makes perfect – it’s the only way.

    I love latin word order much more than all the conjugation monkeys…

    Good luck to all in the Guerlain lucky dip!

  • capriccio says:

    The Latin course was pulled from the schedule a year before I got there, so I have no specific tips, but I do have some scientifically-nodded-at hints that did help me with languages and evil chemistry.
    1. Sad but true: flashcards work. Especially if you glance at them in different locations at different times during the day.
    2. Repetition during movement is supposed to help cement knowledge. Walking and flipping through flashcards got me through German.
    3. A nose-based one! Way back when, when I was in complete denial that I am a fragrance slut (“no, perfume gives me a headache and is girly and I wear men’s clothes and am a non-girly dyke so just ignore the million scented samples I hoard and hide”), I happened onto an article about how to most effectively cram material. Hook it to a scent cue. Chemistry was cinnamon (brought sticks in to the final), trig was lemon, a history course was cloves. And damn, it totally worked (links the short-term learning to some different scent-based part of the brain which isn’t dependent on conscious recall, uh, or something–okay, I didn’t major in biology). And gave me an excuse to sniff on something all the time.

    Please enter me in the drawing, and good luck with the Latin.

    • Patty says:

      Okay, that smell thing is interesting. I think I’ll always burn the same incense when I’m studying. What a great tip!

      I do my French on the treadmill and in the car, does that count as moving, even though it’s auditory and not visual? I do have some flashcards on the way since going back to old school methods seem to work best here. Maybe a ruler to whack myself on the hands is next. 🙂

      • capriccio says:

        Moving and auditory learning/studying is supposed to work really well too.

        Are you using the Pimsleur cds? I used them for about a month before we went to Paris a couple of years ago (with almost no on-paper/visual studying, aside from an occasional poke at the helpful BBC Languages site), mostly during long commutes. Having been to Germany a decade back after three years of classroom learning and finding myself completely unable to communicate, I didn’t have high hopes.

        They worked. By the second or third day there, I was conducting the first minute or four of transactions in well-accented French, which is enough language respect that no one minds switching to English at that point. It’s so worth it to over-pronounce and snork up all the sounds to the back of your nose in the beginning! I could hear the timidity and embarrassment of other French novices and it made my flagrant forced pronunciations sound bold and accurate.

  • Maria says:

    Patty, it’s great that you’re studying Latin. Maybe I will someday too–on the chance that learning a new language really does keep back the dementia.

    You don’t have to choose between Caron and Guerlain. I’m not choosing. [-(

    Please include me in the drawing.

    • Patty says:

      Is that true, learning new languages holds back dementia? I’m doing Latin and French at the same time, and, honestly? French is easier, though I’m just learning to speak it, not read and write it. I truly wish we had mandatory dual language immersion from Kindergarten in this country, and I’d be delighted to see them bring back mandatory Latin in grammar school. I think it provides an amazing foundation for grammar and language skills.

      I’m with you, I”m not choosing either. I’m quite content to love them both.

  • hausvonstone says:

    The only good way I ever learned a language was being forced to move to a country and speak it, so….welcome to the Vatican? Ah, that won’t work. Please enter me in the drawing anyway. Thx!

  • Cheryl says:

    I’m on this caron/guerlain duality too. I’m tempted by guerlain, but then back away from the edge as Caron seems less rambunctious and more as you point out “regal”. Maybe they should be considered like Romeo and Juliet…”two houses both alike in dignity”. Maybe I should just let myself fall of the edge, so entering me in the draw would be great!

    • Patty says:

      I still think Caron has more dignity. 8-|

      Guerlain always… goes there, you know? And something about their old base and even some of their new things tend to have an underlying sensuousness about them, a lushness.

  • liz says:

    can anyone tell me how much bottles of Pluie and Double Vanilla cost??? i’m scared to know

    • Patty says:

      Pluie EDP is $400 for a cute little bottle with not much in it, but they put in a 50 ml refill, I think? The parfum of Pluie is ridiculous, 2600 for 17 ounces.

      The DV looks reasonable by comparison. It’s 140 euros for 75 ml, so about 180 or so dollars?

  • Amarie says:

    I have always meant to get around to the numerous Guerlains that have tickled my fancy, but they always came in second to succumbing to the allure of Caron. I love iris and incense and am intrigued by heliotrope and also want to explore non-sweet vanilla.I am sure you get the picture… PLEASE enter me in this draw as you have me=p~at your descriptions.[-o<. As to conjugating verb endings, I have no suggestions except load up on 'fumes with rosemary and basil- supposed to do wonders for the memory and concentration.

    • Patty says:

      Guerlain is definitely worth getting around to. I think either they or Caron can be more difficult, depending on individual tastes, but both are worth being acquainted with, even if many don’t work for you. My true love will always be with Caron, of course, but I don’t mind seeing Guerlain on the side.

      Oh! Now I get it!

  • JenniferR says:

    O, Patty! I guess it must be time for me, too, then, to turn toward the Guerlains. I have been following your lead for the past year, because we have seemed to have similar reactions to things and I have fallen so passionately in love with the Carons. Gulp. Enter me, please, so I can take my chances on taking the Guerlain plunge.

    Latin is a language, as dead as dead can be. It killed off all the Romans, and now it’s killing me.

    Illegitimis non carborundum est. (I think that’s grammatical nonsense, but I still like it …)

    Veni, vidi, vici.

    Gallis in tres partes divisis est. (I’m sure I don’t remember that one right. But I don’t think they use Caesar in beginning Latin any more, so that’s ok :)).

    In all seriousness, oh what a way cool thing that you are studying Latin! Once upon a time I was quite a Latinist. (Yeah, yeah, plenty of room for rude comments there, I know …) Still, it’s a grand thing!

    Sorry for the giddiness, but it’s the end of an extremely long first day at work. AND I’m in the midst of interviewing for ANOTHER job, which just might be the dream job I’ve been waiting for for a very very long time … I spent years underemployed and unemployed, and now it’s raining jobs! (recession? what recession?)

    wearing Navegar today, which works beautifully for me if I just wait long enough. off to home now, to celebrate perhaps with Parfum Sacre before I contemplate the Dark Side.

    • Patty says:

      I’m impressed at the large number of our readers that have a Latin background! It is hard. I’m doing French at the same time, and I probably shouldn’t, but the opportunity to do an online Latin class came up, and I just didn’t want to put it off since it was one of those things on my list of stuff I promised I would always learn at least a little about.

      The nice thing about Latin is the roots feel so familiar a lot of the time. It’s just how to twist them into actually saying what you want. But I know latin will help my French studies.

      yeah, you should start dabbling in Guerlain. They don’t all work for me (Shalimar, I am staring hard at you), and my love for the more greenish or leather ones in their back catalog like Djedi and Sous Le Vent came first, and the l’art line may be a good gateway into appreciating some of their other more vanilli’ish bases, but Jicky EDT is really great, and the price is almost FREE! 🙂

      • JenniferR says:

        The giddy girl is back … just remembered another useless Latin tag. you are getting loads o’ good real advice about your latin, so I’ll work on keeping things silly. Remembered another one last night:

        Non amo te sabidi, non possum dicere quare. Sed hoc possum dicere, non amo te.

        (Which, as all the literate latinists on the list can tell, was long ago rendered into English as “I do not love thee, Doctor Fell, the reason why i cannot tell. But this alone I know full well, I do not love thee, Dcotor Fell.”)

        Unlike the folks who bless the effect of latin on their grasp of languages generally, I have grown increasingly frustrated with the centuries’ old effort to invent an English grammar that follows Latin rules of syntax and conjugation. Ahem! But that’s an occupational hazard (I’m a software technical writer these days, also a recovering academic. Hence the Latin. Sigh.)

        But Latin efforts like yours, Patty, are in a class by themselves. Absolutely splendid. Period.

        Bellodgia is the fragrance I associate most with Italy (and therefore with Latin). Purely because of the name. Oh, and perhaps Eau d’Hadrien, in which I get loads o’ that lovely cypress …

  • Gaia says:

    Sorry, can’t help with Latin (let me know when you’re up for Hebrew lessons, though 🙂 ). I’m very curious about all of the above. What’s the news on the Pluie split?

    • Patty says:

      Pluie, still waiting on a shipping notice. They have the bottles handmade at some place, and the first little bit they had got sold out, so our split bottle is Bottle No. 19, which they should have back in the shop, I was told, before the end of SEptember, and then they’ll ship. It takes them about 7-14 days to get to me, and then I’ll be sending out!

  • perfumequeen says:

    Oh do tell me the perfumed court will have samples of Candide when you get your hot little hands on it…I’m such an addicted whore!!

    As for Latin, the ONLY things that worked for me were Flashcards and making stupid songs out of the ENDLESS conjugations.

    • Patty says:

      Yeah! Have to share that treasure. I’ve had a couple of shots at getting some small amounts of vintage, but… then I dismissed the price as being too much. Silly me! 🙂