Ann Gerard Perfume & Jewels (Marla)

Ann Gerard Perfume: Subtle Gems for Autumn – By Marla

It takes Some Kinda Perfume to coax me out of my sandy hidey hole and actually write a review these days. So I’m happy to report, I have been lured by not one, but three new niche perfumes from Ann Gerard Perfume. And they are available on both sides of the Atlantic. And they don’t cost over $1,000!

Actually, I was intrigued with the new line of Ann Gerard perfume because she met all my stringent criteria on what a new niche line should and should not do: (

Ann Gerard has a coherent style (I particularly love her moonstone jewelry), and her perfumes match the ethereal jewelry designs in terms of aesthetics. She came out with just 3, not 30 perfumes. There is a beautifully presented sample set for a reasonable price available ($65 at Luckyscent, for three 9ml bottles). The perfumes are well made and are neither sketches nor “everything but the kitchen sink” gamotches. She chose the ubiquitous Bertrand Duchaufour as her nose, but it’s a good choice, and the compositions are quirky, unique, and wearable.  I bought the Discovery Set, and I’m glad I did. I’m seriously in love with two of the three, and flirting with the third. Good grief. What a tart.

Ann Gerard PerfumeThe first, Cuir de Nacre, is the 2010 Pleine Lune renamed and repackaged. I was sad I couldn’t try this several years ago, but it was only available in Ann Gerard’s boutique in Paris. It’s a soft, sueded iris, subtle and shimmery like moonstone. Ozone and aldehydes are mentioned in the notes, but I get mostly the iris, suede, and cassie.  There’s a dollop of piquant angelica at the top that gives it  playfulness.  It reminds me of Duchaufour’s Traversee du Bosphore for L’Artisan Parfumeur, but has none of TdB’s sweetness, and is much more delicate. So if you thought TdB was too sweet or nose-whomping (as I’ve read in some reviews), you might prefer this gentle cousin. Sillage is the most minimal of the three, and it’s also the most fleeting, but it does remain as a snuggly skin scent for quite a few hours.

The second, Ciel d’Opale, is a brighter, bolder riff based on the same theme as Cuir de Nacre. Linden, quince, lemon, and honeysuckle are set off with Sichuan peppercorns (quite a different pepper than the pink variety).  It’s very green, slightly sweet, and reminds me very much of strolling in a garden at the bitter end of summer when the breeze is chilly but the sun still shines through the leaves. This is my favorite of the three, and a Mexican Jelly Opal (the most vibrant) is the stone I’d assign to it.Ann Gerard Perfume

Perles de Mousse is described as a green floral chypre’, and Chanel’s Bel Respiro comes to mind, as does the original Cristalle. There’s a blast of retro aldehydes, then a quick turn to lush greens. Gradually the florals appear, and the drydown is very soft and lightly verdant. It’s a very modern take on the mean green aldehydic, in that it’s much lighter and airier than its ancestors.  The stone I’d assign is Andalusite, with its dark green and brown flashes.Ann Gerard Perfume










All in all, Ann Gerard Perfume has created delicate, ethereal perfumes that would be exactly right for a soiree at Tolkien’s Rivendell. My only small gripe is that they need to be reapplied more frequently than I’d like, but that’s probably the tradeoff for the ephemeral veils they create.  I’m very pleased to see a new niche brand embrace such a lovely aesthetic, and I’m inclined to buy one of Ann’s moonstone necklaces to go with them!

Musette sez:  You can sample all three at Surrender to Chance!

  • Irina says:

    wonderful descriptions
    thanks for such a lovely review

  • Patty says:

    I am just trying these out. I hadn’t smelled the iris leather one since I was in Paris, and Denyse and I both thought it had more than a passing resemblance to Fath Iris Gris. It’s not exactly it, but it’s probably the closest thing that exists right now.

    I’m trying the other two out, and I love them all!!!

    • Masha says:

      I’ve never had a chance to try Iris Gris, Patty, but if it’s a close relative to Cuir de Nacre, I can see why people will do almost anything to get a huff of it (and I’ve heard some stories)! Glad you’re enjoying the line, I’m quite enchanted with it!

  • Musette says:

    I can’t wait to try these. And that Andalusite is gorgeous!!!

    xoxox :Devil:

    • Masha says:

      I know, they’re hard to find in cut form like that, but ohmigosh!! Wouldn’t you love a necklace of those?? Maybe we can have Ann Gerard make a few…? After I make that killing in commodities, right….

  • Hello Marla,

    Enjoy your writing at PST, and so glad to “see” you here! 🙂 I just received the sample set yesterday, and was wearing Ciel d’Opale this morning. Very pretty, it reminded me alot of La Chasse Aux Papillons. Can’t wait to try the rest after your post! 🙂

    • Masha says:

      Thank you, Sherri! And yes, La Chasse is definitely a soul cousin to Ciel d’Opale. They both have that shimmery green quality.

      • Yes, “shimmery” is just the perfect adjective for the Ciel! Also wanted to add I just put on the Cuir and you describe it so perfectly. It is definitely related to Traversee du Bosphore. I am also reminded of Quand Vient La Pluie which I had worn earlier this week. I really love this one so far…thank so much for your insights!

  • Kathryn says:

    Great review! My first impressions of the discovery set are much like yours, but I think I’m in like, not love. They’re really lovely fragrances, but for me they are almost maddeningly elusive and fleeting. I’m smiling at your mention of Tolkien’s Rivendell. Yes, that would be the perfect setting for these oh so delicate perfumes.

    • Masha says:

      Elusive and fleeting is the downside, that’s true. I want to keep the top notes of Cuir de Nacre going for a long time! The other two wear for several hours for me. What were your longevity stats for these?
      PS: Let’s crash a party at Rivendell soon!

      • Kathryn says:

        All three are performing about the same way for me. About ten or fifteen minutes of beautiful, diffusive top notes, then a still lovely but very close to the skin drydown that lasts for about two hours. Call me greedy. I would just like to be able to smell them more.

        I’m wondering if in the heat of summer they might do better for me? It’s starting to get cold and nippy here in New England, the time of year when I’m starting to crave deeper and richer scents.

        • Masha says:

          You have a good point! I’m in a very hot and humid climate, and I find myself gravitating to the lighter, airier perfumes in my collection. My Japanese collection is getting lots of wear, but my heavy hitters like Parfum Sacre and Mitsouko, not much at all. Humidity really helps perfume project, but sometimes, as with something like L’Heure Bleue that’s not a good thing! And Nahema would probably kill me….

  • Ann says:

    Marla, welcome to the Posse! What a great review of these — each one sounds more wonderful than the last. And I love your accompanying gems; I often think of scents in terms of gems as well (think I was a gemologist in another life). When I try the Nacre, I’ll be sure to wear my moonstone ring. And I’d love to see more Andalusite. Thanks!

    • Masha says:

      Thank you, Ann! I do sometimes think of gems to go with perfumes, so this was another lure for me in the Gerard line. And of course, there are the Olivier Durbano perfumes, I particularly like his Black Tourmaline. Andalusite is obscure for sure, but so gorgeous. Now what gemstone goes with Mitsouko??

  • Masha says:

    Hello, Olfactoria!
    I think you would like these very much- they are supposed to be available on Ann Gerard’s website, but whenever I try to get to it, the Flash shuts down my computer! I do wish she had a simpler website. And I’m sure they’re available through her shop in Paris- you could call her there. Surrender to Chance ships the decants/samples internationally and the shipping is very reasonable. In the US/Canada, the bottles and Discovery set are available through Luckyscent-the shipping for bottles is quite cher, but for samples, very reasonable. Of course, if I were you, I’d take a trip to Paris…heehee.

  • Olfactoria says:

    First of all, I’m very happy to see you writing here, Marla!
    And then you are writing about the one new niche line that has piqued my interest as well – no way I can pass those three up now. 🙂
    I hope the discovery set will be available over here too eventually.
    The bottles look gorgeous, don’t they?