PERFUMES BY JEAN-PAUL GUERLAIN




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FROM JICKY TO SHALIMAR


The fougère accord, essentially lavender combined with coumarin, was the first perfume accord to give name to an entire fragrance family, of which Aimé Guerain's Jicky (1889) remains the most classic and esteemed example. This accord eventually gave rise to both the chypre and oriental styles. Because it married fresh herbs with sensual sweetness, and natural notes with synthetics, Jicky is in retrospect referred to as a "bridge scent", a link between the nineteenth century's hesperidic colognes and the deep oriental perfumes of the twentieth, and a sort of intermediary explanation of how Guerlain came from Eau de Cologne Impériale (1830) to Shalimar (1925).

It's widely accepted that Jacques Guerlain's Shalimar came to define the oriental accord. Thierry Wasser's re-created Bouquet de Faunes (1922) could be smelled as yet another "bridge scent", a stepping stone from Jicky's herbal amber accord to Shalimar's even deeper amber and intensely vanillic trail. Although the hesperidic facet is toned down to a minimum, so that the perfume appears to have almost no top notes, Bouquet de Faunes features a pronounced scent of marjoram, an aromatic often found in Provençal herb bouquets. At the same time, the base is all about vanilla, mixed with a soft suede note that could be the little sister of Shalimar's black, smoky leather.
(October 2015)


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