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LE BOUQUET DE LA MARIÉE

Thierry Wasser 2015
[lə bukɛ də la maʀje]
Family: floral, gourmand
Notes: orange blossom, angelica seeds, pink pepper, citrus, sugared almond accord, rose, patchouli, vanilla, white musk, incense
The sweetest orange blossom
Period: The recapitulation years

Guerlain has decided to make life sweeter for newlyweds with a perfume dedicated to the bride. It's just what France needs; the country has one of the lowest marriage rates and highest number of divorces in Europe. However, named Le Plus Beau Jour de ma Vie ("the most beautiful day of my life"), the fragrance almost seems to reflect an awareness that marital joy invariably goes downhill from there. For more affluent couples, the fragrance also comes in a deluxe Parfum edition, called Le Bouquet de la Mariée. Guerlain is all about romance and sensuality anyway, but now we have one more excuse for buying a new perfume. So, what should a bride smell like? Some would suggest a huge white-flower bouquet of jasmine, tuberose and rose. But maybe not surprisingly, to Guerlain a bride is a tender creature with a sweet tooth. This wedding perfume belongs to the feminine universe of Les Elixirs Charnels.

Up top, there's angelica, the bitter-sweet herb that made Angélique Noire difficult to digest for some. Here, it's only a touch, and for a while, Le Plus Beau Jour de ma Vie smells like a very light version of Angélique Noire. However, this is not "noir", but rosy pastel. We get delicate orange blossom, rose, and a gourmand note that Guerlain refers to, quite precisely, as sugared almonds, in combination yielding that "marshmallow" accord so typical of the brand. Sugared almonds are often used at weddings, with the bitter almonds and sugar coating symbolizing life's bitter moments and the sweetness of love.

There's a traditional French sweet called "calisson", a speciality of Aix-en-Provence, which consists of candied oranges, ground almonds, and a thin layer of royal icing, and often scented with orange blossom. Le Plus Beau Jour de ma Vie smells much like such a calisson. It's a charming recapitulation of familiar themes, as if Floral Romantique, Gourmand Coquin and Mademoiselle Guerlain were mixed together, but too light, vague and fleeting to really catch your interest. The sugared almond note grows gradually sweeter for a few hours, similar to the oily white chocolate note in Iris Ganache, until the scent ends in a muffled, cottony dust of white musk, incense and patchouli. Presumably, the lightness is deliberate, and matches the lace-covered ad material.

Bottle. For a Guerlainophile, this launch is perhaps mainly interesting for the gorgeous Parfum presentation, a 125 ml quadrilobe bottle decorated with an opulent wreath of faux white flowers. And the price, 750 €, is acceptable, given what Guerlain sometimes comes up with these days — it's actually a better buy than the 60 ml EdP version, housed in the standard Prestige atomizer and priced at 200 €. But please, Guerlain, don't make a habit of using lower case letters on your beautiful bottles; it somehow doesn't fit être Guerlain.

  We love: that Guerlain will find any excuse to launch a new perfume

  Sweet romance

  Not really


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