Family: oriental, floral, spicy
Notes: bergamot, ylang-ylang, jasmine, orange blossom, carnation, orris, tonka bean, sandalwood, vanilla
Period: The searching years
The name Metallica may at first glance seem odd for what Guerlain described as "one of the most beautiful interpretations of vanilla in a perfume." It was a limited edition Eau de Toilette release from 2000 and drew some attention, not least because of the fact that it was soon pulled from the shelves following a trademark lawsuit with the heavy metal rock band Metallica. The fragrance later reappeared among the Parisiennes as Metalys, now discontinued.
This floral oriental emanated from Jean-Paul Guerlain's desire to create a "metallic" scent. Being light years away from black metal favoured by rock bands, Metallica actually managed to evoke a sweetly metallic scent, with an initial sharpness not found in a Guerlain fragrance since the 1980s. By contrasting a blend of creamy and spicy white flowers (carnation, jasmine, ylang-ylang and orange blossom) with bergamot, dusty orris, and lots of warm tonka bean and a bright vanilla note, the result was not steel but old, unpolished coins and glittering gold. Creamier than Jardins de Bagatelle and fresher than Samsara, Metallica felt like an olfactive sunbath.
In 2012, Thierry Wasser reworked the formula into a Parfum version to be had in one of Guerlain's most costly and collectible presentations, the Baccarat crystal sculpture entitled L'Abeille aux Ailes Argent — "the bee with silver wings".
Bottle. The original presentation for Metallica was an unusually decorated version of the classic bee bottle. To match the metallic theme, the bees were imprinted with shiny silver squares that almost covered the golden juice inside.
We love: the spicy creaminess
When you miss summer
Handsome Guerlain vanilla
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