Family: floral, powdery
Notes: hesperidic notes, mint, pear, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, white lily, carnation, orris, heliotrope, tonka bean, vanilla
Warm skin under a Mediterranean sun
Period: The searching years
Voile d'Été collection
Like a potential pilot project for the successful collection Les Parisiennes, devoted to resurrections of former limited editions, in 2002 Guerlain reissued two discontinued fragrances in bee bottles and renamed them simply with numbers, No.25 and No.68. Why these numbers were given is a bit obscure (apart from 68 being the street number of Maison Guerlain) but the choice of scents may be clearer, as both were originally signed by Mathilde Laurent in 1999, the then trainee and assistant to Jean-Paul Guerlain. No.25 was a repackaging of Voile d'Été ("veil of summer") which Laurent had been asked to create to accompany the Terracotta makeup line. The idea was to compose a solar chiffon fragrance based on an old Jacques Guerlain formula, the spicy floral oriental Quand Vient l'Été ("when summer comes") from 1910.
There actually was a sneak preview of the new scent in 1998, when Guerlain presented it in a limited numbered edition in the so-called flowered bottle bearing the name Quand Vient l'Été. Although no reviewer has been able to determine if it smelled anything like Jacques Guerlain's perfume, the name Voile d'Été seemed equally appropriate, since the scent evoked memories of a long, pale summer day: from the cool morning (mint, pear and rose), over a sweaty still-air siesta in the shadows (carnation, ylang-ylang, white lily, jasmine), and ending in a soft, tobacco-sweet, dusty night (tonka bean, orris, heliotrope, vanilla). It started out innocent like a piece of green candy in silver wrapping but soon revealed a spicy floral heart — smelling like warm skin under a tropical sun, summer romance on the beach, or a drive through a bleached Mediterranean landscape in a convertible. By 2005, it was ascribed to Jean-Paul Guerlain like all of Laurent's perfumes for Guerlain, and joined the Parisiennes, once more under the name that inspired it, Quand Vient l'Été. The fragrance also briefly appeared in the anniversary boxed set Les Quatre Saisons. Read about Quand Vient l'Été
(A side note to avoid confusion: the aforementioned No.68 was a reissue of Guet-Apens and had no connection to the later Cologne du 68.)
Bottle. The three different names for this fragrance were matched by three different bottles, before it ended up in the Parisienne bee bottle: first, the flowered bottle, a design dating back to 1900, then a reworking of Guerlain's old watch-shaped cologne bottle for the Terracotta version, and finally a 250 ml bee bottle. The fragrance also briefly appeared in the 2008 anniversary boxed set Les Quatre Saisons, which featured 35 ml crystal heart-shaped stopper bottles.
Reformulation. Somehow, this fragrance managed to smell the same across all the different editions. The Parisienne edition was an EdP with the ylang-ylang and lily a fraction more intense.
We love: that the Terracotta edition is still to be found
When it's time for siesta in a short dress
For a dusty Latino feel
Some images courtesy of guerlain.com
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