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NEW WINE IN OLD BOTTLES


Some people would argue that Guerlain's fast-paced fragrance launches are not matched by the same level of creativity in bottle designs. Once known for its prolific flacon art, the brand hasn’t delivered a single new feminine bottle since Ora-Ïto’s bronze-coloured "tear of joy" bottle for Idylle from 2009, and even that one has now been replaced with the standard bee atomizer. Instead, Guerlain makes use of uniform bottles and spray versions of vintage designs, like the heart-shaped stopper bottle (1912) for La Petite Robe Noire, the quadrilobe bottle (1908) for Mon Guerlain, and now the Liu bottle (1929) for Lui.

On the other hand, most Guerlain aficionados applaud the reuse of historic designs, as it generates a sense of continuity and depth in a scattered, capitalistic world. "Today, we are sitting on two chairs — the heritage chair, and the new chair — and both feel somewhat uncomfortable," Thierry Wasser once said, and using historic bottles for modern scents may be an attempt to make a compromise.

The spray version of the quadrilobe bottle for Mon Guerlain is truly adorable. The only drawback is that we now have to do without the Mon Exclusif bottle, which was a reinterpretation of the bow tie bottle, first issued for Coque d'Or (1937), made with clear glass and silver trimmed edges.
(June 2017)


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