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MON IDÉAL PÉTALES


Among Guerlain’s twenty yearly fragrance releases, half of which are flankers, reissues and special bottle editions, we inevitably find launches that seem motivated by little else than filling up a quota. L’Homme Idéal Sport is one of them. You’d think that Wasser and Jelk would take it as an opportunity to create a whole new and unrelated fragrance in the manner of Habit Rouge Sport, however it’s basically a lighter variant of L’Homme Idéal Cologne from 2015, which was by no means a light fragrance, but a powerful Eau de Toilette, and completely different from the original L'Homme Idéal. Juice notwithstanding, we love the Sport launch for its bottle, a marine blue version that is far more handsome than previous years’ white and taupe designs.

L’Homme Idéal Sport is the first Guerlain fragrance advertised to include an aquatic note. Derived from calone, a synthetic molecule that carries a vapid scent of watermelon, this note gained popularity in the 1990s in fragrances such as Cool Water, L'Eau d'Issey, and Acqua di Giò, and has since then garnered the derision of serious perfume aficionados.

L’Homme Idéal Sport indeed smells like watermelon, mixed with a fierce, lemony pine and ginger top note that smells a bit like bathroom freshener. As the top note calms down, we're able to conclude that if there's anything revolutionary about this scent, it's that calone doesn't have to smell like Cool Water, but can be oddly appealing, imparting a pleasant pastel-like effect very similar to the ozonic green note in Ma Robe Pétales from the La Petite Robe Noire line. What ultimately makes the scent attractive, is the preservation of the original almond-neroli accord, which quite frankly is delicious, together with a wonderfully refreshing vetiver that brings to mind Guerlain Homme. Apart from the snug bath towel scent of white musk, luckily there’s nothing remotely "sporty" about L'Homme Idéal Sport, and I might even prefer it to the Cologne version, possibly because it tones down the grapefruit and artificial orange drink note which eventually became slightly tiresome. As one of Monsieur Guerlain's readers points out, this fragrance rightfully should have been called L'Homme Idéal L'Eau.
(April 2017)


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