PERFUMES BY JEAN-PAUL GUERLAIN




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Echoing the trend of niche perfumery and under LVMH's rule, almost all of Guerlain's new fragrances are now encapsulated as part of a collection. Having collections of perfumes, rather than just single perfumes, allows brands to churn out new launches at breakneck speed (at Guerlain it's more than ten new formulas annually) all the while keeping bottle design and marketing expenses to a minimum, as well as the catalogue well-structured and easy to understand. Apart from the collections mentioned below, Shalimar, La Petite Robe Noire, Habit Rouge, and L'Homme Idéal also serve as fragrance lines, with several different scents marketed under the same name and in the same bottle design.


Aqua Allegoria. The Aqua Allegoria collection was started in 1999 and gained instant success as "simpler forms of Guerlain". This line was particularly dear to its initial architect, the botanical enthusiast Jean-Paul Guerlain, because taken as a whole, it imitates "a walk in the garden" with its olfactory impressions from various flowers, herbs and fruits. Two new Aqua Allegorias are launched each spring, but only Herba Fresca, Pamplelune, and Mandarine Basilic have proved successful enough to retain in the catalogue.


L'Art & la Matière. With a pun on the French expression "l'art et la manière", the art and manner, this line is devoted to creative reflections on raw materials. It could be argued that any perfume is per definition a creative reflection on raw materials, but typical of the niche trend in perfumery, the fragrances in this line are named after a single ingredient. The L'Art & la Matière collection has often been regarded as rather "un-Guerlain", slightly pretentious and lacking the boldness that otherwise characterizes the house. The collection was started as a trio in 2005 but keeps growing and currently includes Rose Barbare, Angélique Noire, Cuir Beluga, Bois d'Arménie, Cruel Gardenia, Tonka Impériale, Néroli Outrenoir, and Joyeuse Tubéreuse. In 2011, Spiritueuse Double Vanille was incorporated into the line. Iris Ganache was the first L'Art & la Matière fragrance to face discontinuation, in 2012, followed by Myrrhe & Délires in 2015.


Les Parisiennes. This collection, introduced in 2005 in connection with the opening of Maison Guerlain and from the outset only available in Paris, hence its name, revives previously discontinued fragrances. Presented in small bee bottles, the collection currently gathers six fragrances: L'Heure de Nuit, Mademoiselle Guerlain (formerly La Petite Robe Noire Modèle No.2), Nuit d'Amour, Mon Précieux Nectar, Liu, and Promenade des Anglais (formerly Aqua Allegoria Figue-Iris). Owing to diminished popularity or restrictions on ingredients the following have been retired: Plus Que Jamais Guerlain, Chant d'Arômes Parfum, Metalys (formerly Metallica), Guerlinade, Quand Vient l'Été (formerly Voile d'Été), Purple Fantasy, Philtre d'Amour, Attrape Cœur (formerly Guet-Apens), Vetiver Pour Elle, Cherry Blossom, and Mayotte (formerly Mahora).


Les Parisiens. The Parisienne line used to contain three "Parisiens", masculine fragrances. In order to give them a more distinctly masculine look than that of the petite bee bottles, these have now been moved into square wooden framed bottles that fit Jean-Paul Guerlain's two Arsène Lupin fragrances. Hence, a separate line of masculine Exclusives has emerged: Derby, L'Âme d'un Héros (formerly Coriolan), Chamade Pour Homme, Arsène Lupin Dandy and Arsène Lupin Voyou. In 2016, Guerlain discontinued L'Âme d'un Héros and Arsène Lupin Dandy.


Les Elixirs Charnels. Following the success of the L'Art & la Matière series, in 2008 Guerlain presented an EdP collection inspired by the principal olfactive families: Chypre Fatal, Gourmand Coquin, Floral Romantique and — standing out from the naming premise — French Kiss. The woody Boisé Torride was discontinued in 2015, followed by Oriental Brûlant in 2016.


Les Déserts d'Orient. In 2012, Thierry Wasser ventured to faraway horizons to make Guerlain-inspired renditions of Middle Eastern perfumery, with assertive takes on rose, resins, spices and wood. Exotically named, the trio features Encens Mythique d'Orient, Rose Nacrée du Désert and Songe d’un Bois d'Été. The line has been supplemented with the less costly Les Absolus d'Orient, comprising Santal Royal, Ambre Éternel and Oud Essentiel.


Les Eaux Exclusives. Following the discontinuation of Cologne du 68 in 2016, this line comprises two fresh fragrances, Un Dimanche à la Campagne and La Cuvée Secrète, each housed in a large, cylindrical atomizer.
(May 2017)


Some images courtesy of guerlain.com


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