Jacques Guerlain 1912
[fɔl aro:m]
Family: floral, aromatic
Provençal powder
Period: The Belle Époque years

Thierry Wasser and Frédéric Sacone have re-created an extensive list of historic Guerlain perfumes, using the exact same ingredients as when they saw the light for the first time.

Jacques Guerlain created Fol Arôme ("crazy scent") in 1912, the same year as L'Heure Bleue. Comparing the two, the family resemblance is evident. L'Heure Bleue is a magnetizing, moving mixture of orange blossom, anise, Provençal herbs, jasmine and rose on a powdery gourmand base. Now imagine the same recipe without the romantic orange blossom, more aromatics added, and a bit less ganache, and you get the feel of Fol Arôme. We don't know why Jacques Guerlain called this fragrance "crazy", but it does smell good for sure. People who love the Guerlinade signature in its most traditional form, as represented in such classics as Jicky, L'Heure Bleue and Shalimar, will undoubtedly fall for Fol Arôme.

It starts out with a lovely combination of jasmine, anise and lavender. The feminine floral feel is markedly less heady than in L'Heure Bleue, but the beauty of jasmine can't be denied; it almost feels honeyed as it blends with bergamot, rose and sweet daffodil. The lavender provides a flavourful unisex touch, which is underscored by a whole bouquet of herbs, like mint, marjoram and sage. Guerlain's extensive use of herbal notes can be traced back to the great cologne era of founder of the company, Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain. For Jacques Guerlain, herbs seemed to be the salt and pepper of any composition, be it floral, chypre or oriental. The combination of Provençal herbs and soft oriental notes that we find specifically in Fol Arôme would reappear in Bouquet de Faunes in 1922 and, worked to perfection, in Shalimar (1925).

The base notes of Fol Arôme continue the Guerlinade journey, complete with face powder, musk, vanilla and clove. Die-hard L'Heure Bleue fans will probably delight in discovering this long gone relative, but also understand why L'Heure Bleue, in comparison far more glamorous and extroverted, won the race of being the ageless, eternal classic that it is, Guerlain's most beautiful floral of them all.

Fol Arôme came in the same bottle as L'Heure Bleue, the heart-shaped stopper bottle.

Back to vintages      Back to perfumes