Jean-Paul Guerlain 1998
Family: floral
Notes: bergamot, lilac, linden flower, rose, jasmine, violet leaf, orris, tonka bean, amber, vanilla
Lilac, linden and cookies in search of lost time
Period: The searching years

This was Guerlain's second perfume bearing the name of the famous house signature, the so-called Guerlinade, which began to be defined with Aimé Guerlain's Jicky, back in 1889, as a mixture of bergamot, rose, jasmine, tonka bean, orris, and vanilla. The most prominent incarnations of this base formula are without doubt L'Heure Bleue and Shalimar, but since the formula became so acclaimed by itself, it seemed obvious to Jacques Guerlain to use the name for a perfume, in 1924. Guerlinade the perfume, now long gone, smelled quite unlike both L'Heure Bleue and Shalimar. It had typical Jacques Guerlain elements like rose, orange blossom, anise, orris, heliotrope, and tonka bean, but also featured a distinct fruity note as well as an earthy-vegetal accord of sage, patchouli and vetiver.

And then in 1998, to celebrate the brand's 170th anniversary and its founder's 200th birthday, Guerlain issued a new Guerlinade fragrance, attributed to Jean-Paul Guerlain, which was one of the first EdP in a long list of limited editions. Although Jean-Paul's Guerlinade contained all of the house signature ingredients, the result surprised the audience who by reflex had expected either a reissue of the original Guerlinade perfume, or a creative answer to what all the great Guerlains have in common. Instead they found Jean-Paul Guerlain's partiality for flower botany, using a beautiful, oily lilac as key note. Actually no real surprise since Jean-Paul Guerlain had already excelled in the floral genre, with Chant d'Arômes (honeysuckle), Chamade (hyacinth), Parure (lilac again), Nahéma (rose), Jardins de Bagatelle (tuberose), and Samsara (jasmine and ylang-ylang). Of the lot, his Guerlinade was perhaps linked mostly to Chant d'Arômes, an innocent, slightly aldehydic floral, quite green in tone with violet leaf and backed up by the coumarin of a classic fougère. Add to that powdery orris and a mild linden flower note, and it got just about as démodé as dipping a madeleine in a cup of tea. "With this perfume, Jean-Paul Guerlain pays tribute to his talented family, a dynasty of perfumers without equal anywhere in the world, and to women, the endless source of inspiration for Guerlain creations," the printed handout said. Guerlinade was reissued for a few years among the Parisiennes but has by now, like its past namesake, disappeared for good. Read about vintage Guerlinade

When Guerlain started its made-for-the-occasion productions, it also brought about a series of unique visual presentations, a wonderful habit now regrettably replaced by the uniform Exclusive bottles and boxes. Jean-Paul Guerlain's Guerlinade came in a bottle modelled after an antique bronze wine carafe he brought back from his first trip to Nepal. The bottle's case, copying the shape of the Ode box (1955), displayed the Champs-Elysées house and the factory on place de l'Étoile in Paris, as well as imprints of the imperial coat of arms, the Sun King logo, and the four family master perfumers' names vertically on each of the four corners of the octagonal box.

No, it didn't have time to get reformulated.

  We love: the limited edition is actually easier to come by than the reissue

  An understated elegance, much more so than at first sniff

  When Chamade Pour Homme is too virile and Jicky too soft

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