NEWS 2017

Marketing causes perfume prices to rise 30 percent
The price of perfumes has risen thirty percent within the past few years. According to Guerlain's marketing director, Margerie Barbès Petit, this is mainly due to increasing marketing expenses. Guerlain is currently implementing a vast marketing plan aimed at making international customers more aware of the brand. See the story, which begins at 25m24s in this news program
(December 2017)

Guerlain's "Roots and Wings" development plan
The Guerlain Parfumeur boutique concept has now entered travel retail, with a new pop-up boutique at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Guerlain's CEO, Laurent Boillot, explains that the brand plans to open a minimum of ten new Guerlain Parfumeur boutiques per year over the next five years. "For sure airports will be part of the plan," he says.

"Travel retail is key to our growth because we are not just talking about local, but global customers, so it is an effective way to internationalise Guerlain," says Guerlain's travel retail director, Aline Valantin.

As part of this so-called "roots and wings" development plan, there will also be plenty of new Guerlain launches in 2018, which marks the brand's 190th anniversary. "Consumers today are keen on novelties – something disruptive – but also with storytelling, authenticity and heritage," says Guerlain's marketing director, Margerie Barbès Petit. Read more
(December 2017)

Lunch with Thierry Wasser in Paris
You can buy a private lunch meeting with Guerlain's Thierry Wasser and at the same time support a good cause. Charitybuzz is an internet company that raises funds for nonprofit organizations through online charity auctions with celebrities and brands. The lunch, which includes a meal and alcoholic beverages, but not accommodation or the flight ticket, was donated by Guerlain's CEO, Laurent Boillot. Bidding ends on December 7. See more
(November 2017)

Vendôme is already sold out of Iris Ganache
Just six weeks after the opening of the Guerlain Parfumeur boutique at place Vendôme in Paris, the shop is sold out of Iris Ganache. This fragrance, originally created by Thierry Wasser in 2007, was reissued specially for the opening of the Vendôme boutique. The Guerlain staff informs us that it's still not decided if more Iris Ganache will be produced in the future. Read more about reissued Guerlain fragrances
(November 2017)

Guerlain and China's cosmetics law
Due to China's regulations concerning the hygiene supervision over cosmetics, the new Guerlain Parfumeur boutique in Shanghai is not allowed to sell fragrances on tap. As a consequence, the coloured bee bottles are sold prefilled, and customers have only a limited choice of colours for each fragrance. The large urns on display contain coloured water.

This news was kindly shared by Chi Tang on Facebook.
(November 2017)

Honey Bees and Guerlainophiles
For everyone who is passionate or curious about Guerlain, I have created the closed Facebook group Honey Bees and Guerlainophiles. In this group, you will meet some of the most enthusiastic, knowing and attentive Guerlain lovers in the world, and find an explosion of information that is not available anywhere else on the vast internet. Join Honey Bees and Guerlainophiles
(November 2017)

Guerlain craze in Shanghai
A Guerlain boutique and exhibition recently opened in Shanghai, and most of the limited editions sold out in just a few days. Secret de la Reine, a bejewelled perfume dispenser shaped like a bee (pictured above), went for ¥3,600,000 (US$540,000).

There's a good reason why LVMH is investing in China: the country has the second largest number of billionaires in the world, as well as a great love for European luxury. According to the latest economic reports, if the current trends continue, it will take only four years for the total wealth of Asia's billionaires to overtake US billionaires. See more (in Chinese)
(October 2017)

Mayotte wants to revive its ylang-ylang business after Jean-Paul Guerlain's exit
In 1995, Jean-Paul Guerlain established an ylang-ylang plantation in Mayotte, a French overseas department in the Indian Ocean, but according to a recent story in Le Journal de Mayotte, he left the island in the early 2000s following an inspection by the authorities, which banned his use of unskilled, non-unionized, low-paid workers.

Guerlain's exit meant a halt of the export of ylang-ylang oil, but Mayotte now wants to raise funds in order to revive the ylang-ylang business and make a living for around 100 local farmers. Read more (in French)
(October 2017)

Fifth anniversary of La Petite Robe Noire
Guerlain celebrates the 5th anniversary of the international release of La Petite Robe Noire with a giant black glass bottle dressed in an elaborate leather harness by Maison Tassin. The bottle, which is priced at 10,000 €, contains 1.5 litres of La Petite Robe Noire. See more
(October 2017)

Thierry Wasser prefers travelling for raw materials, has nothing to do with bottle and packaging design
Thierry Wasser recently visited Shanghai for the opening of a new Guerlain Parfumeur boutique and an exhibition called "In the Name of Love". In this interview, he says that the most interesting part of his job is travelling to meet with producers of raw materials, because they are so outgoing and willing to interact. By contrast, composing perfumes can be a lonely task.

He also reveals that he has nothing to do with decisions regarding Guerlain's bottle and packaging designs, and that he doesn't always like the marketing department's ideas and choices. For instance, one of the bottles from 2009 reminded him of a TV stand (he must refer to Mon Précieux Nectar). Read more (in Chinese)
(October 2017)

New box design
Guerlain has changed its packaging design several times during its 189 year history, which is a useful rule of thumb for dating a vintage Guerlain perfume. In addition to these general packaging designs, there have been various independent styles, such as the white box for the bee bottle, or special designs for export. In the 1980s, Guerlain began to issue unique box designs for each of its contemporary and bestselling fragrances, and later also for limited editions. As of 2017, the brand has reverted to uniform packaging for all fragrances except for the so-called pillar fragrances (Shalimar, Aqua Allegoria, La Petite Robe Noire, L'Homme Idéal, and Mon Guerlain).

A very minimalistic design, the box for the heritage fragrances (Jicky, Après l’Ondée, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Vol de Nuit, Chant d’Arômes, Chamade, Nahéma, Jardins de Bagatelle) is now all white with a square gold label, while the boxes for the contemporaries (Samsara, Champs-Elysées, Insolence, L’Instant de Guerlain, L’Instant Magic, Idylle) are individually coloured. The boxes for the masculine range, which were introduced in 2016, are grey with a coloured label, except for Habit Rouge whose box is all red. Read more about Guerlain's bottles and boxes
(October 2017)

Reissued scents at Guerlain Parfumeur boutiques
With the Guerlain Parfumeur concept, featuring a selection of Guerlain fragrances to be decanted into bee bottles or travel atomizers, the brand has begun to make discontinued, but still fairly popular fragrances available on tap. Each fragrance is exclusive to one boutique.

In Brussels, we find the EdP version of Thierry Wasser's Quand Vient la Pluie (2007). Printemps department store in Paris offers Christine Nagel's Oriental Brûlant from the Elixirs Charnels line (2008), while the rue des Francs Bourgeois boutique has London from the Une Ville, Un Parfum series, also by Christine Nagel (2011). Finally, the new Guerlain Parfumeur boutique just next to place Vendôme in Paris carries Thierry Wasser's Iris Ganache (2007). According to Guerlain boutique staff, Maison Guerlain will carry Annick Ménardo's Bois d'Arménie (2006), which has now been deleted from the L'Art & la Matière line, while no reissue has been made for the recently opened boutique in Shanghai.
(September 2017)

Guerlain returns to place Vendôme
After two years of renovation work on the building that used to house Guerlain's 1935 boutique at place Vendôme in Paris, the premises are now ready for the brand to move back. Meanwhile, LVMH has turned the entire place Vendôme building into a Louis Vuitton flagship store, which means that Guerlain has moved to just next to the historical shop, whose address was 2 place Vendôme. The new address is 356 rue Saint-Honoré.

The original marble interior from 1935 has been preserved for the new boutique, which will also feature the Guerlain Parfumeur concept. Guerlain's place Vendôme boutique opens on September 30.
(September 2017)

Guerlain wants to conquer China
One of the world's most rapidly growing markets, China has become an excellent opportunity for European luxury brands to increase their global market shares. It's estimated that the number of upper middle and high-income Chinese, mainly clustered in urban areas, will grow to more than a third of the country's vast population by 2030. And now it's Guerlain's turn to collect some Chinese yuan. The brand recently opened a Guerlain Parfumeur boutique in Shanghai, as well as an exhibition called "In the Name of Love", hoping to make its olfactory art known to the Chinese.

"Two years ago we made the decision to expand internationally," says Guerlain's CEO, Laurent Boillot, to Chinese nationalist newspaper Global Times. "China is now our highest priority, then Russia, the Middle East and Europe. We are expanding globally based on one priority — fragrance."

Boillot also reveals that the company plans to build an innovation centre in China next year, in order to be closer with Chinese consumers. "There are obvious differences between Chinese and Western consumers. Chinese have different tastes and different usage attitudes," Boillot explains.

The opening ceremony was attended by, among others, Guerlain's CEO, Laurent Boillot, perfumer Thierry Wasser, LVMH China President Wu Yue, and the Singaporean-Chinese film star Gong Li. Read more
(September 2017)

Le Frenchy
Fifty-five years ago, the young Jean-Paul Guerlain was proudly proclaimed to be the perfectionist his predecessors were, "preferring to spend seven years, make 450 experiments and consult five Guerlain noses in the making of Chant d'Arômes." Fast-forward to 2017, and Guerlain is proud to present 12-15 fragrance releases per year. Le Frenchy, a new addition to the Parisien line, is the brand’s twelfth fragrance this year, two of which were reissues.

The Parisien line is a masculine offshoot of the Parisiennes, reserved for reissues of discontinued fragrances or limited editions. However, apart from flankers of Habit Rouge, L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme, and Guerlain Homme, there aren’t many discontinued men’s scents in Guerlain’s back catalogue to reissue, and it was the arrival of the brand-new Arsène Lupin duo in 2010 that prompted Guerlain to form an exclusive masculine line, which included Derby, Chamade Pour Homme, and L’Âme d’un Héros (formerly Coriolan). Arsène Lupin Dandy and L’Âme d’un Héros were taken out of production last year, leaving just three fragrances in the Parisien collection.

According to Guerlain, Le Frenchy is neither an old nor an entirely new fragrance, but an EdP reworking of Jacques Guerlain’s Eau de Verveine, which was a citrusy, herbal cologne with verbena and sage. The news of this release has elicited several comments on fragrance forums, saying that Guerlain’s timing is strangely off, issuing fresh scents for the winter season, and that the name sounds childish and inelegant. It’s true that the word Frenchy is derogatory slang for people or things that are typically French in character. On the other hand, using derogatory slang about oneself sometimes has a disarming, humorous effect that charms us. We can question whether there’s anything particularly "French" about a fresh fragrance, although all of the historic French perfume houses, including Guerlain, started out as producers of fresh-smelling colognes. Maybe Guerlain just wanted a masculine counterpart to French Kiss in the Elixirs Charnels line. Read fragrance review
(September 2017)

Fall Flowers
For the second time, Guerlain has collaborated with Arita Porcelain Lab in Japan, creating a porcelain bottle inspired by the 1912 heart-shaped stopper bottle. Adding to the Japanese association, last year’s Arita edition was made for Mitsouko, Jacques Guerlain’s 1919 fruity chypre masterpiece named after the heroine of a love story set in Japan.

The 2017 edition contains a new EdP fragrance called Fall Flowers. Guerlain boutiques have testers of the scent for the curious who don’t want to pay 650 € for a bottle of perfume, almost twice as much as the Mitsouko edition. An Arita bottle made to hold sake is priced at around 100 €, and a new juice just doesn’t justify the extra 550 € for this release.

Apart from the inflated price, there are two things about Fall Flowers that are difficult to come to terms with, the first being that Guerlain asked Arita Porcelain Lab to replace the beautiful heart-shaped stopper with a bric-a-brac figurine shaped like a flower, and secondly, the name. We do understand that the flower stopper references the fact that it’s a floral fragrance, but the only thing autumnal about this scent is that it was launched in September. Read fragrance review
(September 2017)

Guerlain limits Bois d'Arménie
According to Guerlain boutique staff, the brand has stopped the production of Bois d'Arménie, and only a few bottles are left in stock. However, the staff also reveals that there are plans to make the fragrance available as a Paris exclusive in the future.
(September 2017)

Guerlain's CEO wants to preserve the brand's patrimony
At a time when Guerlain discontinues most of its emblematic bottle designs, the brand's CEO, Laurent Boillot, declares that one of his three major concerns is the preservation of the Guerlain patrimony. "With almost 190 years of existence, the Guerlain history is rich," he says. According to him, when he arrived as CEO in 2007, there were no attempts to preserve the Guerlain patrimony. Read more at Les Echos
(September 2017)

Streamlined Guerlain: old bottles for contemporary scents
This year, Guerlain completes a major changeover of the look of its fragrances, replacing almost all individual bottle and box designs with uniform packaging. It reflects a style in niche perfumery where brands sell their scents in the same bottle and box in order to show that what counts is the juice, not the packaging. Also, uniform bottles and boxes are much cheaper for fragrance brands to produce and pack than individualized designs.

It's interesting to note that Guerlain has decided to use two of its oldest bottle designs, namely the bee bottle (1853) and the quadrilobe bottle (1908), for what is now termed the Contemporary Collection.

Perhaps on the most positive side, using the standard 30 ml quadrilobe bottle means reduced ml prices. You now save 20 percent per ml on Samsara and Champs-Elysées Parfums, and 40 percent on L’Instant de Guerlain Parfum.

Photos by Guerlain, jade_alicia_ and fragranceswap on Instagram, and Haute Parfumerie Place Vendôme in Belgium. Read more
(August 2017)

Shalimar Souffle Intense
The Shalimar flanker Souffle de Parfum from 2014 has now generated its own flanker called Souffle Intense. While the flanker concept is extremely common in perfumery today, so much so that most of the fragrance industry’s new releases are flankers of existing bestsellers, it’s a relatively new idea to launch a flanker of a flanker. At Guerlain, it has only happened once when the commercially unsuccessful Shalimar Parfum Initial spawned a L’Eau version in 2012, both now discontinued. One could also argue that Guerlain Homme L’Eau Boisée was a flanker of the discontinued Guerlain Homme L’Eau, although some people argued that it was more a flanker of Terre d’Hermès. Read review of Shalimar Souffle Intense
(August 2017)

Third limited edition bottle for Habit Rouge Dress Code
When Habit Rouge Dress Code was re-released with a new bottle design last year, Guerlain announced that subsequent years will bring a new collectible bottle edition containing the same scent. Like last year, the 2017 edition is made of black glass, but featuring a geometric "pocket square" print with dark red and silver. Via
(August 2017)

City council nixes Guerlain's street ads
Guerlain advertises its products by putting up huge cardboard visuals in public spaces. According to the city council of Lille in northern France, putting up these ads is not only a case of "visual pollution", but is also illegal. The city council likens Guerlain's marketing method to vandalism, saying that it's "quite incompatible with a brand that claims to be sophisticated."

It took a few hours to remove the ads from the streets of Lille, and the city council now wants Guerlain to cover the costs for cleaning up. Read more
(July 2017)

Lui pour lui & elle
Time flies and trends change quickly at Guerlain. Only three months after all the press about Mon Guerlain being "a portrait of a woman, woman with a capital W," as Thierry Wasser put it, the brand releases Lui, a tribute to "a generation that liberates itself from gender stereotypes". We assume that Guerlain knows what it’s doing, going in different directions simultaneously to ensure maximum coverage of market segments, and hoping that no one will notice the fabricated feel of it all.

The gender question is one of the most debated in the fragrance blogosphere. The majority of perfume aficionados will claim that the rigid division of fragrances into male and female is a marketing incentive to sell perfumes, with a detrimental effect on true olfactive beauty and artistry. On the other hand, although androgyny has been a motif in fashion for decades, the idea that flowers are feminine and wood is masculine still seems to appeal to most people’s sensibilities. Therefore, the launch of so-called unisex fragrances today appears just as avant-garde as when CK One first came out in 1994. We tend to forget that "unisex" is really just another marketing ploy.

"Neither totally feminine, nor really masculine, it's both at the same time," Guerlain says about Lui (French for "him"), trying to make the most of the gender ambiguity theme. To add to the ambiguity, Lui is a play on words as well as on Guerlain's patrimony, featuring a sleek spray version of the black bottle for Liu, Jacques Guerlain's floral aldehyde perfume from 1929. Guerlain suggests a link between Lui and Liu, saying that both fragrances are a tribute to gender liberation. To understand this, we must remember that Liu was in fact a response to Chanel No.5, and that Chanel fashions in the Roaring Twenties had become a symbol of women’s liberation from the "corseted silhouette", by introducing a loose, sporty, and casual chic. Read fragrance review
(June 2017)

Simplified Guerlain
French fragrance site Auparfum talks about Guerlain's replacement of most of its unique bottle designs with uniform bottles, asking if it's a way to look like niche perfumery or just a trimming to save costs.

The individual bottle designs for Samsara, Champs-Elysées, Insolence, L’Instant de Guerlain, L’Instant Magic, and Idylle are replaced with a refillable, frosted version of the bee atomizer, available in 30 ml, 50 ml, and 100 ml sizes, while the quadrilobe bottle replaces the Parfum bottles for Samsara, Champs-Elysées and L’Instant de Guerlain. Already last year, the "Habit Rouge" bottle became the standard bottle for all masculine Guerlains except L'Homme Idéal and Les Parisiens.

Auparfum is puzzled. "Uniformity is not our principle," Guerlain's former artistic director, Sylvaine Delacourte, said not that long ago, claiming that the Guerlain spirit is defined by "profusion, a certain boiling over, an organised disorder."

The bottle standardisation is accompanied by a new way of structuring Guerlain's vast fragrance catalogue. The feminines are divided into three collections: Pillars (Shalimar, Aqua Allegoria, La Petite Robe Noire, Mon Guerlain), Contemporaries (Samsara, Champs-Elysées, Insolence, L’Instant de Guerlain, L’Instant Magic, Idylle), and Heritage (Jicky, Après l’Ondée, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Vol de Nuit, Chant d’Arômes, Chamade, Nahéma, Jardins de Bagatelle). In addition, the description of each fragrance is simplified to represent an "overdose" of one single ingredient, like sandalwood for Samsara, white musk for L'Instant Magic, rose for Idylle, and violet for Insolence.

In a similar vein, the masculines are divided into elementary categories: Dandy (Habit Rouge), Hipster (Vetiver), Adventurer (Guerlain Homme), Romantic (L'Homme Idéal), and Gentleman (Héritage).

Auparfum sees this simplification as a means to make Guerlain's complex perfume art more accessible to today's frivolous consumers, but there's a worry that it will alienate the loyal old-timers who made the brand famous in the first place. "To neglect them is always a risk, a bit like leaving your wife after thirty years of marriage for a hot bimbo who will leave you after a year for someone who is younger and more muscled than you..." Read more
(June 2017)

La Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto
"I'm incredibly sexy and more rock than ever," touts the slogan of Black Perfecto, Guerlain's new addition to its La Petite Robe Noire series. A hip mix of English and Spanish, the name is borrowed from one of the shades in the LPRN makeup line, which was named after the classic Perfecto motorcycle leather jacket by Schott NYC. The Perfecto jacket was popularized by Marlon Brando, who wore it in the 1953 outlaw biker movie The Wild One.

To promote the launch, Guerlain collaborates with French sports equipment company Le Coq Sportif on a pair of La Petite Robe Noire tennis shoes. A LPRN leather jacket would have made more sense in the context at hand, but we guess that a pair of LPRN sneakers isn't any more absurd than a LPRN car, a LPRN iPhone cover, a LPRN bag, LPRN gloves, or LPRN tea, just to name a few of the LPRN spin-offs marketed in the past. According to the latest business reports, all high-end brands are now releasing sneakers, because they're cheap to produce and sell like hotcakes despite a retail price of around 400 €. Let's try to rise above our dismay about Guerlain using silly marketing gimmicks that completely degrade the refined luxury image that LVMH otherwise strives to convey.

Featuring an all-black version of the heart-shaped stopper bottle decorated with little studs and a circular "leather" label, it's the first La Petite Robe Noire release not to include a black dress or girl pictogram. We might think that it's yet another limited edition bottle with the fragrance unchanged, as a few months ago Guerlain issued a similar black bottle with a clear cap, containing the regular 2012 juice and adorned with fifteen different pink and red label designs of the fashion girl silhouette. But no, La Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto is not just a new bottle, but a whole new formula. Or is it? Read review
(May 2017)

La Petite Robe Noire sneakers
To promote its new La Petite Robe Noire flanker, Black Perfecto, Guerlain collaborates with French sports equipment company Le Coq Sportif on a pair of La Petite Robe Noire sneakers. The shoe box includes a 15 ml bottle of La Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto. The official release date is May 29.

According to business reports, all high-end brands are now releasing sneakers, because they're cheap to produce and sell like hotcakes despite a retail price of around 400 €. The sale of deluxe sneakers has tripled between 2009 and 2015 and saw a twenty percent growth rate in 2016 alone, earning the industry 3 billion €.

Let's try to rise above our dismay about Guerlain using silly marketing gimmicks that completely degrade the refined luxury image that LVMH otherwise strives to convey. See more

(May 2017)

Guerlain bottle news
There's been some news in Guerlain's bottle department lately. The brand adds two new colours to the Guerlain Parfumeur bee bottle range, namely "Shalimar" midnight blue and smoke grey. Also, a new design for the refillable 20 ml Gouttes Parfumées is presented, featuring colourful leather caps. They come in a box set with three sprays at 160 €. Lastly, Guerlain has extended its range of 15 ml non-refillable travel atomizers to a large selection of fragrances, sold in colourful boxes. 32 € each, or a boxed set with four sprays at 110 €.
(May 2017)

Quand Vient la Pluie reissued for Brussels
Quand Vient la Pluie EdP has been reissued exclusively for the new Guerlain Parfumeur boutique in Brussels. Included in the refill program, it's available in 125 ml coloured bee bottles and 20 ml travel atomizers.

Originally a limited edition, this fragrance was created by Thierry Wasser in 2007, a further development of his first fragrance for Guerlain, Iris Ganache, maybe as the test piece of work as apprentice before being chosen as Guerlain's master perfumer the following year.

Quand Vient la Pluie reappeared briefly in 2013 in the bee atomizer, named Place Rouge, to celebrate the 120 years of Moscow's GUM department store. Photo by eau_du_coq on Instagram. Read more about Quand Vient la Pluie
(May 2017)

New Guerlain Parfumeur boutique in Brussels
A new Guerlain Parfumeur boutique has been inaugurated in Brussels, following a recent opening of a new Guerlain boutique in Tokyo. The Guerlain Parfumeur concept, entirely dedicated to fragrance, first saw the light last year on the rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. According to Guerlain's CEO, Laurent Boillot, the brand plans to open 100 new boutiques in major cities worldwide within the next ten years. In 2017 alone, six new Guerlain boutiques will see the light. Photo by bensaintcyr on Instagram. Read more about Guerlain's global expansion
(May 2017)

Oud Essentiel
Following Santal Royal and Ambre Éternel, Guerlain has launched the third addition to its Absolus d’Orient series. Called Oud Essentiel, its name is just as stilted and unpronounceable as are all of Guerlain’s Orient fragrance names, typical of "niche" perfumery. Like Les Déserts d’Orient, Les Absolus d’Orient are destined for the Middle Eastern market, but at a significantly lower price than the former. Although the brand is now trying to conquer the entire planet with Mon Guerlain, the truth is that perfume tastes in the Arab nations differ vastly from what is popular in the West. What perfumers call oriental fragrances, softly sweet and balsamic compositions, are not favoured in the Middle East. Maybe due to the hot desert climate, which makes perfumes evaporate on skin within minutes, Arab men and women prefer muscular scents with rich wood, spices, resins and rose. Read fragrance review
(April 2017)

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. Read fragrance review
(April 2017)

Oud Essentiel
Oud Essentiel is Guerlain's third addition to its Absolus d’Orient series, following Santal Royal and Ambre Éternel. Notes listed are saffron, pelargonium, rose, oud, cedarwood, guaiac wood, frankincense, and leather. The Absolus d’Orient fragrances come in an opaque, solid-coloured version of the Eau de Rituel bottle, black for Santal Royal, dark purple for Ambre Éternel, and deep green for Oud Essentiel. The bottle is accented with a masculine-looking scarf around its neck. Harrods in London offers the fragrance "en avant-première".
(April 2017)
Muguet 2017
It's not that Guerlain's Muguet 2017 isn't truly pretty, with its light green silk ribbon, gold bugle beads, faux lilies of the valley, and a little pearl and Swarovski crystal hiding inside a flower bell, it’s more that it's hard to countenance the fact that its bottle, normally used for the Eaux de Rituel, is mass-produced and thus associated with the lowest retail price of Guerlain’s entire fragrance catalogue, namely 81 € for 125 ml. Muguet, on the other hand, is priced at 430 €.

"Among our customers there are, of course, a small number of passionate and highly educated people, but many are just looking for a rare perfume. These are the same people who buy limited editions in fashion or design," says Guerlain’s marketing director. Let's hope that next year's edition is made for the passionate and highly educated. See all of Guerlain's Muguet bottles since 1998
(April 2017)

This year's limited edition bottle for Shalimar Souffle de Parfum
Guerlain has launched the third limited edition bottle for Shalimar Souffle de Parfum. These editions all bear an India-inspired motif, this time a stylized peacock, in order to celebrate the Shalimar story. As indicated on Guerlain's website, the peacock is the National Bird of India. Like last year's design, it has been created by graphic designer Yohan Masliah, who is also behind the "handwritten" Mon Guerlain logo.

All these "Editions Collector" of Shalimar and its flankers are leading many people to think that a seemingly endless list of Shalimar flankers exists. Even the well-informed Luca Turin is confused. "There are 15 Shalimars out there,” he wrote in 2014 when Souffle de Parfum first came out. In reality, Shalimar Souffle de Parfum counts as the sixth Shalimar flanker. Read more about Shalimar and its Shalimar flankers
(April 2017)

Thierry Wasser: "You cannot be an autistic dictator in the creative world"
Portuguese Vogue has interviewed Thierry Wasser, who explains how being Guerlain's master perfumer is different from just being a perfumer, especially in the areas of respecting the heritage and sourcing and controlling raw materials. "It's a honorific title I guess, but I take it very seriously," he states, emphasizing that his intimate relationship with Jean-Paul Guerlain helped him getting a good start at Guerlain.

Thierry Wasser says that he listens very carefully to the marketing team and all other people who may know more about the Guerlain brand than he does himself. "You cannot be an autistic dictator in the creative world," he says. "Do you think I came out with the Petite Robe Noire concept? Of course not! It's definitely a girl idea. There's a girl hidden behind this Petite Robe Noire, and it was the marketing director, Ann Caroline Prazan, who came with that idea. I didn't really get it immediately, but I thought actually, after a little bit of reflection, that it was a very cool idea that a beauty house will hijack a fashion icon like a little black dress."

Lastly, he is asked what he thinks of making flankers. "I think actually it's very funny to play with a theme," he says. "Of course there's a business behind it. But I'm not a business man. But if other brands or the industry goes that way, and people have fun with those different expressions, I'm cool with that." See the interview
(March 2017)

Jean-Paul Guerlain excl. the Guerlinade
Will Guerlain customers get confused when My Exclusive Collection releases new fragrances by Jean-Paul Guerlain?

"Jean-Paul Guerlain is an artist, his name belongs to him, and he will therefore sign his creations and make his name appear on the products. LVMH is well aware of the existence of our company and Jean-Paul Guerlain's collaboration with My Exclusive Collection," says Stéphane Laffont-Reveilhac, CEO of the new brand. "In any case, we do not compete with them. We are a small organization that doesn't constitute any threat to LVMH."

Laffont-Reveilhac emphasizes that Jean-Paul Guerlain's new scents will not resemble anything he has made before. "He hasn't used the famous Guerlinade and wanted to start with something completely new to make these fragrances, also to show that he's still capable of taking the world of cosmetics by surprise." According to Laffont-Reveilhac, 80-year-old Jean-Paul Guerlain has composed 45 new scents in just 18 months — an impressive creativity, to say the least, and vastly more than when he worked at Guerlain, where he created one perfume approximately every four years. By comparison, Thierry Wasser and Delphine Jelk jointly make ten new fragrances per year. Read more
(March 2017)

Jean-Paul Guerlain's new fragrance brand
Jean-Paul Guerlain's much-anticipated fragrance line, My Exclusive Collection, was revealed recently at a soirée at Les Salons de l'Hôtel de France opposite the Versailles castle. Here, guests were invited to discover five new Jean-Paul Guerlain fragrances. "We have a close partnership with Jean-Paul Guerlain, who has created around thirty fragrances for us. He's still just as enthusiastic and creative and capable of doing exceptional things," says Stéphane Laffont-Reveilhac, founder of My Exclusive Collection.

“The fragrances are going to be released towards the end of 2017,” Laffont-Reveilhac adds. “It’s a modern collection, destined for the Middle Eastern market, but the scents are also quite classic, quite Guerlain, as we know it from Jean-Paul's creations.” According to Laffont-Reveilhac, the scents cover a wide olfactory spectrum that has the potential of reaching an international audience. "M. Guerlain has travelled a lot during his career, so he knows precisely the different tastes of various countries, and I think we have a palette that is able to attract very different cultures."

The vision of Laffont-Reveilhac has been to create a new universe around Jean-Paul Guerlain, helped by a group of young talents. “We want to make a difference. We want to be part of French haute parfumerie, with natural raw materials, and to have M. Guerlain as the creator is really extraordinary.” Read more  See My Exclusive Collection

(March 2017)

Feminist Guerlain
At Guerlain, 2017 is the Year of the Woman, as communicated by Angelina Jolie and the PR for the fragrance Mon Guerlain. Now, 66-year-old exiled Burundian Princess Esther Kamatari, who was named ambassador for the brand in 2015, joins in the campaign, saying in an interview that she's "proud to embody a symbol for the new generation of African women." Like Angelina Jolie, Kamatari is known for her humanitarian work.

In the interview, Kamatari makes a direct comment on Jean-Paul Guerlain's racist remark made on French television in 2010: "This M. Guerlain spoke on his own behalf. At that time, the Guerlain house was already bought by LVMH and was no longer linked to its founder," she says.

Kamatari emphasizes that by asking her to represent the brand, Guerlain wasn't just attempting to wipe the slate clean, but wanted a brand ambassador who could speak to all of the world's "African beauties". The interview with Kamatari was published the day after the release party for Jean-Paul Guerlain's new fragrance brand, My Exclusive Collection. Read interview
(March 2017)

L'Homme Idéal Sport
This spring, Guerlain launches a Sport version of L'Homme Idéal. It's described as a mix of fresh spices, lemon, bergamot, almond, aromatic and aquatic notes, neroli, green apple, patchouli, vetiver, and coumarin. As such, it represents Guerlain's first use of aquatic notes, which gained popularity in the 1990s. L'Homme Idéal Sport is the fourth Guerlain fragrance officially attributed to both Thierry Wasser and Delphine Jelk.

For this fourth member of the L'Homme Idéal family, the bottle comes with a marine blue colour scheme. Image from Read more about L'Homme Idéal
(March 2017)

Thierry Wasser: "Angelina Jolie was never in my mind"
In a recent interview during his promotional tour for Mon Guerlain, Thierry Wasser explains that he's always three years ahead of time when creating perfumes that are scheduled for launch, and that when he began working on the Mon Guerlain accord, what he had in mind was the forthcoming 190th anniversary of Guerlain. "My idea was to celebrate 190 years of dedication to beauty," he says.

He felt inspired by the brand's historic tradition of paying tribute to a woman, like the French Empress Eugénie, Sarah Bernhardt, Josephine Baker, and Natalia Vodianova. He imagined a Guerlain portrait of women in the 21st century, who since 1828 have had to fight for independence and equal rights in several domains. During his travels to search for raw materials in Africa, Asia and India, he has observed that women play a crucial role in society. "I decided it would be a good omen to create a portrait of women, not a portrait of one woman, but a portrait of all women." To him, each of the main ingredients of Mon Guerlain represents an aspect of the importance of femininity: lavender (truth, spontaneity, justice, simplicity), jasmine (passion), sandalwood (resilience, power), and vanilla (motherly love).

Thierry Wasser emphasizes that he knew nothing about the project with Angelina Jolie while creating the perfume, and that Jolie hasn't had anything to do with the inspiration for the scent, which was already completed when she came into the picture. "Angelina Jolie was never in my mind or anywhere else, but our president, Laurent Boillot, absolutely wanted to collaborate with Angelina Jolie. He went to meet her in December 2015 while she was directing the film that has been released a few days ago in Cambodia. I didn’t know anything about it, nothing at all. State secret. And when he came back, she said yes. The story, the concept, and the fragrance had been presented to Mrs. Jolie, and she liked what I had made."

This revelation contradicts the brand's official PR, which promotes the scent as "a tribute to today’s femininity — a strong, free and sensual femininity, as inspired by Angelina Jolie."
(March 2017)

Mon Guerlain is a manifesto to the world — more than 100 Guerlain boutiques to open up worldwide
In a recent interview, Guerlain's CEO, Laurent Boillot, announces what is the most radical change within the brand’s soul since the LVMH takeover in 1994, saying that the launch of Mon Guerlain marks "a new phase in the development of the house".

"La Petite Robe Noire was a revival, and Mon Guerlain is a manifesto to the world," Boillot says. "With Mon Guerlain, it's an opportunity to show the know-how of French haute parfumerie to the entire world." He explains that it took 300 trials to arrive at the formula, after which the fragrance was tested with customers at Guerlain boutiques. (Editor’s note: at that time, the scent was called Mon Exclusif.)

“We chose this fragrance, because it was very well received,” says Boillot, and Guerlain then developed the ideas for the bottle and the marketing campaign. “After five years without a celebrity face, we have surprised the luxury industry by choosing someone who has rejected to be the face of many houses before signing with Guerlain.”

"We're fighting against the big houses with the same weapons, and we sometimes use the cinema term 'blockbuster'. Mon Guerlain is certainly designed as a blockbuster. Then we'll see how it turns out."

Boillot says that for operational and strategic reasons, China and the US will get Mon Guerlain later than the rest of the world.

He also reveals that the brand is opening up exclusive Guerlain Parfumeur boutiques in major cities around the world, the first one being in Brussels in May. In 2017 alone, six new Guerlain boutiques will see the light, after which 100 new boutiques will be opened over a ten-year period. See interview
(March 2017)

La Cuvée Secrète
Guerlain has introduced La Cuvée Secrète, a fresh cologne that joins last year's Un Dimanche à la Campagne to form a new line called Les Eaux Exclusives. La Cuvée Secrète contains the same notes as the discontinued Cologne Fond de Cuve (bergamot, petitgrain and lavender), but with a ml price that is three times higher.

Cologne Fond de Cuve (2013) was a commercialization of Véritable Eau de Cologne Pour le Bain, which Guerlain used to give out for free to its staff.
(March 2017)

Guerlain releases Mon Guerlain
Guerlain has now released Mon Guerlain, four days ahead of the previously announced release date. Engraving of the bottle can be ordered online as well. The scent is also available as body lotion and shower gel. Read fragrance review
(February 2017)

Mon Celebrity Caramel
Guerlain’s teaming up with Angelina Jolie for the new international fragrance release, Mon Guerlain, is the brand’s biggest marketing triumph since Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain was appointed fragrance purveyor to the French Empress Eugénie in 1853. Fragrance is such a rarefied and specific subject, while celebrities are undeniably more popular.

Since the announcement of the partnership with Jolie in January, followed by large-scale press events all over the world, Guerlain has probably received more international media coverage than in the past 188 years combined. Social media have been ablaze with news about the campaign weeks before the official release date on March 1st, and some shops are selling the fragrance ahead of time. It’s no secret that Guerlain’s brand awareness is lagging catastrophically behind, especially outside of France. On its US Facebook pages, Guerlain’s weekly PTAT (People Talking About This) number rarely exceeds 100 persons. Known for her unique blend of natural beauty, artistic talent, and humanitarian involvement, and as "the most admired woman in the world" as stated in Guerlain's press clip, Angelina Jolie lends not only enormous exposure to Guerlain, but also an aura of philanthropy. Jolie’s film about the victims of the Cambodian genocide during the Khmer Rouge, which premiered in Cambodia on February 18, as well as her statement that she's donating her entire Guerlain modeling fee to charity, only adds to the good press.

Except for the facts that Angelina Jolie is American and extremely thin, both of which have enraged most of Guerlain’s French Facebook followers, the only disadvantage of using her as a spokesmodel for the campaign is that it completely overshadows the fragrance itself. However, in the case of Mon Guerlain, there’s nothing new under the sun anyway, because for two years the fragrance was known as Mon Exclusif, which has now been discontinued. Read full review
(February 2017)

Prerelease of Mon Guerlain
Mon Guerlain, scheduled for international launch on March 1, is already available in some webshops and stores here and there. Helped by Angelina Jolie, it's the brand's most anticipated fragrance launch ever, with shops being bombarded with telephone calls and emails.

For this release, Guerlain has reinvented the historic quadrilobe dab bottle (1908) as an atomizer, crowned with a plastic quatrefoil cap. The base of the cap is surrounded by an embossed, gilded metal band that replaces the traditional cording by the Dames de Table. Like Mon Exclusif, the bottle comes without a label, so we assume you're supposed to have it engraved with a name of your choice. In fact, it's Guerlain's most anonymous fragrance presentation to date, with the Guerlain name almost invisibly moulded into the glass. According to Guerlain boutique staff, the fragrance is almost identical to Mon Exclusif, which has now been discontinued, with notes of lavender, jasmine, sandalwood, orris, tonka bean, and vanilla.
(February 2017)

Aqua Allegoria Rosa Fizz
There's a prerelease of this year's Aqua Allegoria travel edition at some airports. Called Rosa Fizz, it replaces last year's Rosa Pop, which was a reissue of the successful Pivoine Magnifica from 2005.

We can't detect much of a difference between Fizz and Pop, but it sure is a wonderful, citrusy fruity-floral, designed to get you hooked the minute you sniff it from the tax-free shelf.

It's the first time that an Aqua Allegoria comes with the frosted bottle design, known from Les Eaux de Rituel. Unlike last year's travel edition though, the honeycomb mesh has not been removed. As this year's costly Muguet edition also features the frosted Aqua Allegoria bottle, it feels like rather bad timing to use it for a tax-free scent (64 €). At least Guerlain could have waited a couple of years to do so, or, better yet, found a more appropriate bottle for Muguet. Read more about Aqua Allegoria
(February 2017)

Tamed tuberose
Just six months after its previous addition to the L'Art & la Matière line, Néroli Outrenoir, Guerlain launches the line's 11th member, called Joyeuse Tubéreuse.

The scent is officially co-authored by Thierry Wasser and Delphine Jelk, and it marks the first time that Jelk's name is mentioned on Guerlain's website, although her first creation for Guerlain was La Petite Robe Noire in 2009. Sylvaine Delacourte has already said that "no one has the monopoly" at Guerlain, but this is a new kind of transparency about who actually makes what in the Guerlain lab. Traditionally, only the appointed master perfumer has been stated as the creator of Guerlain’s fragrances. Since his entry as perfumer at Guerlain, Thierry Wasser has generally been pushing the brand towards greater openness about facts that are usually regarded as trade secrets within the fragrance industry, not least those concerning reformulations and changes in raw materials. Read review
(February 2017)

Bergamote Calabria or Gingembre Arancia?
Considering that Guerlain’s Aqua Allegorias are promoted as "the Collection of Fresh Fragrances," it’s quite remarkable that we had to wait almost twenty years to get one named after bergamot, perfumery’s most widely used fresh note and even featured in the list of Guerlinade ingredients. Maybe one reason is that bergamot is not what it used to be. Thierry Wasser has explained that while raw bergamot oil smells heavenly, deep, complex and rounded, almost like a perfume in itself, it can cause allergies when exposed to sunlight and therefore has been substituted with a “cleansed” product that smells somewhat flat and lifeless in comparison. According to Wasser, the absence of raw bergamot oil is one of the main reasons why modern Shalimar is so different from the vintage version. Read fragrance review of Aqua Allegoria Bergamote Calabria
(February 2017)

Guerlain discontinues most of its bath products
Guerlain has discontinued all feminine bath products except for the "unisex" Les Délices de Bain, La Petite Robe Noire, and Shalimar. Soon, Mon Guerlain will be added to the line.

Guerlain's bath products now come in a uniform plastic variant of the bee bottle, similar in shape to the first bath bee bottles from the early 1990s. The design of the new bath bottle is more streamlined though, with a smooth cap and without the Vendôme column's fish-scale pattern on the upper part of the bottle.
(February 2017)

Guerlain: gossip or glory?
The latest issue of French gossip magazine Point de Vue features an article about Le Roman des Guerlain, historian and perfume expert Élisabeth de Feydeau's well-researched book about the Guerlain family history.

It's difficult to understand why Feydeau and her publisher chose a release date that coincides with Guerlain's revelation of Angelina Jolie as the brand's new spokeswoman. Feydeau's book is infinitely more interesting than any American celebrity or mainstream caramel fragrance ever was, and it's an awful shame that Feydeau's contribution to our understanding of the Guerlain history is now destined to drown in celebrity craze.

On a side note, the large image of Jean-Paul Guerlain isn't quite illustrative of Feydeau's book, which more or less ends with the death of Jacques Guerlain in 1963. Everything there is to say about the Jean-Paul Guerlain era is reduced into the ten page epilog, just three percent of the entire text. Did Feydeau run out of time? Or was she influenced by Jean-Paul Guerlain being persona non grata since his unfortunate racially denigrating remarks on French television in 2010 (a subject that coincidentally the book is silent about)? On the other hand, she doesn’t spare us the details about how much the sale of Guerlain to luxury conglomerate LVMH in 1994 ignited dissension within the family. Several members openly expressed that such a sale would be a betrayal of the brand’s history and founder. During the clearing of conference rooms and offices to make room for the new owners, Sylvie Guerlain found a large number of historic documents, and she decided that she would do everything she could to retrieve and preserve the vestiges of Guerlain's past. The book ends on a hopeful note, quoting Jean-Paul Guerlain’s wish that his young grandson, Paul Guerlain, will one day become Guerlain’s next master perfumer. Read book review
(January 2017)

Guerlain devotes itself to women
We're informed that throughout 2017, Guerlain will devote itself to a special focus on women, starting with the announcement of Angelina Jolie as the brand's new spokeswoman. Angelina Jolie is an advocate of several causes, among them women's rights. In 2012, she launched an initiative against sexual violence.

Guerlain's announcement of the partnership with Jolie comes only a few days after the Women’s March, which was especially aimed at US President Donald Trump's statements regarded as anti-women. The march drew at least half a million in Washington, and some estimates put worldwide participation at 4.8 million.
(January 2017)

Guerlain needs more brand awareness
Guerlain has revealed that its forthcoming international fragrance release for women, promoted by American superstar Angelina Jolie, is called Mon Guerlain. The main notes of Mon Guerlain are described as lavender, jasmine, sandalwood and vanilla. According to Guerlain boutique staff, the scent is practically identical to the recently discontinued Mon Exclusif.

Let’s be honest, it’s not the brand’s most sophisticated fragrance name ever, but it’s not stupid either, all things considered. First, the name is born out of a marketing strategy that promotes everything as being "mine", such as My Insolence, Mon Précieux Nectar, Ma Première Robe, Ma Robe Sous le Vent, Mon Habit Rouge Taillé sur Mesure, and Mon Exclusif. We imagine two little girls fighting over a bottle of perfume: “This is MY Guerlain!” — “No, it’s MINE!” — “No, it’s MINE!”. Soon you’ll be able to buy Mon Guerlain for 75 € at any airport in the world, but the name still has a certain ring of exclusivity to it.

Secondly, and joking aside, using Guerlain's brand name as part of the fragrance name is a clever way of increasing brand awareness, especially considering that world-famous Angelina Jolie is the face of the campaign. We imagine two colleagues talking: “You smell good! What are you wearing?” — “I’m wearing Mon Guerlain, the new fragrance by Angelina Jolie.” — “Wow! I need to get it too! How do you spell Guerlain?”

It’s no secret that Guerlain’s brand awareness is lagging catastrophically behind, especially outside of France. On its US and Russian Facebook pages, Guerlain’s weekly PTAT (People Talking About This) number is a mere 100 persons. With her six million followers on Instagram, Angelina Jolie will no doubt contribute immensely to Guerlain's popularity and brand awareness worldwide. Jolie’s statement that she's donating her entire modeling fee to charity only adds to the good press.
(January 2017)

Le Roman des Guerlain: who actually made Jicky?
In a world with so much rampant marketing and capitalism, it’s a great pleasure to find the Guerlain story being told in a comprehensive and rigorous manner for the first time, by French historian and perfume expert Élisabeth de Feydeau. She calls her 360 page book "Le Roman des Guerlain" ("roman" is a novel in French), however it's by no means fiction, but based on family archives, mainly those collected and preserved by Sylvie Guerlain. Among many things, the book casts new light on who actually made Jicky, why Aimé Guerlain left no heirs, and how the perfume Kriss came into being. Read book review
(January 2017)

Guerlain discontinues Mon Exclusif
While Guerlain is preparing a major international fragrance launch, called Mon Guerlain, the brand discontinues Mon Exclusif, only two years after its release. Mon Exclusif was promoted as a modern gourmand take on Jicky's classic fougère accord. However, except for the lavender, most fragrance reviewers saw no connection between Jicky and Mon Exclusif's sugary mix of butter caramel, patchouli and creamy-powdery floral notes, an accord that has been immensely popularized by Lancôme's La Vie Est Belle. Read more about Mon Exclusif
(January 2017)

The 2017 limited edition bottle for La Petite Robe Noire
This year's limited edition bottle for La Petite Robe Noire EdP and EdT is a blackened bottle version with clear heart-shaped stopper, emblazoned with a red and pink "fashion show" label appropriated from the LPRN makeup line.

To add to the collectible value, fifteen different label designs have been produced which are all depicted on the back of each box. You won't know which of the fifteen you have purchased until you open your box!

The fragrances remain unchanged.
(January 2017)

Some images courtesy of

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