4 x "DU 68"

Created by Sophie Labbé in 2006, Cologne du 68 was meant to commemorate the renovation of Maison Guerlain the year before. Technically an Eau de Toilette and not a cologne, the fragrance was named after the address of Maison Guerlain, 68 Champs-Elysées. Cologne du 68 reportedly was made up of sixty-eight raw materials, which probably wasn't the technical truth either, but it's true that it smelled like a lot of different things at the same time: citrus, herbs, flowers, spices, wood, sap, praline, at once fresh, green, floral and gourmand. Inspired by the scent of the maquis, Corsica's fragrant wilderness, its star ingredient was everlasting flower, soft, warm and honeyed.

The second renovation of Maison Guerlain in 2013 spawned a reinterpretation of the scent, this time called Parfum du 68. The scent retained the characteristic everlasting flower and floral-woody accord of Cologne du 68, but turned it into a musky, enveloping EdP with notes of mandarin, rose, magnolia, jasmine, tonka bean, white musk, and benzoin. If Cologne du 68 was "three parts cologne, one part L'Instant Femme and two parts L'Instant Homme," as Luca Turin wittily said, then Parfum du 68 felt like Cologne du 68 made into a L'Art & la Matière.

Confusingly too, Parfum du 68 was not a Parfum, but an EdP. In French, the term "Parfum" is often used generically to simply mean "perfume". Eventually, a real Parfum version of Parfum du 68 was launched, featured in a 40,000 € Baccarat crystal bottle, a giant black version of the historic tortoise bottle. The tortoise bottle is closely linked to Maison Guerlain, as it was originally created when the Champs-Elysées boutique opened for the first time in 1914. Named L'Extrait du 68, this version had all the delectable intensity we love about Guerlain: the spices were spicier, the rose, jasmine and magnolia were richer and more sensual, and the base was altogether more addictive, a gorgeous cocoon of amber, incense, and musk. In 2015, this Parfum version was further reworked into a more floral accord with a very feminine aura of jasmine and orange blossom, accompanied by osmanthus blossom, a flower with fruity-leathery notes of plum, prunes and apricot. Named "Flacon Tortue", this fragrance was also available only in a costly Baccarat tortoise bottle.

Cologne du 68 was discontinued in 2016.
(November 2017)

Read more about Cologne du 68 / Parfum du 68