The launch of Mon Guerlain has been the brand’s most debated fragrance launch ever, not least thanks to the choice of Angelina Jolie as spokesmodel, but also because of some controversy about the scent itself.

Many reviews, mine included, described Mon Guerlain as identical to Mon Exclusif (2015), albeit lighter and blander, while others thought it was a whole new fragrance. The latter was being supported by beauty magazine articles, based on official PR, saying that the fragrance was inspired by Angelina Jolie.

Thankfully, in a world of luxury dominated by corporate lies and false advertising, Guerlain is refreshingly different, which is one more reason to love the brand despite its blatant efforts to become mainstream as of lately. We speculate that Thierry Wasser, widely known for his eagerness to dispel myths and state the truth, has much to do with Guerlain’s exemplary honesty. His finest hour was when he invited bloggers to Maison Guerlain to show them how different Jacques Guerlain's classics originally smelled from today’s reformulated versions.

In a series of interviews following the launch of Mon Guerlain, Thierry Wasser and Guerlain’s CEO, Laurent Boillot, have declared the following:

• Mon Guerlain is a rerelease of Mon Exclusif, which Guerlain issued in 2015 in order to get feedback from customers and to test suppliers' capability to deliver the required amount and quality of raw materials.

• Wasser explains that for the Mon Guerlain release, the caramel and toffee notes have been slightly toned down in order to make the opening appear fresher.

• Angelina Jolie has nothing to do with the scent, which was completed long before she came into the picture. "Angelina Jolie was never in my mind or anywhere else,” Wasser says, “but our president, Laurent Boillot, absolutely wanted to collaborate with Angelina Jolie.” As she liked the fragrance, she accepted to become its spokesmodel.

• The fragrance is deliberately designed to appeal to an international mainstream audience, thus having what it takes to become a blockbuster. However, Thierry Wasser’s initial vision was to celebrate Guerlain’s historic tradition of paying tribute to a woman, using ingredients that to him symbolize aspects of a modern woman’s personality: truth, social skills, resilience, and motherly love.

• The massive launch of Mon Guerlain, the brand’s most expensive campaign to date, is just the beginning of a long-range plan to turn Guerlain into a major player on the international market. The company will open 100 new boutiques worldwide over a ten-year period.

(March 2017)

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