Guerlain, A Pathway of Aroma…


Guerlain

I always like to look back to the black & white era, cause I can put so many colors of fantasy when I walk though their ways…

Yes, I’m walking back…

To 1828…

To rue de Rivoli of Paris,

To Guerlain, among the oldest perfume houses in the world…

“Glory is ephemeral…only renown is long-lasting,”… often said by Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain, For more than 175 years, the brand has sailed through trends thanks to a clever cocktail of tradition, excellence and passion…

Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain opened his first shop street of Rivoli in Paris, he created different perfumes for each customer… Can you imagine??

Guerlain, Perfumer

In 1840, he was installed in buildings on the street of Peace, a place of the fashion. He composed of the fragrances to measure for many personalities. He is assisted of him two sons, Aimé and Gabriel, than he acquired a great reputation and became official provider of the queen of Belgium… Wow…

The success of the house under Pierre-François peaked in 1853 with the creation of Eau de Cologne Impérial. This perfume earned him the prestigious title of being His Majesty’s Official Perfumer in France, which led Pierre-Françoise to create perfumes for Queen Victoria of England and Queen Isabella of Spain among other royalty… I wonder…

The Rue De Rivoli, 1871

Guerlain loves to use the most sumptuous essences, like French vanilla and ylang-ylang from its own plantations in the Comores Islands. Guerlain was also one of the first to successfully blend synthetic ingredients and natural essences.

Than comes the second generation…

With the death of Pierre-Françoise in 1864, the house was left to Aimé Guerlain and Gabriel Guerlain. The roles of perfumer and manager to Guerlain was divided between the two brothers, with Gabriel managing nad and further expanding the house and Aimé becoming of the grand perfumer. As such, the House of Guerlain began a long tradition where the position as the “nose” and grand perfumer was handed down through the Guerlain family.

The third generation started when…

The business was handed down to the sons of Gabrielle Guerlain, Jacques Guerlain and Pierre Guerlain, with Jacque becoming Guerlian’s third master perfumer. Jacques composed many of Guerlian’s classic perfumes, many of which as still held in high esteem in the modern perfume industry. As another sign of their popularity, most of his perfumes are still sold and marketed.

jean paul guerlain, 1969

Jean-Paul Guerlain is currently the grand perfumer of Guerlain. No less accomplished then his predecessors, Jean-Paul created the Guerlain’s classic men’s frangrance Vétiver (1959) and Habit Rouge (1965), considered by many, to be the first male oriental fragrance. He also created Nahema (1979), Jardins de Bagatelle (1983), Samsara (1989), as well as Heritage and Coriolan in the 1990s. Nearing the retirement of Jean-Paul, there does not appear to be an obvious successor within the Guerlain family for taking on the position as the House of Guerlain’s grand perfumer…

Can you imagine?? I someone asks them “what you do?” They would rather answer with a spark of fire in eyes, “What my minister did” lolz…

Guerlain House created in 1914, Number 68, Champs Elysées reopened its doors in June, 2005. This mythological address, redrawn by Andrée Putman, will now be officially known as ‘Guerlain House’. Fragrance fans will be delighted to discover the rebirth of fragrances gone by, like Liu, Vega and Derby; as well as four home fragrances, an essence for infants, and three exclusive new creations (Cuir Beluga, Rose Barbare and Angelique Noire). But the truly must-have item is a tailor-made scent. Several rendezvous with your personal perfume designer will result in a sublime, 17-oz. Baccarat crystal bottle, along with 20 2-oz. bottles with old-fashioned spray bulbs, and three 1-oz. bottles: an unparalleled luxury, like an item of haute-couture clothing…

Guerlain house

Large room with a chandelier which opens up into the boutique downstairs contains a circular table where most of Guerlain classics and moderns are arranged in three rows, the highest for the extraits de parfum and the lowest for the EDTs. Moreover, the mirrored wall contains shelves filled with the bestselling Guerlain fragrances, which include Vetiver, L’Instant and Mitsouko, among others. All aspects of the layout ensure easy and unassisted sampling, which one can do for hours. …


Indeed, it is the only place where all of the Guerlain extraits de parfum can be sampled, including ethereally beautiful Chant d’Arômes. Reissued recently in the extrait de parfum, it is a gorgeous, floral chypre, resembling the original Chant d’Arômes formula more than the version that was available previously. The first time I visit the boutique I do not linger near the table for long, because the temptation to cover my wrists with Nahéma and Mitsouko would have prevented me to explore the rest of the fragrances. Thus, I begin with the limited editions of Le Mouchoir de Monsieur and La Voilette de Madame originally created in 1904 and presented in Baccarat “escargot” bottles. Le Mouchoir de Monsieur, once produced exclusively for French actor Jean-Claude Brialy, is a warm, elegant fougère, while La Voilette de Madame is an iris, ylang ylang, narcissus and violet composition, foiled in warm powdery sweetness of incense and sandalwood. While it starts out light and delicate, the subsequent developments result in a narcotic, opulent floral.

I’ll be back with Guerlain perfumes very soon…

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