Guerlain Nahema ~ perfume review

Guerlain Nahema fragrance advert

Imagine that you're standing at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Behind you is an acre planted thickly with pink roses. It's the end of an August day, and the sun is setting in tones of apricot fading to purple as it bleeds into the sky. Now add a full orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing The Beatles' "All You Need is Love". What you get is grand, passionate, lush, and faintly cartoonish. In other words, you get Guerlain Nahéma.

Jean-Paul Guerlain created Nahéma in 1979. The Guerlain website gives it a top note of hyacinth; a heart of ylang ylang, rose, and peach; and a base of vanilla, tonka bean, and wood. Osmoz builds on this description and gives Nahéma top notes of bergamot, mandarin, and rose; a heart of rose, peach, cyclamen, and lily; and a base of vanilla, sandalwood, vetiver, and benzoin. The simplest description of Nahéma would be rose — big, rich, oil pastel dark pink and peach rose — and peaches so ripe they fall from the tree. When Nahéma wears down many hours later, its sandalwood shows a little, but the rose and peaches never die out entirely.

As a friend who is a recent convert says, Nahéma goes on like a silk robe. We're talking thick silk charmeuse, too, not the cheap stuff. It also has robust sillage. Many rose perfumes are wonderful for a day at the office, but to me Nahéma is best saved for the evening when you can balance it with matte lipstick, night air, and neon lights. Nahéma is wonderful on the skin, but I'd guess it would be equally wonderful smelled the next morning on the cocktail dress you left on the floor.

For all this glorious rose, Luca Turin in Perfumes: The Guide says the word in the perfume industry is that Nahéma's formula doesn't contain any actual rose. Strangely, this makes sense. Nahéma is less garden rose than it is the Hollywood ideal of a rose. It’s Marilyn Monroe in full Technicolor. Its genius is that, like Marilyn Monroe, it isn't the Stepford starlet. Rather, Nahéma the starlet might drink a little too much champagne and need to keep an eye on her diet. She barely stays on the right side of ridiculous but is all the more endearing for it.

In Fragrance: The Story of Perfume from Cleopatra to Chanel, Edwin T. Morris says "Its [Guerlain's] Nahéma is generally considered too avant-garde for the American market". Although in 1980 Guerlain spent nearly a third of its advertising budget on Nahéma, it didn't sell well in the United States. There's nothing particularly edgy about Nahéma, especially compared to perfume coming out of Serge Lutens, Etat Libre d'Orange and Parfumerie Générale these days, but the American public was not yet broken in by the mammoth orientals of the early 1980s and may not have been ready for a scent as outgoing and passionate as Nahéma.

Even if you aren't normally a fan of rose fragrances, I hope you'll try Nahéma if you get the chance. Think of it as a "conceptual" rose. I don't think you'll find it a "granny" rose. Nahéma may not turn out not to be the perfume for you, but smelling it is like eating a perfectly ripe fig or sleeping in a 1930s bias-cut nightgown — something we should all do at least once if we're lucky enough to have the chance.

Note: image via Images de Parfums.

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101 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Or, as Jessica Rabbit famously put it :

    “I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.”

    What a lively, evocative review, Angela. I'll definitely take the earliest opportunity of smelling myself Marilynized. ;-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Spot on, Angela!

    I have the parfum, which I plan to wear to a formal wedding next month. I can't wait to wear it amidst all the other designer fragrances. I know that it will stand out and make a beautiful swirling statement.

    Did you know that Guerlain's Orchidee Imperiale cream contains the scent of Nahema? Too bad my facial skin has an allergic reaction to it. Or, maybe not, because that stuff is expensive!

    Hugs!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please do! It's its glamorous exaggeration that makes Nahema so wonderful, in my opinion.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You will smell MARVELOUS at that wedding!

    I didn't know that Orchidee Imperiale smells of Nahema. It sounds wonderful, but I'm always afraid that scented creams will clash with whatever else I'm wearing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Angela, I'm glad we share a love of Nahema. I'm not much of a rose fan in fragrance and only love (and wear) roses from the two ends of the spectrum: the thorny, earthy, uncompromising Frédéric Malle Une Rose and the lush, stained-glass, technicolor Nahéma. It's an exhilarating, larger than life scent, isn't it? Especially in the parfum.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You just named my two favorite roses! I've never tried the parfum, but the EdT is so full-bodied that the parfum must be practically solid with essence.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Nahema was my mother's signature scent, i love it and remember stealing her silk scarves that held the fragrance. it lingered in her bedroom, funny i never ever thought of it as strong. i found it warming and comforting, almost satisfying like a cup of hot strong spicy tea.

    i did wonder “what happened” to it, and also never heard of anyone else wearing it. gorgeous, feminine and unique. no one will have a clue what you are wearing! that is the benefit of a scent that did not “take off” in North America.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful scent to remember your mother by!

    I agree, having it not be popular is a real plus. Nahema is one of those rare scents that combines romantic and sexy really well without going too overboard in either direction.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I also adore Une Rose- it is a powerhouse- and intend to wear it to a wedding this weekend…

    Also, I have been wanting to try Nahema for AGES and think my luck may be coming up roses! Lovely review, Angela.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Une Rose & Nahema: my two rose perfumes. The Nahema extrait de parfum is absolutely marvellous! Please Angela, give it a try sometime.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Did you know it was Catherine Deneuves favourite Guerlain? If I remember correctly, she was in some adverts for it, whilst at the same time promoting her (now legendary) fragrance Deneuve.

    I never quite understood signature scents, but when I think of Nahema, I get the concept!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Une Rose is my top rose fragrance, too (though the completely different Ecume de Rose is a close second). Thank you for the review. I plan to try Nahema.

  13. Anonymous says:

    There's luck, and then there's luck you make! Nahema is wonderful, and I hope you like it.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I read somewhere that Jean Paul Guerlain created it with her in mind, but I'd always heard of Deneuve wearing L'Heure Bleue. I'm glad to hear she wore Nahema, too.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Rosine is so jam-packed with rose scents that it can almost be overwhelming, although Ecume de Rose is lovely. I like Poussiere de Rose, too.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I will definitely make a point of trying Nahema parfum, thanks for the encouragement.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Angela, your beautifully-written piece made me dash to the Guerlain counter at lunch to sprtiz some Nahema on!!! Tell me: I tried the edt, but they also carry the edp (not the parfum, unfortunately). Which do you prefer and/or what are the differences???

    I have both on hold because I love it SO much. I think we must be lucky here in Vancouver to buy at retail; I understand that it's a much harder scent to find in most places than the ubiquitous Shalimar, et al. . .Do you know if that's true, too?

    Thanks for a gorgeous column — and a new love!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I wish I had the chemistry to wear Nahema, but the peach note on my skin is so incredibly brash, fake and sour that it turns my stomach every time I've made the mistake of sampling it. Too bad – it's one of the only rose scents (and Guerlains) I don't get along with.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I assumed mine was the EdT, but I just checked the bottle, and it says it's the parfum de toilette. On the other hand, the Guerlain website says Nahema only comes in EdT and parfum now, so maybe the EdP is discontinued. *I* should ask *you* what the difference are since you're trying them both! What do you think?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Oh, that sounds horrible. At least you have some of the other Guerlains to turn to…

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ang, they only have a tester of the edt. It is quite big and rich, so I can just imagine how full-throttle the edp would be. I usually lean towards the latter as a rule of thumb.

    Is it easy to find in the States outside of big centers like Chicago and New York, would you know?

    If anyone has fallen in love with it thanks to Angela's mouth-watering review and would llke a sample, you can always swap with me: rrazzell on MUA! I'm happy to spread the wealth, cuz I owe it to Angela to have “discovered” it!

  22. Anonymous says:

    If you do get the EdP, please let me know what you think of it!

  23. Anonymous says:

    How intriguing. There are so many great Guerlains – every time I smell a new one, it becomes my favorite. Thanks for another terrific article.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Poussiere de Rose is my other fave by them, too!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Now I'm craving Poussiere. I've got to track down my decant….

  26. Anonymous says:

    This one seems un-Guerlain-ish in some ways, too, although it is sweet and warm like so many Guerlains. To me, it's different than many Guerlains in that it doesn't take itself very seriously.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Wow, girl, you can write! I used to make my living writing, but I am in awe of your prowess with words. What a description. I now have no choice but to give Nahema a try!

  28. Anonymous says:

    You are so nice! How come you still don't make your living writing?

    I hope you like–or at least appreciate in the abstract–Nahema.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Another Guerlain that needs to be tried. So far I just tried Mitsouko and liked it. Jardins de Bagatelle was another recent purchase for me and I like it too.

  30. Anonymous says:

    If you are new to Guerlain, but you liked Mitsouko right away, then you have an advanced nose. I know it took me a while to like Mitsouko. I always thought it was “interesting”, but it took a while until I–seemingly suddenly–liked it. Nahema should be a cinch!

    P.S. Make sure you try L'Heure Bleue, Vol de Nuit, and Shalimar, too, before too long.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I used to wear Champs______ ______ can't remember the spelling by Guerlain, as a signature But you know what I mean. I recently tried and wanted to love Chamade and have Nahema and L'Hueue Bleue on hold in decants; because Chamade has a note that is sour on me, and not the romantic floral I hoped. It broke my heart. But I am deeply in love with Cruel Gardenia, except for it's lightness and the horrible price tag. Well, I'm afraid of Nahema now. Should I be? I'm a woody floral or floral oriental girl. How would you describe it next to Chamade? Do you think I should just damn the devil?

    -Joy,

    Becca

  32. Anonymous says:

    off to find you!

  33. Anonymous says:

    I love your review of Nahema. It's a really wonderful scent and I think it's a shame it's not more widely loved or admired.

    It is like a 1930s nightgown but it also has it's dark side which must be what appeals to Shirley Manson from Garbage who is apparently devoted.

    I agree about Nahema probably having to watch her weight but I imagine she never watches how much she drinks and I don't think she is an early riser.

    I am not a pure parfum snob at all but I think the Nahema pure parfum is sublime. I also find it very comforting which must be the rose, although if there is no rose that doesn't work.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I like Nahema too but there is a weird, sharp, metallic, dusty opening blast every time I try it – or my two test mates try it, though my sucrose friend despatched that phase quite quickly. Does anyone else know what I am on about here, as it doesn't smell of any of the notes that are supposed to be in it? I wouldn't call it “sour” either, more metallic, like you get with some iris scents. Would love to solve this mystery.

    I wouldn't say I love Nahema for this reason, but I do love Une Rose, Ecume de Rose and most of all, Brulure de Rose by PG. And L'Air de Desert Marocain, if you could call that a rose. And L'Arte di Gucci, and Shanti Shanti, and Poussiere. And Une Folie de Rose, and Rose de Siwa, and oh dear I must stop now.

    Now here's an interesting discovery while we are on the subject of rose, and this could link back nicely to the notion of this scent working for Marilyn Monroe. For according to my friend's aromatherapy textbook, women who are drawn to rose have issues to do with feeling loved or desirable, or they may have reproductive problems. Rose apparently acts as a gentle anti-depressant. Well, all I can say is that I have bought 25-30 rose samples to try recently, so I must be looking for some major validation of my feminity here! You see, I used to view rose as an “old lady” / “scented drawer liner” scent, so this rose kick is totally out of character.

    This led me to look up all the other notes in perfumes I am very drawn to (which I won't trouble you with here in a rose thread), but they all correlated with physical and mental conditions I have, including some oddball ones like catarrh and Athlete's Foot (two of the least unsavoury I could mention). Could there be something in this ie that we unconsciously gravitate towards notes that may help an ailment or state of mind? I never looked into aromatherapy before, so it was interesting to see how perfumes could cross into this therapeutic territory in a much more specific way than I had previously thought (“smells nice, therefore I feel good about myself” being as far as I had reasoned before).

  35. Anonymous says:

    I haven't made many mistakes in my life – perfume-wise (by that, I mean most of the fragrances I've worn have been approved of by my nearest and dearest and my work colleagues, etc. when I was working in town): Nahéma was one big exception. People started recoiling from me in the lift (and I've always been a very light spritzer). I myself began to find it chokingly heady and sweet. I now hate it with a passion – almost as much as Amarige. Luckily, hardly anyone wears it these days.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I think you mean Champs D'Elysees–tricky spelling AND tricky to say.

    I don't think you need to be afraid of Nahema. Although it's powerful, it doesn't have that “perfumey” aura that some perfumes have. Chamade feels lighter and crisper, less fleshy and less fruity, compared to Nahema.

  37. Anonymous says:

    R, well there's another vote for the parfum. It must really be terrific.

    Whether there's real rose in it or not, the “idea” of the rose that comes out is plenty comforting.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting! I'll have to do some research to see what ailments my own perfume preferences link to.

    I don't know what sour, opening note you're smelling, unless its the hyacinth. I wonder if I don't get it because I have the PdT rather than the EdT?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Oh no! Well, if I recall correctly, ethereal white flowers like Tuberose Criminelle and Fleur d'Oranger are your favorites. Nahema is a whole different creature.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Well, there's hyacinth in Chamade and I don't get anything like this metallic dusty vibe there – it really is like sucking on powdered iron girders. Now, it doesn't spoil it overall, just knocks it off the top six spots or so for the award of favourite rose scent!

  41. Anonymous says:

    And I'm thumbing through samples to find Rosa Flamenca, another one I liked a lot and want to try again!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Powdered iron girders! Not good.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Sounds good!

  44. Anonymous says:

    You betcha… but, hey, it's only really civet and a few other rampantly oddball accords – cumin & heliotrope, “cold tobacco and marshmallow” (sic), “chocolate and Hoover dust” (not the official designation) – that are totally off limits for me. : – )

  45. Anonymous says:

    I like perfume since years ago and I am into it, yes. I liked Mitsouko for the whole mystery and the way it bloomed on my skin as the time went by… The reason why I am not so advanced when it comes to Guerlains parcticurarly is because I have tried Shalimar, I bought a whole bottle unsniffed (it was dirt cheap too) and I hated it. I rarely ever use the word “hate” because I always try to give each perfume a credit, but this is definitely a hate to me. Cheap, synthetic lemon and CVS smelling vanilla – nothing else. I decided to try it again, it was the same, horrible CVS-type perfume. Sorry fans, that's just me! I am sure to try L'Heure Bleue, Vol de Nuit and I am really hoping it will develop into something as unusual and beautiful the way Mitsouko did.

  46. Anonymous says:

    That's one thing I love about Guerlain's skin cremes, their scent is amazing!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Perfect quote!

    I love this scent, there is something dreamy and euphoric about it(at least to me anyway….)

  48. Anonymous says:

    Right before I wore Nahéma, I'd worn Mystère followed by Givenchy III, and right after I wore Coco followed by Mitsouko, so no 'ethereal white flowers' for me then. LOL! No, I found it much too 'perfumey' (we can discuss the meaning of that word). It was 'too much'.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Well, having thoroughly ingested the iron girders, I am now at my favourite stage of Nahema – faintly powdery floral, quite “euphoric” as SFLizbeth said earlier (can't scroll up to check!) and “dreamy”. No idea what notes I am smelling, but if this is an abstract rose, I like abstractions!

  50. Anonymous says:

    Yes! I know what you mean.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I'm looking forward to trying some.

  52. Anonymous says:

    I'm always surprised at how perfumes can smell so different on different skin–it sounds like Shalimar just doesn't work for you. Oh well, it just means that you have the luxury of trying that many more perfumes!

  53. Anonymous says:

    At least you know your parameters. Alas, I adore heliotrope and have come to love cumin, too…but that could be my note eating skin.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Nahema is no shrinking violet, that's for sure.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy! It should stick around for a while if it wears on your skin like it does on mine.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Haha – actually I am fine with both heliotrope and cumin when they turn up individually in a perfume, but in Lalique Le Parfum for example, they appear as an accord and very peculiar it is too.

  57. Anonymous says:

    That sounds disgusting. All I remember from a quick sniff of Le Parfum was a warm, ambery thing. The next time I smell it I will be on the lookout (or smell-out) for that bizarre combo.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Oh please do – there is one other reviewer who got assaulted by this funny accord too, and who makes specific and damning reference to it, but I can't for the life of me remember who it was now!

  59. Anonymous says:

    Perfumey. Perfect word. I know what you mean intrinsically. It sounds warmer and closer to the skin than Chamade. I am looking forwards to it.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Also my mother's signature scent. While it does not agree with my chemistry, I spritz a tester from time to time as you all know scent evokes memories.

  61. Anonymous says:

    It definitely does. I keep Youth Dew around for just that reason.

  62. Anonymous says:

    One drop of Nahema perfume is all that's needed because of its lasting power. To me, it evokes the bittersweet Victorian era.

    Catherine Deneuve was used in the ad for Chamade, but Jean-Paul Guerlain created Nahema for her. His inspiration was a movie that she starred in called “Benjamin: Diary of An Innocent Boy”. She was clothed in white in one scene and strewn with rose petals. The creator of Nahema thought she was one of the world's most beautiful women. Jean-Paul sought to recreate Ravel's Bolero in this fragrance. It took four years and over 500 hundred tests. Interestingly, Nahema and Mitsouko have only ten major ingredients.

    It's spelled Champs-Elysees and I wish I knew how to type in the accents!

  63. Anonymous says:

    And in my case a very elderly bottle of Opium – it has probably long gone off, but smells pretty okay actually – not wearable maybe, but evocative without inducing recoil!

  64. Anonymous says:

    It took me now several tries to get to Mitsouko, and I like it for beeing harsh and audacious with the bergamotte (I love bergamotte, I am addicted to Eal Grey tee). L'Heure Bleue I liked straight away, could not afford it and I am not sure if it is something I want to wear, but rather something I want to know/have like a collector. With your description of Nahéma you blow me right away, I need exactyl that feeling right now! I

  65. Anonymous says:

    C, thank you for the background information. What a lovely story. I read about the comparisons between Bolero and Nahema, but I couldn't understand the relationship between rhythm and scent, so I didn't mention it (lest I show my ignorance).

  66. Anonymous says:

    Opium brings back memories for me, too.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I hope you do get the chance to smell Nahema. I really like having L'Heure Bleue around, too.

  68. Anonymous says:

    PBI. Catherine Deneuve was used in the ad for Chamade because she starred in the film La Chamade, which was based on Françoise Sagan's novel of the same name, and the perfume had been created in honour of that book.

  69. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like Guerlain was inspired by books and movies–and Deneuve.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Indeed it does.

    Catherine Deneuve has been a 'star' for a very long time. I've never understood why: she couldn't act herself out of a paper bag (every line she says sounds 'false'). Now, her sister – Françoise Dorléac – was a very good actress, but she died young in a car crash, and, lo and behold, her little sister takes over. She's quite decorative, I suppose, if you like fake blondes with hard faces. LOL!

  71. Anonymous says:

    It's at home and I'm at work! Will report back later, Angela! xo

  72. Anonymous says:

    Am looking forward to it.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Dorleac's name doesn't sound familiar to me at all. I bet her movies are hard to find in the U.S., but I'll have to look out for them. I'd love to see what Deneuve's sister looked like.

  74. Anonymous says:

    They were together in Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.

    Here you are: lots of pics of FD. http://images.google.fr/images?hl=fr&q=francoise+dorleac&gbv=2

  75. Anonymous says:

    Thank you!

  76. Anonymous says:

    Here I am again! Mmmm. the edp is duskier, warmer, a little more smolder-y. I'm even more in love. You know, I can really understand how Nahema was far ahead of its time for the American market. It's perfect for 2008 niche sensibilities, however. Hmmm: I wonder if SSS Vintage Rose was based in any way on the Nahema vibe? If the name is a clue, the parallels — smoky, sultry, edgy, dark-rosy — support the theory!!

    P.S. Picked up a bottle of Guerlain AA Figue-Iris while I was at the store. What a gorgeous morning wake-up scent for autumn!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm just blasting through it. . .

  77. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, the EdP sounds marvelous! I'm glad you like it. I haven't tried the figue-iris, but with a name like that, who could resist?

  78. Anonymous says:

    I can announce a love affair with Nahema since Christmas Day 1980 when my (then) Fiance gave me the gorgeous Eau de Parfum spray in it's refillable,enamelled Firebird casing.

    Prior to our wedding day in 1982,he gave me the Parfum in it's beatiful stopper bottle,encased in a black,gold and fuschia presentation box.I wore it on the day and have been in love with it ever since.

    I adore many perfumes,but none of my other favourites gives me that frisson of excitement like Nahema.I love the fact no one has ever heard of it or smelled it before,the only other fragrance I have worn that had that effect was Lancomes Magie Noire.

    When I first apply it,I know I'm going to have to wait for the 'hit'.On me at least,it's very mundane and almost chemical on it's initial release from the bottle.But within seconds of dispersing on the skin,the whole cacophony of outrageous notes kicks off!

    I don't even care that most women would hate it…..what do they know?

    There has been much talk of 1930's silk nightgowns.I wholeheartedly approve.A liberal spray of this quixotic fragrance makes me feel like Daisy Buchanan ( Jay Gatsby's love interest in F.Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby')

    Basically,if this scent was ever discontinued,I'd have to trawl the ends of the earth buying up all the stock.

    It defines me………

    xx

  79. Anonymous says:

    Well, if that isn't an ode to Nahema then nothing is! It sounds like you've found the perfume for you, and that's wonderful. I hope they never discontinue it.

  80. Anonymous says:

    OMG! Guess what I brought home from my citytrip today! Okay, I asked at the counter and the rep had perfume (!) only – hidden in some secret drawer. He sprayed Nahema on the right arm, L'Heure Bleue which I still crave for, on the left. I took Nahema, but I waited only quarter an hour? I should have known it better. The dry down gets sweet for a while and it is really not my kind because I am a musk one and not an vanilla one, but then – now 4 hours later! the rose strikes back again in a flattering, easy and lovely way.

    The scent is not! decent, but it is the best roses scent I ever tried, a scent you hardly can fall in love with the first sniff.

    I got a bit of headache from it later, but I think because of the concentration, it was a very generous spray of the extrait.

    I bought only a refill EdP (the extrait costs 250 Euro) but I am not sure if I keep it?

    It is really special and I have been looking for a rose scent that smells elegant on me. Wonder if one can fall in love with a perfume while using it?

  81. Anonymous says:

    You are lucky to have smelled the extrait!

    If it turns out that Nahema isn't the right rose for you, there are lots of others out there, that's for sure. I know that there have been a few perfumes–Vol de Nuit is one of them–that I liked but then fell in love with. Maybe Nahema will be that way, or maybe not. Good luck either way!

  82. Anonymous says:

    vanessa, your post hit very close to home! your reference to L'Arte di Gucci (an HG) and rose scents related to love, sadness & reproductive issues gave me goosebumps. i recently underwent serious surgery for said “issues” and have noticed over the past couple of months (even before the surgey) an inexplicable craving for rose scents. i never disliked rose (loved rose-y green chypres) but my recent & overwhelming CRAVING for rose puzzled me. i love it, want to be covered in it. i have had some issues with feeling loved/ loveable/ desired. the gentle way you wrote it made me tear up.

    thank you for writing that, vanessa, i will embrace my (new) love of all things rose with a feeling of comfort and perhaps, self love.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I am v happy that this aromatherapy theory struck a chord with you, and that you also find comfort in rose scents in relation to similar issues. My rose craving seems to know no bounds yet – am just back from a sniffing rampage in London (seven department stores plus Les Senteurs!!) and tried out several more of the Rosines line (eg Rose d'Amour and Rose Kashmirie), Rose Alexandrie from the Armani Prive Collection, also the new Ralph Lauren Love, several Bond No 9s with rose, Rose Absolue by Annick Goutal, plus about half a dozen rose-themed Rances, MPGs and Parfum d'Empires which are something of a blur to me now. Oh and there was L'Artisan Voleur de Roses and J-C Brousseau Ombre Rose in there somewhere. I will own a full bottle of a rose scent very soon, but such is the seriousness of the quest due to my emotional investment in this particular note, that I am putting in huge amounts of legwork into the screening process. I must have tested upwards of 40 rose perfumes now, but I think I am closing for the kill! In parallel, I have started to wear bright coral pinks more now, and rose scents seem to complement my outfits. All the best to you and we will carry on cocooning ourselves in rose perfumes!

  84. Anonymous says:

    Françoise Dorléac was not featured in “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg”: the photos from Google Image were largely taken from “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort” (1967)–it too was directed by Jacques Demy with music by Michel Legrand. “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort” was made three years after “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg” but it wasn't a hit though Gene Kelly was in it, too.

  85. Anonymous says:

    I love it that you know so much about these films! Now I'm eager to see les Demoiselles de Rochefort, and I'm going to look for it.

  86. Anonymous says:

    You are right: I meant 'Les Demoiselles de Rochefort'. Thanks for the correction.

    Since I was never that keen on either film, I expect I didn't commit all the facts to memory. LOL!

  87. Anonymous says:

    Now I am really wanting Nahema and I have never smelled it. It seems to be just the thing when I want to make an impact without having to resort to fragrances of the oriental genre. I simply must have a rose that is neither watery nor powdery. Slightly spicy will be great. Argh. . I simply have to get my hands on it but will probably have to wait till I go on my next fragrance pilgrimage!

    Oh, and thanks for letting us know that the Orchidee Imperiale creams smell of Nahema – I have a couple of samples of the creams at home so I guess they are the closest I can get to sniffing the real thing for now. LOL

  88. Anonymous says:

    Amouage Lyric is another nice rose–but rose/incense/sandalwood.

    I know what you mean about wanting fragrances you haven't even smelled!

  89. mals86 says:

    I just picked up a 2ml mini parfum of Nahema on ebay… probably not kept in the greatest of shape, but for $10.50? I’ll risk it. This sounds soooo beautiful. And I seem to like most of your picks, Angela – I think the only place we disagreed was on No. 22, which I found syrupy sweet on me. (sad face… wanted to love it.)

    • Angela says:

      A scent twin–nice! In the end, No. 22 I liked mostly for nostalgic reasons. I eventually swapped my bottle of No. 22 for–are you ready?–a bottle of Nahema.

  90. Jared says:

    Hey Nahema fans, I was at the Guerlain boutique in San Francisco a few days ago and was told by the reps there that this fragrance is being discontinued due to the difficulty and cost in obtaining the ingredients, so buy up now!

    • Angela says:

      Oh no! Not this, too!

  91. livadia99 says:

    Hey Angela, great review as usual. Maybe because we tend to enjoy the same scents. The one I had been using for the first three months of this year was Chanel No. 22! Then a male friend came back from Paris with Nahema EDP for me! I think it is very ‘me’ and I even wear it to work (in discreet amounts). It is comforting during cool, rainy days and yet, remains very much a floral to my nose.

    To my horror, I have been hearing that this gem of a perfume is going to be discontinued, so I stocked up enough for 2 years of daily usage lol. I even got a friend to bring me the Extrait. By the way, check out the all new Guerlain website. I think the English version is still under construction but the French one is working fine. They still feature Nahema (in Extrait and EDP) so I guess it is still going to be around for some time.

    • Angela says:

      I sure hope it’s going to be around, although I’ve been hearing all the same rumors you have, it seems. I’m glad you’re enjoying Nahema. Maybe I’ll wear some to bed tonight!

  92. asuperlongusername says:

    I posted about Nahema somewhere. (Actually, it might have been on the Charlie post.) My mother used to wear this back when I was in, say second grade. I don’t remember her smelling of it, but I remember the gold bottle.

    Anyways, I just got a sample of it in a swap/purchase/thing (My first ever! I’m so happy! =P) and man, I do love it! I kind of remember it, but I still can’t remember it on my mother. It’s so smooth and it has this weird duality to it. It has the powdery, silky rose on top of a base that frankly reminds me of My Sin. It’s heaven. I do think the powder is a bit much but the overall effect is stunning.

    A little funny story: My dad used to buy my mother a bottle of Nahema every time he went to Paris. He went to Paris at least four times a year. She had up to 10 bottles at one point. And when they started to go bad, she had to throw them out. My dad got mad, though, when she did. I just thought that was a cute little Nahema tidbit. But there isn’t any happy ending. I’m pretty sure he never bought her perfume again. Actually, decades (decade, really. I’m quite young still! =P) later, she can’t even stand the smell. She wears one of the Ralph Rocks flankers now.

    • asuperlongusername says:

      That was such a chipper post in the beginning….

    • Angela says:

      I weep to think of all that Nahema thrown away! But still, a great story. Thanks!

  93. lornaw says:

    discontinued , i dont think so given that they were still selling it 8 weeks ago when i went to guerlain for yet another bottle of mitsouko. I like nahema but am very allergic to it my mum wears it and everone loves and comments on it

    • Angela says:

      Too bad you’re allergic! At least you get to smell it on your mother.

  94. marilyajae says:

    A Turkish friend in Berlin introduced me to this, back when the container was still edgy and not retro-polka-dotted, but I just now FINALLY bought some and wowowowow. My husband says it reminds him of Aden, Yemen. And since I OWN a 1930s bias-cut silk vintage floor length peach-colored nightgown and have always thought Deneuve was the embodiment of sexy, I think I have a new favorite fragrance. But Samsara, Royal Secret, and Dolce and Gabbana’s Light Blue still make my heart race, too, depending on the season and the occasion! Love this blog!

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like Nahema was made for you! I’m so glad you found it, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog!

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