Guerlain La Petit Robe Noire ~ new fragrance

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire perfumeComing next month from Guerlain: La Petite Robe Noire, a new fruity gourmand perfume for women inspired by the wardrobe basic "the little black dress".

The notes include Sicilian lemon, licorice, almond, rose, smoky tea, musk and vanilla.

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire will be sold exclusively in Guerlain boutiques; 100€, size and concentration unknown. (via,

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy


Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. Anonymous says:

    This actually sounds interesting, in particular the licorice with smokey tea.I don't think there is a Guerlain boutique in SF, so will have to some research to find it!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Isnt' there a Guerlain boutique inside the NM in San Fran though? I'm guessing it will be at in-store boutiques as well, like Bergdorf Goodman in NY. Worth a call!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well alrighty, then!

    So far the price is fairly low for a new Guerlain, the marketing appears professional, the notes sound intriguing, and the bottle is classic (but I could do without the little black dress on it!).

    So far…so good!


  4. Anonymous says:

    Huh…The little black dress? How is this referencing the Guerlain heritage? (Getting into Chanel marketing territory–yet again.) I've been noticing Guerlain taking ideas from other brands (L'Art et la Matiere packaging is an obvious nod to Serge Lutens) by never this quite outright IMHO.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds very interesting!!! Love the notes too!

  6. Anonymous says:

    The idea of the little black dress should be timeless. Fruity gourmand: not so.

  7. Anonymous says:

    That's correct, I believe. One of the most loyal “Guerlain Zombies” (as a GZ myself, I feel comfortable using the term) over on Basenotes shops there and says many nice things about the boutique and its SAs.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I don't know, R, this one is appealing to you more than me. We do agree on that black dress — I like the graphic, but it doesn't go well w/ the bottle.

  9. Anonymous says:

    There is something random about this release — esp. following those Elixirs Charnels things. Like they're just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks…from where I sit, there doesn't seem to be any coherent strategy at the moment.

  10. Anonymous says:

    there is some book cover with a little dress… and it's a white dress, but it reminds me of that bottle
    I love licorice and smoky tea

  11. Anonymous says:

    I would love the notes w/o the “fruity gourmand” part — which leads me to believe there's more than is listed here.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Is it just me or did Guerlain just scoop up a name that would have been perfect for a new Chanel perfume instead?

    Execs at Chanel going:” Duh! why didn't we think of that name first?

  13. Anonymous says:

    notes sound good- fruity gourmand sounds bad….

  14. Anonymous says:

    I could have sworn there was a product called “Little Black Dress” and sure enough, my research tells me that Avon put it out in 2001! I guess by using French for the name, it doesn't infringe on any copyrights. As for the “invention” of the black dress which has become a classic, I think this is now in the public domain. Most designers put them out and black is worn ubiquitously outside of funerals.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think you're right! Have to make a “research” trip…. :)

  16. Anonymous says:

    My problem is that the little black dress looks like a little black nightie. Maybe it should be called Le Petite Negligee Noir?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Negligee?! That is funny! What about just plain Chemise de nuit; less sexy, like the print on the bottle. I agree with what's been said, the notes sound very intriguing, but the fruity part doesn't sit…hopefully there aren't hidden, annoying berries in the mix….

  18. Anonymous says:


  19. Anonymous says:

    Licorice & smoky tea sounds perfect to me too…hope this will not be too fruity.

  20. Anonymous says:

    LOL — I suppose they ought to have done it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The notes really do sound like an excellent combination. However, the bottle and name are even more embarrassing for me to admit hankering after than “Feminité du Bois.”

  22. Anonymous says:

    Well I was posting my comment while comforting myself with my Bois et Fruits sample, so maybe I totally lost my mind:)) I am just excited to hear that Guerlain is launching a new fragrance, and I like the idea. You guys are right, the idea of a 'lil black dress should be timeless and elegant not fruity gourmand.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I'm a girl and I don't want a perfume called La Petite Robe Noire

    And the dress on the bottle looks like something Courtney Love would have worn in her Hole days

    I love the Mitsuoko/L'Heure Bleue bottle, and I like the fadeout/ombre-ness, but for some reason it has Courtney Love's old dress on it?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hmm – not sure about the licorice myself, but I would give it a spin, certainly!

  25. Anonymous says:

    The notes sound a bit like Caron's Eau de Reglisse.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Yes, the SF NM Guerlain ladies are fantastic, imho. I was there once nearly two years ago and they still call and email me with news about specials and events. If only the Tysons NM could manage half as much good customer attention!

    Of course, thanks to this announcement, I now have a new full-blown lemming. Is there a cure for Guerlain Zombification? :)

  27. Anonymous says:

    I agree. Their Eau de Lit was another random direction, but I thought it worked quite well as a riff on Camomile. I like the Guerlain interpretations of herbs, and I look forward to trying this new darker take on anise.

  28. Anonymous says:

    why, oh why is it that everything that I really want to smell is not available in my area? I love licorice scents and almost all of the guerlains so I really want this one. I will get my hands on it somehow I am sure!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I say wear it proudly! It is a fab fragrance and would work just as well on a man as a woman. I certainly don't let the whole gender thing get in my way. I were Etat Libre's I am a Man and love it. As I often get compliments on this scent, I have to give out it's name often and have become immune to the sniggers. Hey, they said it smelled fab before they knew it was for a man so who cares.

  30. Anonymous says:

    There is a reason that the black jelly beans are the last to be eaten. . .and it's not that everyone leaves them to enjoy them last. Not my cup of smokey rose tea.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I hope it's a “darker take”.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hey — you're allowed to love the notes! Ignore our kvetching :-)

  33. Anonymous says:

    Occurs to me now that I'll probably never try it (skipped the Elixirs Charnels altogether) so unless someone tells me it's fab, what do I care ;-)

  34. Anonymous says:

    Good for Avon then — wonder what the bottle looked like?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Pardon My French… (pun intended) but this sounds like a Disaster waiting to happen! Lemon, Licorice, Tea and VANILLA!?!? and Smoky Tea at that… Um… No thanks! Licorice can be very well blended into fragrances if it isn't accented by things that simply don't go with it, and Lemon and Vanilla, Fine together, but with TEA AND LICORICE? UGH! Gag-a-riffic! Very Unexpected from a house such as Guerlain!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Hey, so it does!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Joe, it will be hard to pass it off as unisex…

  38. Anonymous says:

    I liked that one sort of. Wished it had more “kick” — might need to give it another shot though. It's somewhere in the bottom of the purgatory basket at the moment.

  39. Anonymous says:

    It isn't available near me either, and I probably won't get my hands on it at all.

  40. Anonymous says:

    LOL — but they're one of the few jelly bean flavors I like! Not a fan of jelly beans anyway, but love licorice, esp. that chewy Australian licorice stuff they have at Dean & Deluca. Yum.

  41. Anonymous says:

    One of my favorite teas is a licorice green tea from Mariage Freres…if they capture that, I'll be happy!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Umm…wouldn't the name be a little too obvious for Chanel IMHO? For instance, if my memory serves me well a Chanel No. 5 spokesperson has never been featured in an ad fanning, say, five figures even though I'm sure that how some American GIs bought the fragrance for their sweethearts. (That's certainly how my dad got my mom her parfums when he was abroad.)

    In fact, there aren't fragrances like “Chanel Homme”, “Chanel Femme” or “Chanel Camellia” in circulation. Even “Ivoire” or “Jasmine” are discontinued. Such is the paradox if you think about the name: it has to have an obvious connection to Coco (even “Allure” was a subtle not to “L'Allure de Chanel”, Dr. Paul Morand's memoir of Coco), not largely associated with another fragrance (Paul Smith had a “Chance” but obviously Chanel gotten around that), understood by its target audience, yet not too obvious. (Karl gets bored easily, remember?)

    Just my two cents.

  43. Anonymous says:

    BTW just to round out my argument: according to Jacques Polge “Coco” had other connections aside from being Mademoiselle's sobriequet: cocaine, socialism (nicknamed 'coco' in France). And to my ears 'Coco' almost sounds like “cocotte”…

  44. Anonymous says:

    Oh, it is so beautiful, I guess it will never come around to germany:-( But I do not like almond nor vanilla, maybe it would be a disappointment anyway.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Given Guerlain's recent track record I can't say I'll be rushing to the nearest Guerlain boutique. Think I will adopt a 'wait and see what everyone else says first' policy. I hate to be negative about a fragrance house I admire above all others, but post LVMH, I think the house is in slow decline. Overproduction, anxious pandering to trends, dispensing with Mathilde Laurent…the auspices are bad.

    I don't like that tampering with the classic military bottle either. And I agree with the poster who said that 'little black dress' would be too obvious for Chanel. It's FAR TOO obvious and patronising for Guerlain also. 'Guerlain' and 'cutesy' should never form part of the same sentence.

    That said, I am profoundly pessimistic by nature (which is why Apres l'Ondee and l'Heure Bleue appeal to me, I guess :)) I'd like to be wrong about this, but I have a bad feeling in my water…

  46. Anonymous says:

    well yes, the black dress is chanel and yes, after the latest frags from guerlain there is nothing to expect, all of them went down the trendy-road. still, a scent with lil' black dress in the name appelas to me as a lover of little black dresses. and there you got it: cute (like a lil black dress) and guerlain? no.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps. But do you suppose KL has much to do w/ the fragrance line at Chanel? I always rather assumed he did not.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Is there no Chanel boutique in Germany?

  49. Anonymous says:

    My job requires me to speak quite a few foreign languages during the day, sometimes simultaneously. As a result, I sometimes read a headline or an article and remember what was written but not the language it was written in!

    Now scanning the title I wondered why this elegant portal of all portals of fine fragrance choose to review an old Avon fragrance – until I realised the name of the fragrance is in French!

    We do have a Guerlain Institut de Beaute in Prague so I'll definitely pay a visit and try it, although I am not a guerlain fan, I still don't get Shalimar, and L'Instant is just plain vanilla to me, miles lower than Hypnotic Poison. But a new fragrance must be tried.

    Can't figure out what are rose and licorice notes – especially licorice – doing there, hmmm …

  50. Anonymous says:

    Elinoraddict, I don't understand what Guerlain is up to. I dont' mind the modern ranges — I like the Aqua Allegorias & the Art et Matiere line is nice. And if they wanted to have a new, cutesy range, I'd forgive that too because I want them to stay in business. But I don't get these seemingly random releases that don't relate to anything else.

  51. Anonymous says:

    you mean guerlain? no, there is a big counter in hamburg at the alsterhaus, a department store similar to neimannmarcus or bergdorfgoodman but with “cheaper” products. they do not have so much, was glad they had a small purse size of L'HeureBleue (though I did not buy it) – they had just one!

  52. Anonymous says:

    And I'm the one always picking out the licorice jelly beans!

  53. Anonymous says:

    I'll have to wait until my cold goes away. I've caught what's currently circulating, can't smell or taste. ick.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I agree. I suppose the market has a winnowing effect, and it's easy to forget the earlier releases in the Guerlain line, from the beginning of the house's extistence, that didn't make it to 'classic' status. Also there is a danger of viewing the great history of Guerlain with too much nostalgia and reverence. But it pains me to see a house with towering masterpieces like Mitsouko and Shalimar to its name descending into fruity-floral territory.

    The vanilla-licquorice notes mentioned make me think of Lolita Lempicka. No Guerlain boutique in my country but I'm planning my first trip to Paris for ten years this Spring and am looking forward to browsing the Champs-Elysees store.

  55. Anonymous says:

    It was funny reading this last night — a coworker just brought a bag of that stuff back from an Australian vacation. Licorice isn't my favorite candy, but it's great stuff once in awhile. I'm about to eat a chew in your honor.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Totally agree about the “too much nostalgia and reverence”. I really don't care what they put out — they can do all the fruity floral crap they want — I just want there to be some coherence.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Well, I'd put L'Instant miles below Hypnotic Poison too, probably…

  58. Anonymous says:

    If it's like what I had at D&D, I'm jealous! Have tried other “Australian licorice” things from Trader Joes, but they weren't the same.

  59. Anonymous says:

    I agree that putting the dress on the bottle is somehow not in keeping with a prestige line. Laurier-Reglisse has licorice. It will be interesting to compare them. Since I love Lolita Lempicka, I look forward to trying this new offering. But why oh why do they keep putting new fragrances in the same old bottle? Is it to hark back to their heritage? I know it costs a fortune to get a new design, but please, please make a new bottle!

  60. Anonymous says:

    Not with the formulation & the ultimate decision…but Chanel has learnt not to piss him off with some of the things or this can happen:

    BTW he can suggest or advice things when necessary, thought he prefers not getting involved normally. (He did, for instance, asked for the cologne.)

  61. Anonymous says:

    I hope this isn't a repeat post. I tried to post a while ago and I don't think it worked.

    I will be optimistic, or at least I will try. The notes sound very interesting, although the description (fruity gourmand?!) does not. The bottle is pretty, but the dress and name are silly. The Art et Matiere line had some lovely scents, but the Elixir Charnels? Well, overpriced for what they are and the marketing/ad copy is completely snark-worthy. Glass half-full or half-empty these days?

    So, the great house of Guerlain may or may not put out an interesting fragrance. I hope that they are listening to us (for WE are their base) and not just blowing with the winds of the latest trends.

  62. Anonymous says:

    A fruity gourmand with a dorky black dress sillouette? Ugh. I won't wear the dress or the perfume. There!
    Wiping away a little teardrop for the memory of a Guerlain with substance…

  63. Anonymous says:

    Duh — yes, I did mean Guerlain, sorry!

  64. Anonymous says:

    It's instantly recognizable as Guerlain, and as “prestige”, I guess!

  65. Anonymous says:

    Not a repeat!

    Not sure we are their base…guessing they aren't really marketing to the “perfumista” community or whatever you want to call it.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Will be interesting to see what else they release this year — I assume we'll see plenty of stuff in general distribution, which this one isn't.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I hope it's OK that I am taking this discussion among your readers as a point of departure (linking back to your page) for my own analysis and criticism.

    I found all the comments quite interesting!

  68. Anonymous says:

    Sure, why not?

  69. Anonymous says:

    I know. Being facetious. So sad….

  70. Anonymous says:

    Sorry then for taking it seriously, LOL…sometimes it's hard to get “kidding” online!

  71. Anonymous says:

    Just out of curiosity… How many frags from Guerlain (including reissues) have hit the market since 1999?

    I am counting 62 including LPRN.

    That seem like a lot, no?

  72. Anonymous says:

    Wow, 62 is a lot. I'll have to take your word for it, I've never tried to count them. But bet YSL would beat them…they do the most amazing number of flankers.

  73. Anonymous says:

    All This L'Instant Bashing is totally Biased i think. Hypnotic Poison Better than L'Instant???????? ARE WE SERIOUS? Hypnotic Poison is a Delicious Fragrance but it isn't even in the same STRATOSPHERE as L'Instant! I think you may not be smelling it properly or something because I find (as many of those whom smell it on my Mom, whom owns it) find it Intoxicatingly Beautiful and I think it the last GREAT Guerlain Fragrance. It is sad that i have heard nothing but Derision and scorn for such a truly lovely fragrance. I know taste and Smell are Subjective… but i would auger that those who find it so distateful should give it another whiff… it is neither fruity nor reeking of pink peppercorn or or apple or strawberry or anything of an Oceanic or Ozonic Nature! it is a truly LOVELY Floral with a Vanilla like infusion in the base… A Masterpiece, I Feel!

  74. Anonymous says:

    Two people saying they prefer another scent to L'Instant hardly qualifies as derision & scorn. I find L'Instant pretty but overly sweet, and generally not as interesting as Hypnotic Poison (although granted, HP is also overly sweet). That you find L'Instant intoxicatingly beautiful is fine — we just don't agree. It would be silly of me to suggest that our disagreement was because you were biased or not smelling HP properly, wouldn't it?

  75. Anonymous says:

    Passion sometimes makes me a dithering idiot! And i have heard a bit of trash being talked about L'Instant… but difference is what makes the world go round and forgive me for the foot i politely stuck in my mouth getting so florid! :-) I will try to reign myself in from now on… i don't mean to sound foolish, just i get very impassioned sometimes.. perfume does that to me! :-)

  76. Anonymous says:

    No worries, we all get impassioned at times :-)

Leave a reply