Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie ~ new perfume

Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie

Guerlain has launched Les Secrets de Sophie, a new perfume by Jean-Paul Guerlain presented in three limited edition bottles by French jewelry designer Sophie Levy. Les Secrets Noirs de Sophie (shown above) has accents in black, Les Secrets Poudres de Sophie in pink, and Les Secrets Nacres de Sophie, in white.

For this trio, an Eau de Parfum was specially composed by Jean-Paul Guerlain. It is a bold yet delicate floral composition that gives way to the freshness of bitter orange, bergamot and petite grain. The citrus sparkles as flowery neroli sets the tone, giving way to the middle notes of sultry white flowers: ylang-ylang, jasmine and orange blossom. Violets add a subtle nuance to this opulence with their sweetness. This middle chord, with its treasured femininity, gives the fragrance its personality. Like a delicate bracelet wrapped around a woman's wrist, the floral scent stays on the skin all day long as oriental notes of vanilla and tonka bean add a warmer dimension. White musks lend sweetness, while dry, distinguished incense adds mystery.

Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie is available at Neiman Marcus, $420 for 60 ml Eau de Parfum. (via neimanmarcus)

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  1. pyramus says:

    Four hundred and twenty dollars.

    For two ounces of eau de parfum.

    Holy cow. Is this what it’s coming to? Even if $100 is the new free, that’s a LOT of money. You can get four Serge Lutenses for that.

    • Robin says:

      You’re paying for the bottle, basically, and the exclusivity, and the Jean Paul Guerlain name (assuming you believe he developed it).

  2. CynthiaW says:

    I don’t know why, because LEs and exclusive bottles are nothing new, but this is actually infuriating. I’m ready to write off Guerlain and their stupid exclusives and their crappy mainstream releases.

    • Robin says:

      I’m mostly ignoring the Guerlain LEs already.

  3. Lalalalalalalalla I don’t see this! I don’t see this!

    I absolutely cannot smell this no matter what. Because if I like it, I can’t afford it! That’s crazy pricing!

    • Robin says:

      Move on, nothing to see here.

  4. SmokeyToes says:

    The last time I went on a scent trip to NM, I smelled the Les Secrets Noirs de Sophie, I was not bowled over…. and then the price tag. Really not worth the 400 dollars and the bottle was meh.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, good to know!

    • Daisy says:

      Thanks Smokeytoes…..just looking at the picture I heaved a sigh….then I saw the price! I like the bottle with black accents, I think it’s very classy ..the price came as a shock! Glad to hear I shouldn’t worry about getting a sniff of this one. (you saved me!)

      • miss kitty v. says:

        Besides, you need to direct your funds to HAVANA VANILLE!!!

        • Robin says:

          LOL…thanks for the PSA!

        • Daisy says:

          pssst! Kitty—I already ordered the Havana Vanille….that’s why my piggy bank is in intensive care on life support! Poor little devil just couldn’t take it anymore….collapsed with a piteous little oink.

          • CynthiaW says:

            Plus, the Chanel, plus two Guerlains…. I think that your wallet might be beyond help at this point.

            (yes, yes, this is the pot calling the kettle black)

          • norjunma1 says:

            We’re prayin’ for the little guy!

          • AnnS says:

            piteous oink? Oh Daisy. How you make me laugh…

          • mals86 says:

            Is the HV up for split, or are you keepin’ it all?

    • lovethescents says:

      Smokeytoes, I have a sample that I decanted from the Spa de Guerlain. I agree, it’s nothing spectacular. It is pretty, very feminine, nice sillage and excellent longevity, but is rather familiar… in been there, done that. Also doesn’t have any Guerlinade-i-ness we looooove.

  5. Quarry says:

    Virtually all citizens of the industrialized world may visit museums to view original art or borrow books from the library that show masterpieces beautifully reproduced. We may turn on a radio and experience an extraordinary breadth of music. But the artistry that is perfume is so meagerly doled out to those who do not reside in the upper class. I know it’s because this liquid art is actually consumed, but it seems such a shame, this elitism.

    • lilydale aka Natalie says:

      B-b-but… what about those “If you like Giorgio, you’ll LOVE Porgio” dupes at the drugstore? Just kidding, of course…

      Yeah, I wish the stuff were cheaper too, but it’s the same problem with any product with artistic aspirations — wine, food, haute couture… Luckily, however, it seems that a few perfume houses are getting the message about smaller bottles so us hoi polloi can afford at least a whiff of greatness.

    • Suzanne941 says:

      Only a theory, but I think they’re here to make money, not to make friends.
      Must be Christmas time!

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know that I agree entirely, if only because most of the really super-spendy fragrances I’ve smelled did not strike me as masterpieces at all. It seems quite the opposite to me: that if you manage to strike the right note (pardon the pun) of exclusivity, you can get people to pay amazing prices for fairly ordinary stuff.

      It is true, however, that finding real beauty under $100 is getting harder, and not everyone can shell out the $100.

      • CynthiaW says:

        Which is why I adore my bottle of $9.99 Tocade – even though they didn’t mean it to cost $9.99 to start with.

        • Daisy says:

          Yup! That Slut Tocade is the best cheap thrill I’ve come across ever! Although you lucked out at $9.99 that was just awesome!

          • norjunma1 says:

            I’m wearing some of that tarty goodness right now.

          • boojum says:

            You know, this is where you ought to…talk to me. I see it at that price fairly frequently. Sadly for me, it’s not one I care for.

    • bergere says:

      Especially since, in this case, the perfumer’s artistry is only available to those who can shell out for the fancy packaging and other non-perfume aspects of the purchase. I can see paying a lot for a beautifully-created perfume made from the best ingredients; maybe only wealthier folks can afford even that, but when it’s not clear that the cost is primarily for the perfume. . ..

    • ami says:

      absolutely agree. i was pondering the other day how could this ever be possible logistically to open a scent library. let me know if there is a best practice for it already :D

  6. AnnS says:

    Even if it is pretty…. I feel sorry for Guerlain. They don’t know how to maintain their gorgeous traditional fragrances, and then they market the meh AA’s and then this…

    I’m going to spend my funds hunting down older bottles of Mitsouko, Chamade & Nahema, and then save my big money for an uncontestably gorgeous bottle of Amouage Lyric Woman. Now that’s a bottle worth a few hundred $$$! Or maybe even some FM Noir Epices…. again- worth it. At least you know you are paying for quality and the product of a genius perfumer.

    • Robin says:

      I don’t mind the Aqua Allegorias…that’s ok with me, to do a lower-priced, simpler line, and sometimes they’re pretty good (although not the last set, admittedly). And I thought they were on to something with the Art et Matiere line. But since then, they seem to be just doing random LE things that aren’t all that wonderful, combined with mainstream things that aren’t as good as they could be. Not sure that’s a winning combination.

      • GalileosDaughter says:

        My thoughts exactly. The AAs–well they state what they are upfront. Some are quite nice.

        Although I think La Petite Robe Noire was, to mangle your phrase, as dreadful as it could be!

        Someone on another board once said, “Guerlain is dead to me.” At the time I thought it was a little extreme, but now, I’m sorry to say I’m coming around to that point of view.

        • Robin says:

          You know, I thought La Petite Robe Noire was kind of fun…but that isn’t how it was presented or priced. For a limited distribution scent at the price, it wasn’t fun, just silly. “Guerlain is dead to me”…well, I don’t know. I think my feelings about Guerlain have been different from most perfumistas for quite some time now. I don’t think they’re dead, and they’re still as good as many other mainstream perfume houses. But they’re not the motherlode, as it were, and they haven’t been for a very long time, so I don’t entirely understand the reverence in which the line is held.

          • CynthiaW says:

            I think that’s what bothers me about them – why discontinue true masterpieces like Apres le Ondee or reformulate and mutilate Mitsouko and then concentrate on releasing dreck? Or middling perfumes in expensive packages?

            You don’t see Chanel trampling all over their heritage. Of course, Chanel isn’t owned by LMVH – so who knows? I think the problem is that most of us are still holding Guerlain in the high regard that it earned in the past and letting go of that is a long process. I think that I’m moving out of the denial phase and into acceptance – the acceptance that I just don’t need to bother with most of what they do anymore.

          • Robin says:

            In all fairness to Guerlain, they have no choice but to reformulate. Beyond that, Apres L’Ondee does not sell, and I’d be surprised if they sell all that much Mitsouko either. Chanel can afford to maintain Chanel No 5 like they do (and even they have reportedly had to reformulate) because it sells. They’re perfectly willing to do market-based perfumes too — Chance, Allure. That said, the Chanel Exclusifs collection is a triumph, and Guerlain just hasn’t done anything that cohesive and good…the Art et Matiere line, if presented properly, might have been in the running, but they don’t have Chanel’s touch when it comes to PR, and they followed it with all that other random LE stuff instead of building it into a true collection.

      • boojum says:

        Oh, and see…I bought one of the last ones, lol. But then, IIRC, you don’t like mimosa, so that would disqualify the one I bought. :D Otherwise…I’ll once again display my non-perfumista credentials and say that other than l’HB, there aren’t many Guerlains I’ve tried that I could even tolerate, much less love. I guess I just prefer cleaner or more modern frags. Give me AG, LAP, PG, CdG or any number of other lines, long before Guerlain.

        • Robin says:

          It is true, I am not a fan of mimosa! But anyway, meant more generally that the AA line is not a bunch of masterpieces, but nor is it meant to be.

  7. flittersniffer says:

    I hope Lovethescents will post, as she has a sample of this and will be able to give us her take on it.

  8. Dolly says:

    OY! $420.00. For that much, there had better be a rebate check in the box . That’s ok- I can use the money towards the little things in life- like eating, utilities, etc.

    • Daisy says:

      How petty of you to think of survival at a time like this! (snort)

      yeah, I’m with you….there’s a few necessities that’ll come before a purchase like that!

  9. Dolly says:

    I hope the perfume gods forgive me, but I have to draw the price line somewhere.

  10. norjunma1 says:

    Well that list of notes just sounds overdone and underwhelming. I’m surprised there’s no pink pepper (yes, yes, I know it serves its purpose, but you get what I’m saying). Slap a $420 price tag and it’s goodbye nurse.

    Who exactly are they targeting here with this? Exclusivity is one thing, but one might think that a person with the wherewithal to plunk down that kind of change would have a more exacting palette. Then again, I have been called naive before…

    • Robin says:

      They are targeting people with money :-)

  11. Dolly says:

    They are targeting the idle rich, since they have nothing better to do.

  12. Abyss says:

    This is just tiresome. It feels like for every one mainstream Guerlain release – and even then you are lucky if it’s not yet another flaker – there are 3 super-exclusive and/or limited editions.

    It’s silly. Plenty of companies (Amouage, Chanel, Hermes etc) manage to maintain exclusivity without resorting to Le Labo’s only-available-in-one-city approach. I’ve little patience for any company that does that.

    I’d love to try their Attrape Coeur and Vetiver Pour Elle but to do that I’d need to travel to another country so I suppose it won’t be happening any time soon.

    • Robin says:

      I don’t like the city-exclusive thing either. But it is very hard to tell in some of these other cases how much of the exclusivity is planned and purposeful, and how much is due to stores not being interested in giving the brand counter space because it doesn’t sell.

      • CynthiaW says:

        It’s not just being city-exclusive either (although that is annoying), it’s the price tags that go with it. I love Aldehydes 44, live close enough to go to Dallas and get it, and will be in Dallas this weekend – I just can’t justify spending that kind of money on such a small bottle. Not when there are other things that I love that are much more reasonable. Speaking of which – I’m wearing 31 Rue Cambon right now and I love it more every time I put it on. After I finish my decant, I have a feeling that an FB will go on my list of things to buy – I can’t say that about any non-vintage Guerlain right now.

        • Robin says:

          Agree…the city exclusives at Le Labo are very spendy. I’d love a bottle of the Tubereuse but no way would I pay for it.

  13. Marsha says:

    For that price, I could buy a bottle each of Chanel’s LE Cuir de Russie and #22, and still have enough left over for a drink.

    And they would be LARGE bottles.

    • Robin says:

      Yep! You could even buy me a drink.

  14. Absolute Scentualist says:

    @Daisy, lol! I feel your pain. I think my budget has requested to go into hiding via the fragrance protection program, never to be found again. Maybe it’s in cahoots with your piggy bank and they’re both on a desert island somewhere happily dousing themselves in Body Fantasy splashes just for spite.

    I discovered Guerlain fairly recently and while I love some of the classics like LHB and Mitsouko, this is just beyond excessive. The great thing about older Guerlains is that if you had the chemistry and confidence to pull them off, there was nothing stopping you from wearing them save finding the right formulation.

    I own two Indults and am quite sure I’ll end up falling for an Amouage when I try them, but I think of the SLs I’d like to own when compared to this and it’s no contest. Why isn’t there an option to just get the fragrance in a plain pretty bottle inside a plain pretty box with all the crystals, jewels and bling scraped away so the focus is on the scent? Hence why I save caps from some of my favorites and just pick up a tester next time when I can.

    Admittedly I’m in love with the Songes moon bottle I recently purchased. But even that I was able to score at an impossibly good price. I don’t even want to test most of the Guerlain (or other company LEs… or Kilian’s regular line) for fear of finding something I truly want because that eliminates a handful of other fragrances I desire at a quarter of the price. I wish companies would get that perfumistas are impressed in general with the fragrance itself. Even a gorgeous bottle can’t overrule a nauseating flusher of a perfume. Yes, attractive packaging is nice, but I’d happily buy most Chanels in squeeze bottles if the juice was the same. Montale or CSP’s bottle design isn’t exactly stunning, but it is practical and extends the life (and price paid) of a perfume.

    • Daisy says:

      Perfume Protection Program eh?….I think my CEO would like to be admitted to that! But Piggy’s in pretty bad shape….and I’m sort of on lockdown for a bit….oops.

      • CynthiaW says:

        For real this time? lol – probably as real as my lockdown.

  15. hongkongmom says:

    i smelled this briefly in Ny in the summer and my first reaction was pretty…and then the saleslady told me the price and i was noway is it worth it!!! it felt like nothing special, kind of boring but soft and pretty… that being said if it were in the new $100 free range….i would buy it!!!

    • Daisy says:

      I agree, to shell out that kind of money the juice had better be something REEEEEEEELLY special. Really really special. Even for the new $100 free, it had better be something I want to wear often. I’m thankful to have reached a point in my addiction where not everything is special anymore…thank goodness.

      • CynthiaW says:

        I can’t help but think that some of this stuff is aimed at people looking for a signature scent – but, even then, how does an LE help with that?

    • Robin says:

      Thanks hongkongmom!

  16. Dolly says:

    Other than the price, which is a turn-off itself, my chemistry hasn’t reacted favorably with any of the Guerlain’s. So there!

    • Robin says:

      Wow, not a single one? It’s such a huge line!

  17. parfumnut says:

    I agree….not worth the $$$$$, i also hate those limited edition fragrances…….they rob you blind. I am willing to pay $$ for a great fragrance but not this one. Did not impress me to jump on the “Sucker Train” :)

    • Robin says:

      Did you try it? Or you mean the idea alone did not impress you enough?

  18. teachesofpeaches says:

    wooooooooooooooooooot ?!!!!!!!!!!!
    400 dollars , hmmmmmmm no way , i am really curious and eager to find a guerlain that suits me but i wont pay that , is excessive !
    i try shalimar and i really tried to like it , but is just not for me i tried to find the vanilla cookie or the lemony smell , nothing , i really want to find a guerlain but so far all i have tried is just not me :(

    • Robin says:

      Maybe try the Shalimar Light?

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