Guerlain Parure ~ vintage fragrance review

Guerlain Parure advert

A “parure” is a set of jewelry, such as a necklace, earrings, and bracelet, or even a tiara and matching earrings. Guerlain Parure has the “complete” feeling and attention to detail of a fine jewelry parure, but it isn’t as flashy as rubies and diamonds. Instead, Parure comes off as constructed to lend an air of Ritz suite elegance without drawing attention to itself.

Jean-Paul Guerlain created Parure, and its notes include plum, bergamot, greens, fruits, hesperides, lily of the valley, rose, orris, plum, lilac, jasmine, jonquil, narcissus, oakmoss, spices, amber, leather and patchouli. Parure was released in 1975, but you know that Ritz suite I just mentioned? I see it in the early 1960s, with a woman crushing out her cigarette before reaching for wrist-length white gloves and a crisp-edged handbag that snaps shut with a click…

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Guerlain Coriolan ~ fragrance review

Guerlain Coriolan advert

A spray of Guerlain Coriolan, and right away I smell the high desert on a summer’s evening, the time when the ground still holds the hot scent of the earth while the wind is cool and fresh. The earth smells of hot rock, pinyon pine, immortelle, dry wood, and the piney sage that grows gnarled on the ground. The breeze delivers the bite of mint, citrus and fennel. Somehow the cool air and hot landscape meld into a singular fragrance. Coriolan reminds me of eastern Montana in August.

Jean-Paul Guerlain created Coriolan, and it was released in 1998. It’s a woody chypre with notes including lemon tree leaves, bergamot, juniper, absinthe, coriander, nutmeg, oakmoss, patchouli and everlasting flower. I also smell dry wood, amber, musk, and what I swear is mint.

Coriolan bombed. Despite its gorgeous bottle, caged in pink-gold metal with a flip-top lid, sales were weak enough for Guerlain to pull Coriolan before too long…

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Jean-Paul Guerlain fined for racist remark

French perfume designer Jean-Paul Guerlain was fined 6,000 euros ($8,000) Thursday by a Paris court for racist remarks he made during a French television interview. He was also ordered to pay 2,000 euros ($2,665 ) to each of three French anti-racism groups that brought the case.

— Read more at French parfumier Jean-Paul Guerlain fined over racist remarks at CNN; there is also a longer article at the Telegraph.

An imbecilic remark

The elegant 75-year-old [Jean-Paul] Guerlain told the court it was an “imbecilic” remark. “I am from another generation,” he said, so part of the remark was “a common expression at the time.” He also said he did so during a TV interview because he “wanted to make the journalist laugh and I regret it.” “I was anything but racist,” he said, standing before the court with the help of crutches.

— Perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain, who was on trial in France yesterday for a racist remark he made in an interview in October 2010. Read more at Guerlain perfume heir accused of racism in trial at Yahoo.

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