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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.

If you wish to comment…

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Guerlain Attrape-Coeur & Vol de Nuit Evasion ~ fragrance review

Guerlain Guet-ApensGuerlain Attrape-Coeur

The archetypal image of Valentine’s Day is a heart-shaped box of chocolates. Done right, the box is wrapped in lightly padded vermillion satin, and the chocolates are rich and silky smooth — no grainy cherry filling here. Of course, next to the box is a lush bouquet of fragrant flowers. It’s romantic, timeless, and sure to melt the coldest heart. To me, its perfume equivalent could only be Guerlain Attrape-Cœur.

In 1999, Guerlain released Guet-Apens Eau de Parfum as a limited edition and named Mathilde Laurent as its nose. The fragrance was reissued in 2005 as Attrape-Cœur, this time credited to Jean-Paul Guerlain. (I’ve also seen Maurice Roucel’s name tossed in as a contributor to Attrape-Cœur.) In 2007, Guerlain released an Eau de Toilette formulation in duty free shops and named it, oddly, Vol de Nuit Evasion. (To make it even stranger, Vol de Nuit Evasion was packaged in a L’Heure Bleue/Mitsouko bottle, but labeled with the classic Vol de Nuit parfum logo.)

In French, guet-apens means “ambush.” I think Attrape-Cœur (“heart catcher”) is a more fitting name for the fragrance…

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