Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum ~ fragrance review

Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum, cropped

At what point does a flanker stray so far from its parent that it ceases to earn the family name? Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum edges awfully close to that line. Yes, it still broadcasts its familiar vanilla, amber, and lemon, but Shalimar Souffle flouts its mother’s mystery and marches straight into “Hi folks, see you down at the mall — the fancy one with the Neiman Marcus” territory.

Shalimar Souffle de Parfum was developed by Guerlain’s house perfumer, Thierry Wasser. Its notes include bergamot, lemon, mandarin orange, jasmine sambac, “l’absolu de l’eau de fleurs d’oranger” (a material Guerlain notes it’s using for the first time), white musk (“an avalanche” of it, the French press release reads), and a combination of Indian and Tahitian vanillas.

I don’t want you to think I’m such a traditionalist that I oppose any Shalimar flanker…

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Guerlain L’Homme Ideal ~ fragrance review

Guerlain L'Homme Ideal advert

No harm to the models (a paying gig is a paying gig)…but the print and video ads for the new Guerlain L’Homme Idéal1 are so daft! Believe me girls, there is nothing shocking, surprising, “dirty” or revelatory inside that bottle! (Maybe they’re just happy about the bottle, which everyone in Perfumeland seems to love.)

Guerlain hasn’t released a men’s pillar scent since 2008′s Guerlain Homme; and I just realized the last Guerlain men’s pillar scent I bought (recently) was 1992′s Héritage. Though I appreciate perfumer Thierry Wasser’s reformulations of Guerlain classics (and can’t wait to smell his sought-after Terracotta Le Parfum), I’ve never bought a Wasser perfume creation (which means nothing, except he and I have different styles/tastes)…

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Guerlain Limon Verde ~ fragrance review

Guerlain Limon Verde

When I reviewed Lys Soleia back in 2012, I said I have something of a love-hate relationship with the Aqua Allegoria range from Guerlain. Aqua Allegoria started out as a youth-oriented line highlighting natural materials, but it’s evolved, over the years, to something better expressed by the tag line they now use on some of the advertising: “the collection of fresh fragrances”. And as “fresh”, likewise, has evolved over the years to mean synthetic clean notes instead of things that are naturally fresh, like sparkling citrus and light florals, so the Aqua Allegorias have followed suit. My main complaint with Lys Soleia, and Jasminora before it, was how close they came to smelling like scented laundry products.1

In its favor, Limon Verde, the latest Aqua Allegoria, does not smell like laundry products. Its inspirations, expressed as the exhortation to “savour a Caipirinha under the lemon trees along the Amazon River”, fit well with this year’s emphasis on Brazil…

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