Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Persolaise Review: Guerlain's Parisiennes And Parisiens Come To Harrods


Dedicated followers of London's scent routes will already be aware that Guerlain's Parisiens collection of 'exclusive' masculine fragrances (normally available only in Paris) has been at Harrods for a few weeks. Like the brand's Aqua Allegoria range, the membership of this particular group isn't set in stone - the official word is that it's determined by public demand - but at the moment, the line-up is: Arsene Lupin*, Arsene Lupin Voyou, Derby, Chamade Pour Homme and L'Âme D'Un Héros.

The first two were reviewed here some time ago; click on their names to find out what I think of them. The other three are as fine examples as you could ever hope to encounter of that most refined, most distinguished genre of gents' perfumes: balsamic wood. I'm thinking of scents such as Amouage's Gold Man, Ormonde Jayne's Man and La Via Del Profumo's Sharif: they reach their drydowns in different ways, but when they do, nobility oozes from every single one of their pores.

The most conservative of the three Guerlains is Derby (Jean-Paul Guerlain; 1985), a glorious mix of carnation with patchouli and powdery mosses. Those aware of the scent's debut formulation will no doubt bemoan its current state, but it's still wonderful stuff, silencing all other pretenders to the throne with its quiet, no-need-to-lift-a-finger authoritativeness. As is well known, L'Âme D'Un Héros (2008) is the much-missed Coriolan (Jean-Paul Guerlain; 1998) bottled under a different name. I've long considered this to be one of the best juniper berry compositions: the material's links with gin are allowed to make their presence known here without compromising their radiant, herbal aspects. Its heart is a touch on the abrasive side - the floral elements are in fighting mode - but then the name does suggest that this is supposed to be read as a fairly combative piece of work. Chamade Pour Homme (Jean-Paul Guerlain; 1999) shares many features with L'Âme - mainly the juniper - but it's softer, more gauze-like and very, very deeply besotted with its lemony rose mid-section. A heart-stopper indeed.

The range's female equivalent, the Parisiennes, is undergoing a phased entry to Harrods. Mon Précieux Nectar (Randa Hammami; 2009) and Nuit D'Amour (Jean-Paul Guerlain; 2006) have already crossed the Channel; the rest should be in London before Christmas. The former is a fuzzy orange blossom (in the manner of Etat Libre D'Orange's Divin'Enfant) as opposed to a cologne-like, refreshing orange blossom. The latter is a quiet, cedar-inflected, rosy, vanilla (think: a more sophisticated version of Tocade) which lives up to its name by presenting a few suggestively nocturnal undertones. Both are worth trying. 

[Reviews based on samples of eau de parfum and eau de toilette provided by Guerlain in 2013.]

Persolaise

* formerly Arsene Lupin Le Dandy

2 comments:

  1. Dearest Persolaise
    Now that is good news.
    I rather adore Derby for all its fastidious unfashionableness.
    And Chamade pour Homme, though arguably unnecessary (who woulnd't wear the original)is rather lovely too.
    Have the Parisiennes also landed?
    I have such a thing for Liu!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dandy, I believe the Parisiennes are making a phased entry, so yes, Liu is on her way :-)

      Delete

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