*** For background information on my Osmothèque Reviews,
That said, the Osmothèque version is unquestionably superior. I was told by my genial host, Yves Tanguy, that it's a very recent reconstitution created specifically for the collection by Thierry Wasser. It's possible that some of its beauty stems from its very freshness. But that can't be the only factor which makes the scent so downright wonderful. The use of raw bergamot must help: fantastically bittersweet, it lends the composition a radiance which allows it to fill a room within a matter of moments. Tanguy reckons the quality of the sandalwood is crucial as well: certainly, it creates a drydown as smooth and elegant as anything I've ever had the pleasure of encountering.
Whatever the cause of the differences, the overall effect is extraordinary. The current version of Jicky pretty much displays all the same elements as the original - the bergamot, the civet, the vanilla, the lavender and the herbs - but it can't quite hide the seams that knit them together. The reconstitution is a joyful symphony of coherence, an alluring, indescribably complex piece of work which somehow manages to make a single, unbroken statement about sweetness, sunshine and sinfulness, without ever spelling out what it's doing. What's more, it displays a genuine progression of the ideas explored in Fougère Royale by Paul Parquet: Aimé Guerlain adopted the invigorating, powdery core of the fougère, added another soon-to-be-indispensable synthetic (vanillin) and introduced a host of contrasting, endearing complications, thereby elevating the whole to a far more grandiose status.
Like so many of the best Guerlains, Jicky manages to be both impeccably civilised and anything but. It would be a stretch to suggest that it presaged the social upheavals that were to take place a few decades after its appearance, but nonetheless, it's tempting to suppose that its invitation to 'scratch the charming veneer and release the animal' ties in with the rise of individualism and the loosening of sexual politics. Or maybe it's just genius, full stop: as free and timeless as any truly great work of art. Like some kind of satyr in an Armani suit, it is dangerous, decorous and hopelessly ravishing.