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Guerlain and Sylvaine Delacourte and a wonderful evening – December 21, 2016

Sylvaine Delacourte image - perfumeniche.com

As this is the season for gratitude, I have to say it once again, I am so fortunate to live in a city that has a Guerlain store.

Last week I was invited to the store for an evening reception to meet Sylvaine Delacourte. No one puts on a spread like Guerlain and I was not just pleased to have been invited, I was honoured.

Sylvaine Delacourte is a giant in the fragrance industry. Born in Paris, she started at Guerlain as a make-up artist and migrated over to their fragrance side. After studying ISIPCA, and through hard work and perseverance, she rose to the top job of Artistic Director of Fragrance for the historic fragrance house.

Still not impressed? She is responsible for bestsellers like L’Instant de Guerlain, Guerlain Homme, Iris Ganache, Bois d’Arménie, Rose Barbare, Cuir Beluga among many, many others.

That night, Ms. Delacourte spoke about fragrances, working with perfumers, what inspires her and then, after taking questions from the group, she spent the rest of the evening talking one-on-one with people as they sipped, nibbled and sniffed.

When I had my chance to speak with her I was struck by how good her English was, how chic she looked and how easy she was to talk to. She is the kind of person who gives you her full attention when she speaks with you. As often happens at these events, you start out talking about all kinds of things – travel, children, the holidays and then conversation turns to fragrance.

I asked her what her favourite notes was. “Vanilla” she replied. She also said that musk is a favourite as well. We chatted awhile longer before I asked her what her favourite Guerlain scent was. She said it was  Cuir Beluga. “It’s mine” she said, “I made for me”. But, she has another favourite she wears: L’Heure Bleu. But what really enjoyed was our discussion around the process of creating a fragrance. Ms.  Delacourte believes strongly in the relationship of scent of memory and in her case says that fragrances come to her fully realized and that they are conceived in her mind before they are executed.

Talking with Sylvaine Delacourte in a gorgeous store smelling of the best perfumes on a beautiful evening was fabulous, but this was a Guerlain event and it wasn’t until I was saying my goodbyes that I whispered ‘Congratulations’ to her. You see, this past October, Sylvaine Delacourte launched her own eponymous fragrance line. She’ll still consult with Guerlain, but for now she has introduced five fragrances based around musk. You can learn more about them and order them here.

I’ve already got my Discovery Set…