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Quand Vient la Pluie - C'est la Pluie (March 10, 2011, New Fragrance Listing)


Wikipedia - Raindrops on Aster Bud - Friedrich Böhringer May 2008

Life is just full of ironies. Last night I started writing this post about Quand Vient la PluieWhen the Rain Comes – and got up early this morning to finish it, only to discover that the rain really DID come last night – in fact, it came right into our lovely finished basement.

Quel mess from all that pluie! Thank god for quick reactions, a super-strong  Shopvac, and for the dog, who kindly tried to help by taking a few slurps. Part of the floor is wrecked, and will have to be replaced – I feel like I’m in a bad movie. Ah well, c'est la pluie  - I mean, vie.

But irony, household disasters, or movies aren’t what I set out to talk about today – back to Quand Vient la Pluie.

Quand Vient la Pluie is a 2007 release from Guerlain, created by Thierry Wasser,  and inspired by Guerlain’s floral masterpiece, Après l'Ondée . Luca Turin in Perfumes The Guide states that Après l'Ondée is - "one of the twenty greatest perfumes of all time" - a "heavenly heliotrope", and Guerlain describes it as a powdery floral which “evokes a stroll through dewy underbrush - misty pastel shades celebrate the weather after the rain - discreet".

Après l'Ondée opens with almondy violet notes, pale and spring-like, and then becomes more haunting as the iris note starts to emerge. Aniseed and a whiff of pepper from carnation, then herbs - thyme, rosemary and sage - give this scent weight. To me, the scent smells like it is made from the earth –the natural scents of  twigs, roots, leaves and blossoms – and then touched by soft raindrops and lifted into air. It’s intriguing, very restrained, and very very lovely.

Quand Vient la Pluie.pays tribute to its famous predecessor with soft floral notes, but it opens with citrus and rosemary, a bit of green jasmine, and then goes into the heart of violet and heliotrope. The base notes reveal sweet nutty praline, balanced by slightly sour patchouli and powdery musk, and it’s this gourmond accord with it's animalic undertones which gives the fragrance breadth and depth, making it fresh and sexy, with lovely bones and curves.

Après l’Ondée is a true floral, pale, ethereal, weightless, cerebral – the epitome of early 20th century refined sensibility.  Quand Vient la Pluie is a floral gourmand, earthy rather than simply natural, warm and inviting, rooted not wafting, and very connected to 21st century sensibilities.

Is Quand Vient la Pluie better than the classic which inspired it? No, it’s a different interpretation for a different age. I recommend you try both to see for yourself. Both are beautiful perfumes, connected but different.

As for me, I’m going to treat myself to another spritz of La Pluie, and head down to the basement to turn on the de-humidifier. If I start to feel bad when I survey the damage, I’ll just sniff this beautiful scent on my wrist, click the heels of my red shoes together two times and say "There's no place like home, there's no place.........". Damn! that only works in the movies! 

P.S.  A description of the bottle from Basenotes:

“QVLP's presentation is worthy of comment: Instead of coming in a bottle, QVLP is offered as part of a sculptural presentation. A large block of crystal, the bottom of which is etched like a tree's leaf, contains a removable (and refillable) 'bubble sprayer' (in which the perfume sits) that rests in the crystal. To the eye the sculpture presents an interpretive "drop of liquid sitting on a leaf" - meshing with the name of the fragrance as well as further connecting itself to Après L'ondée ("after the showers"). Truly a unique piece of visual art that both accompanies the artistry of the perfume as well as looks fantastic on the shelf among the other Guerlains....”

Quand Vient la Pluie is listed in our Decant Store. It is a Limited Edition EdP - the scent is no longer available from Guerlain and extremely difficult to find anywhere. Decants are $18.00 for 1 ml.