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Mon Guerlain – feminine and modern and a beautiful ode to women - March 16, 2017



News of fragrance launches from iconic houses like Guerlain always send a frisson of excitement throughout the fragrance community and especially here at perfumeniche. But the buzz around their newest fragrance, Mon Guerlain, was, well, tantalizing.

For months prior to the launch there had been hints, whispers and chatter about a new fragrance for women. There were rumors of a celebrity ‘muse’ (something Guerlain doesn’t generally do…), the inspiration for the fragrance and the creation of it.

An article from The Telegraph dated January 24 2016, says ‘Very little has been revealed about the scent, however Wasser hinted that we can expect ‘notes of a woman’ and that the choices, emotions and dreams that embody modern femininity inspired him.’

When Mon Guerlain was introduced earlier this month all was revealed.

The muse for Mon Guerlain is actress, director, film maker and humanitarian Angelina Jolie. One of the most famous and beautiful women in the world, Jolie is the ideal ambassador for Mon Guerlain. She is linked to Guerlain through her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, whose love for a rose and violet scented Guerlain powder is one of Jolie’s treasured childhood memories of her mother. Jolie is also a mother herself.

When I heard Thierry Wasser speak about Mon Guerlain at the Guerlain store in Toronto last week, he spoke about the inspiration for the fragrance, which he created along with perfumer Delphine Jelk. Part of Wasser’s job at Guerlain is the sourcing of high-quality raw ingredients from around the world. He talked about creating and maintaining relationships with suppliers in some of the most difficult parts of the world to live. He said that his creativity is sparked by what he experiences and encounters on his travels.

For Mon Guerlain, he said he was inspired by four notes that formed the pillars of the scent: Carla lavender, Sambac jasmine and Album sandalwood and vanilla Tahitensis.

Carla lavender grows in Drôme in Provence. A true lavender, Wasser says that standing in a field of it and smelling it, he was struck by its pure, fresh simplicity. Its pure beauty stands for women.  Then there’s Sambac jasmine. Wasser recalled seeing women in New Guinea grouped together, enjoying each other’s company, as they wove jasmine flowers into tiaras for each other’s hair. The jasmine signifies community. Album sandalwood signifies the strength of women and vanilla Tahitensis, the smell associated with mother. Strung in sentences like this, the words form a beautiful ode to women, but wearing Mon Guerlain, and smelling it, is the highest praise.

It opens with nose-tingling bergamot backed by a note of fresh, aromatic lavender that pairs perfectly with creamy, sensuous vanilla. The lavender weaves through the vanilla keeping its sweetness in balance. Lavender, considered a masculine note in fragrance, so prominently placed in a women’s fragrance? It’s about being better together than it is about being in opposition - after all, its 2017 people! As it blooms on me, the vanilla reveals tender aspects of aniseed and spice. The Sambac jasmine shows up at the heart. It’s delicate and voluptuous, not indolic or animalic. For a moment, there is a whiff of powder from iris and a note of rose – the smell of scented powder. The vanilla sweetness threads though the heart, bolstered by Tonka bean, to rest on a base of sandalwood and musk.

It’s the vanilla and sandalwood that stay with me for hours so that the dry down is a sweet-ish, feminine scent that, while having depth, has a luminous beauty.

Mon Guerlain is a modern fragrance for a modern woman – it’s assumes she’s confident, sexy and strong and the fragrance honours that without having to trumpet it. It will be in heavy rotation around here for a long time I can tell you that.

Mon Guerlain is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.