Originally launched in 1936, Véga, was the second Guerlain fragrance created by Jacques Guerlain to get in on the aldehydic floral craze created years earlier by Chanel No. 5. In 2006 it was recreated by Jean-Paul Guerlain for the launch of the newly renovated Guerlain store at the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This is the version I have and love.
Jacques Guerlain, was fascinated by astronomy, so much so that he took inspiration from Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra and one of the most luminous stars in the sky.
Ptolemy considered Vega a beneficial star that gives refinement and mobility to those it influences, but also wantonness and immodesty. Guerlain knew how to take those exact same qualities and put them in an axis-shifting perfume.
Let me start with the opening. Fizzy aldehydes are nose-tingling, brightened fresh, tart bergamot and sweet orange blossom, giving it a crisp floral start. Orange blossom has an animalic aspect that hints at what’s to come. I smell a fatty/soapy note here too, but overall the effect is beautifully luminous. As it blooms, the top notes that reveal a rich floral heart that I can’t get enough of. This is floral to the max. Jasmine is sweet, opulent, wanton and narcotic, and it twins with lush, velvety, sensuous rose. Ylang-ylang sidles up to the flowers. It's rich, floral and sweet it's dirty facet hinting at immodesty. The fruitiness of the ylang-ylang is countered with tangy blackcurrant blossom, making room for carnation that adds spicy undertones that warm the flowers, making them more erotic. Powdery iris adds elegance, sophistication and femininity as rosewood adds a floral woodiness that leads to a base of creamy, sweet vanilla, smooth, fragrant sandalwood and sweet, warm amber.
The drydown is refined, feminine and suggestive enough for whatever you have in mind.
And, by the way, I own the EDT and it is plenty potent. I think I’d burst into a supernova if I wore a higher concentration.
Notes: aldehydes, bergamot and orange blossom, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, blackcurrant blossom, carnation, iris and rosewood, vanilla, sandalwood and amber.