One of the best things about belonging to Sniffapalooza, is being invited to events such as the Guerlain master class this past weekend. It was a luxurious sensory review of Guerlain's fragrances; a dreamy experience. There were also spectacularly rich candles (Cuir Beluga and Boudoir Venitien were particularly seductive).
Guerlain fragrances are so concentrated as to be almost overwhelming. The smallest amount is enough to emit waves of sillage. They are refreshed by heat; in a hot shower the scents are re-intensified for a moment.
Guerlain's perfume organ in Paris prominently features the base notes behind each fragrance because they linger after the other notes burn off. They are the ones that will remain, so the client must be most certain that their personal chemistry is able to make a happy marriage with them.
Among the classics given to sample that day, my favorite was Samsara. It has an almost creamy flesh scent to it, probably because of its base notes of sandalwood, vanilla, iris and tonka bean. I found that in general I was most drawn to those perfumes where the vanilla of the well known Guerlainade accord came through as having an important role. Vanilla seems to smooth and soften the other elements which then embrace my own chemistry more closely. Actually the new Spiritueuse Double Vanille has so much else going on I found the vanilla notes more subdued than I would have expected, given the name. It still holds enough vanilla to be a lovely cooler weather scent, perfect for jacket and coat weather.
Quand Vient la Pluie (When the Rain Comes) is available for the more generously extravagant among us for the coming gift giving season. It is a shockingly expensive ($2,600 for 17 oz.) and mellowly delicious perfume, which we each were able to try on. Probably this one was most like the legendary vintage versions of their classics. Rain perfumes are as a concept one of my favorite genres anyway, and I have posted before about the elements that comprise the scent of rain. This version of the experience as perfume is quite dreamy, you get lost in it, maybe because of the incorporation of elements such as heliotrope, violet, rosemary, praline, and Jasmine Sambac in addition to the woody Amber forest floor quality. The EdP has a musk note and the perfume version has an amber note. It comes in a heavy crystal sculptural base representing a section of a leaf, and the perfume flacon is shaped like dew or a raindrop sitting on the leaf, which lifts out for use and refill.
There was also a fine gold spray powder product ($78) for all over use on skin and hair that was wonderful on all shades, but especially for wavy, darker blondes, picking up detail and enhancing the radiance and brightness of that color.
I took the above photo at the event. I loved the Guerlain signature white beads scattered everywhere...