Tuesday, August 19, 2008

L'Heure Bleue : Guerlain : Jacques Guerlain

In 1912, L'Heure Bleue was born, and the world is a more beautiful place for it. The character of vintage L'Heure Bleue is hot tears on flushed skin, I realized this morning. I've taken advantage of a rare rainy day in Austin to wear it. It exudes from my skin like it is the natural scent of catharsis--the tremblingly uninhibited, floating feeling that comes after an emotional storm, when your anger and sorrow seem almost magically released through the pores. Have I had such a catharsis lately? No, but I'm wanting one, which may explain why it strikes me this way. It balances bitterness and comfort: after the first gasp of bergamot and flowery (heliotrope, carnation) spiciness, it keeps transforming. Its gingerbread-like accord is one moment brandied, one moment tarry; its anise is one moment candied, another moment medicinal. As it dries down, the tonka bean and iris continue to play out the drama of catharsis, with the warmth of the tonka bean countered by the cooling iris, like the effect of tears drying on flushed cheeks.

Bring on the purple prose, right? It's just perfume, woman! Snap out of it. Hm, okay, well suffice it to say, L'Heure Bleue can really put me in a trance like no other perfume. It just seems to keep going and going when you sniff it--the depths keep revealing more wonders. In any case, as you would probably expect, coming from a vintage-lover like me, the recent version of this parfum does not contain the same magic. There is a rubbery, synthetic note in the recent version that mars it. I've noted that rubbery scent in the recent body lotion (although in a body lotion I kind of like the new-doll-head smell), and was disappointed to smell it also in the parfum at the NYC Bergdorf Goodman's Guerlain shop a couple of weeks ago. This is such a fascinating perfume that anyone who tries it is certain to have a different response, however. Try both, if you can!

5 comments:

ScentScelf said...

Heavens, is that YOUR bottle in the photo? {{drool}} I find myself trying to undress that bottle with my eyes, and sniff its contents with my mind...

How's that for purple prose? ;) ...she said, hiding the fact she actually is wiping drool from the corner of her mouth...

Aimée L'Ondée said...

*blushing ashamedly* yeah, guilty. I must admit I sleep better at night knowing I have enough l'hb to last me into my dotage, though...

I almost got purpleier (love making up words!) myself, but decided I'd embarrassed myself plenty already.

ScentScelf said...

Vive le purple dotage! :)

perfumequeen said...

Lovely review! My sample must be from the modern bottle. it's pretty, but doesn't tug at my heart strings and I have felt LB should. I need to track down some vintage.
Loving the rain as much as I am? tea, Jane Austen, Dickens and scotch. and some suess for the baby...

Rose said...

Hi, I've just found your lovely blog via a comment on scentscelfs blog.

I adore L'heure Bleu too and that's just the modern version so I think I would swoon over the vintage you have!

You write beautifully and I think L'heure Bleu brings out the purple prose in all it's lovers.