During these past 3 weeks of intense exam preparation and endless studying I found myself once again experiencing perfume cravings of unprecedented intensity. It all started out with a generalized craving for a gourmand scent with a hefty dose of vanilla, but nothing I had handy seemed like it would do. Serendipitously, I decided to do a side by side comparison of the original L’Instant which I already knew I hated, with the newer L’Instant Magic, a sample of which I had I recently received with a purchase. Ten minutes later, the original absolutely had to be scrubbed off as usual, but the flanker was pleasant enough to stay, if not immediately interesting enough to grab my attention and hold me in its thrall. Quietly and unassumingly however, it worked its...magic, hitting all the right spots. It was exactly what I needed, what I was craving for and didn’t yet know. I got so hooked on this little beauty, I felt I had to have some on my skin every day while studying. That first sample didn’t make it through the week, and I had to nicely ask the dbf to “Please, please go get me a sample” twice, as if it was laced with crack.
So what’s L’Instant Magic like? Delicious, seductive, comforting and exactly the type of thing I normally wouldn’t give the time of day to, especially since it is most definitely not what I expect from a Guerlain. Even though it is supposed to be a completely different fragrance from the original L’Instant, its lineage is surprisingly easy to discern. It is as if there is this very obvious red thread running through it, unequivocally connecting it to its sister: That powdery floral character that is L’Instant’s signature, threads itself like a precious vein through L’Instant Magic making it instantly recognizable as a member of the family once it is discerned. But whereas it is this very same characteristic I find oppressing and deeply uncomfortable in the original, I find myself being seduced by it in Magic. This time it is rendered lightly, with an air of improbable femininity and has the softness of a caress. The fact that it is only part of the supporting cast and not the star makes a huge difference as well. Finally, I can appreciate it. But truly, the best thing about L’Instant Magic is its incredible almond-vanilla combo that has brought me to the brink of addiction. It manages to do something that very few gourmands can: through its amazing warmth and sweetness, L’Instant Magic still manages to somehow sparkle with bright effervescence. The result is that while it retains all the seductive, mysterious characteristics of an oriental and all the bubblegum-vixen traits of a gourmand, it is also cheery and carefree. Most importantly, even though it is very clearly a comforting, linear scent, its genius lies in the fact that it retains an abstracted quality that makes it veer far away from ever becoming foody. Instead, it remains both feminine and sophisticated in character.