The name is amazingly evocative and beautiful, but as Marina of Perfume Smellin’ Things notes, it is not quite fitting to the juice. Philtre d’Amour is not passionate, but indeed restrained. A light, summery Chypre, it spells sophistication, elegance and grace rather than temptation and ardor. Having said that, it is also warm, rather than chilly. It opens with a blast of spicy freshness allowing one to sniff briefly hints of patchouli before turning up the citrus volume so loud, one would be justified to think this is a perfume that’s all about the lemon. Candied, Guerlinade-infused lemon envelopes the skin in sweet freshness. Soon the scent of freshly-cut greens cuts down the sweetness and allows for a very sophisticated, slightly bitter vein to show through. Buttery iris is the first floral note that I identify and it is a note used with amazing thoughtfulness; just the right amount to add softness and the merest hint of powder to the scent, but not enough to overwhelm, as iris so easily can. Indolic, dirty jasmine has once again been used with the same amount of thoughtfulness and restrain and together with fabulous, soft and slightly bitter neroli these two florals manage to finally make the fragrance exude a wonderful heart of warmth through the elegant citrus freshness that defines this scent throughout. The base notes feature a wonderful, spicy oakmoss-patchouli combination, that together with the florals and bergamot really make Philtre d’Amour smell like a Chypre of a bygone era. Old-fashioned then, yet oh-so contemporary due to its timeless, classic character, this is a fabulous, scent. Its freshness and elegant lightness mean that it is a perfect choice for warm weather and I have the feeling that this will be exceptional in especially warm, humid climes where the slightly dirty heart notes and spicy base notes will be allowed to bloom to perfection. It will also be an excellent replacement for the summer wardrobe of Aromatics Elixir users. Philtre d’Amour is sold at Guerlain Boutiques as part of the Les Parisiennes collection, but Victoria from Bois de Jasmine notes that it has possibly been changed since its re-release in 2000. As I have only tested the original version, I cannot report on how the new formula compares.
If you wish to receive a sample of this original version, please say so in the comment area and I will enter your name in a drawing. Winner to be announced in a week’s time.
Images: www.fragrantica.com and Flickr, originally uploaded by Osbock