Friday, November 14, 2008

Philtre d’Amour by Guerlain : Perfume Review

Back in October I visited one of the many perfume fairs that take place here in the Netherlands. Even if you don’t end up buying something, these events are well worth visiting, just to be able to look at all the vintage bottles and forgotten or even unknown treasures of the perfume world. The perfume auctions that often take place during the day are also fun to follow and even take part in, since amazing bargains on pure perfume can often be had. I went looking for a couple of things I was eventually unable to find, but still had a lot of fun reconnecting with my favorite vintage perfume dealers, meeting new ones, talking with collectors, looking at fabulous crystal bottles including Guerlain’s limited edition Baccarat turtles and a complete collection of old Nina Ricci Lalique flacons, still sealed and filled with their wonderful juice (The vintage Lalique Coeur Joie still makes me feel like I’m about to faint from its beauty every time I see it). Slightly broke by the end of October during which the fair took place, I didn’t feel the urge to take out my wallet and actually buy something, even as all the little perfume gems felt like they were calling my name. However at my favorite vintage dealer’s table I found a bargain I absolutely couldn’t resist. A full bottle of Guerlain’s Philtre d’Amour with a pre-LVMH acquisition code, which the dear lady I always end up buying from was offering me for just 25euro.

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


22 comments:

pavlova said...

Oh this sounds so lovely ---please include me in your drawing. And....many thank for introducing me to Kanebo Sensai products!!!

Linda said...

Dearest Divina,
This evocative description makes me yearn for warmer weather, and Philtre d'Amour just sounds perfect: a multi-layered Guerlain in the traditional sense. A peek into a different, dreamlike landscape... HOWEVER: please don't include me in the draw, because I am thoroughly spoilt already!
Hugs,
Linda

waftbyCarol said...

oooo-oooh , I'd love to sniff this , Divina....great review .

Divina said...

Hi Pavlova :) My pleasure, I really like them! They are truly skin-saviors. And of course, you're in.

Divina said...

Linda, I think you would really like Philtre d'Amour... It is elegant and graceful just like you! *hugs*

Divina said...

Carol so nice to see you here and thank you :) Of course you're in.

ScentScelf said...

I love delicious lovely vintages--yet circumstances usually conspire to dangle them out of reach of experience. Thank you for presenting such a delightful vicarious experience!

(And, if it is okay, I'd love to be included in the draw...)

Anonymous said...

perfume fairs? ooh - that sounds wonderful! please include me in the draw - I would love to try another Guerlain chypre
Kim

maitreyi1978 said...

It sounds interesting. Please include me in the drawing.

+QPerfume said...

Enter me in the drawing pleeeeese.
kissy

Ines said...

Dear Divina
sometimes I'm just so jealous you have such great events in Netherlands (perfume fair! - never going to happen here). ;)
Please enter me for the draw.

Jenavira13 said...

Wow that is quite the find and ridiculously cheap. Please include me in the drawing.

Divina said...

Dearest sweet Scentself, my pleasure :)

Divina said...

Hi Kim! You can read more about perfume fairs here in the Netherlands on another post here on Fragrance Bouquet by clicking here! It includes some really beautiful photos :)

Divina said...

Sure thing, maitreyi.

Divina said...

Hi sweetie! Of course you're in :) Mwah! right back at ya :)

Divina said...

Ines, if you're ever thinking of visiting the Netherlands just let me know and we'll find a date that falls close to a fair! There are several happening throughout the year :)

Divina said...

Hello sweet Jen :) You're in of course :)

MJ said...

I'd really love to try this, please enter me!

butterflyrouge(at)yahoo(dot)com

Divina said...

MJ, you're in :) Entering the results on Random.org right now :)

heartbeat0214 said...

I may be too late to be entered for the Philtre fragrance but am very grateful to have read your review. I'm a Guerlain lover and enjoy most wholeheartedly those of us who appreciate the finesse of this house.

Divina said...

So lovely to read your comment and to meet a fellow Guerlain fan, Heartbeat! Hope to see you again soon here on FB :)