Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jacques Guerlain


The genius of Jacques Guerlain is clearly expressed in two adored fragrances: Mouchoir de Monsieur (1904) and Sous le Vent (1934). Mouchoir de Monsieur is one of the noblest expressions of civet I know and Sous le Vent is a classic green chypre in the tradition of Coty's sublimely rough-hewn Chypre (1917) with animalic base and typical Guerlinade heart of iris, rose, tonka and amber. These are old scents which are fresher, newer and, yes, much less predictable than practically any scent to come from one of the major houses in the last twenty years. While Sous le Vent has long been unavailable from Guerlain, it is obtainable at the Paris boutique for the near future. Mouchoir de Monsieur grows scarcer and scarcer in the retail marketplace, but, hope springs eternal, as it very nearly duplicates that perennial bestseller (supposedly beloved of Mr Jagger): Jicky.

I prefer the animalics of Mouchoir when offsetting a natty outfit (Mr Ford could learn a few things from JG) while Sous le Vent's drydown makes me want to nuzzle up to myself.

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