CHAMPS ELYSEES/ GUERLAIN (1996)
Impervious chic glassiness; a cold, aloof beauty somewhat anomalous in the Guerlain lineup – no powdered gourmand tones, no hint of odalisque here. Champs Elysées came out in the mid nineties as part of a mini neo-classical trend; along with Cartier’s So Pretty and their American equivalents, Estee Lauder‘s Pleasures and White Linen Breeze, it heralded a new, rain-clear floralcy; well-mannered to a fault; prim, upright, petals-and-leaves for the lady. Champs Elysées is the best of this type; a perfectly balanced mimosa-floral that gleams with the tonic green of spring; sharp, penetrating blackcurrant leaves and buddleia, over a clarified, wistful mimosa, sharp, green rose, and almond blossom/ hibiscus; a very unique perfume that I recommend if you want to smell classical, in control, but feminine – its sexual impermeability is strangely enticing. A lady at a Japanese department store told me that although this perfume attracts fewer buyers now than it once did, those that wear it will wear it for life. By now probably deserving of classic status.