Perfume can bewitch; irritate; shock. But it can also soothe and simply be nice, a buffer between the harsh realities of the world outside and the cocoon within, a fourth dimension that holds us together in the moment, making us feel grounded, and real. A block.
Standing in the Hibiya boutique of Guerlain in Tokyo the other day and smelling these two new (re-edited) perfumes, I was suddenly transported to a world I am not familiar with: the complacently rarified world of the Parisian well-to-do, a moneyed family living in a beautiful banlieue somewhere in the city of light: the thick, cool, white walls of each room softened with silence, the problems in the outskirts of the city firmly shuttered out, the solid reality of furniture, of drapes; subdued light, the safety of a baby’s cries.
On the dresser are two perfumes: Petit Guerlain and Mademoiselle Guerlain, newly bought in their clutchable bee bottles, their robustness of quality and ease, two pleasant and reassuring scents that are like a nod that in this world at least, everything is alright.
Mademoiselle Guerlain is a reissue of one of the Petite Robe Noire 2 scents that was discontinued and then repackaged as a part of Les Exclusifs (with a price hike to suit, which seems a little naughty). Nevertheless, there is something very appealing about this scent both in appearance and in smell, which is cute, à la mode, a marshmallow gourmand that settles on the skin like a girlish cloud, flirtatious, vanillic, but which also has some astringent contradictions inherent in its makeup: the full vanilla base, lightly touched with white musk and leather, contrasting nicely with a sharp green orange blossom, bergamot, iris, and galbanum opening that gives the scent some extra verve and insolence, that extra sexy something that takes the scent away from the standard high street sweeties. She is pleased that she chose this one.
The price of her baby’s perfume, Petit Guerlain, was a bit much, she acknowledges (and isn’t this starting him on the ‘French way of doing things’ just that little bit too young?) but anyhow, she just couldn’t resist it the other afternoon down on the Elysées with Hélène. How could anyone? One spritz from the bottle, at the insistence of that elegant assistant, and the scent of innocence and simple beauty was so uplifting and affecting that she had to have it, even if it was just to spray in his little bedroom, or perhaps in her lingerie : the softest, gentlest notes of mimosa, orange blossom and honey; tame, pastel shades of pistachio and musk, and that beautiful, delicately citrus opening. When she sprays it into the air, and looks down at her baby, fast asleep, locked safely in his own budding consciousness, the world outside just fades away.
10 responses to “IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING…………TWO ORANGE BLOSSOM PERFUMES BY GUERLAIN: : : MADEMOISELLE GUERLAIN (20I4) + LE PETIT GUERLAIN (20I4)”
Oh wow I was drawn into this world
Me too, actually!
I think I might take a lie down on the bed in that room…
Beautifully done, sweet, perfect
Thanks H. I wrote it in ten minutes but found some strange kind of pleasing escape in it.
I could picture the whole scene! It was a nice reverie on a Monday morning.
Glad to hear it!
This kind of writing you can do in your sleep. Perfect for your book. Effortless, fast, satisfying enough for you. For us, the same kind of pleasing escape. Just right.
Thanks. I quite like this style as well.
Dodo l’enfant do …
L’enfant dormira bientot
The safety of a baby’s cries …
Actually that put me to sleep when my neighbours had babies; they apologized for the noise of crying at night but I told them I did not mind. It was the soft version, like a malcontented puppy, not the real distress.
Falling asleep now, a delicate balance between the sound of the words and the mist of the scents . Heaven, I’m in heaven …
Sometimes daytime sleeps are the most beautiful – illicit and deeper.