Continuing with our ‘Wind Series’- we last looked at Balmain’s exquisite Vent Vert – which, translated into English, we find to mean ‘Green Wind’ – a name that might be construed as a colicky baby burped on her mother’s shoulder, the uncomfortable result of too much Vietnamese, or even strong gales recorded around derelict and mouldering building sites in Chernobyl, but which any case, loses all the poetry of the original French when the English speaker comes to understand the proper definition; equally, Ma Robe Sous Le Vent – ‘My Dress In The Wind ‘ sounds, and is, stupid. Is this a humdrum polyester casual maxi just blowin’ on the line, in the breeze, after it comes out from the washing machine? Or could it be that this wan and worthless concoction is designed to be an evocation of Marilyn Monroe’s immortalized sewer moment, as gusts of underground gases come billowing up in and around her underpants?
Whatever Thierry Wasser’s intentions, I am in all honesty quite DELIGHTED that this crap little perfume exists. According to Monsieur Guerlain, a website I very much enjoy for its exhaustive Guerlainophile attention to the tiniest detail, a bottle of the most venerable French house’s most successful contemporary perfume, La Petite Robe Noire, is sold somewhere in the world every three seconds, and this recently rejigged version, a supposed eau de parfum intense, was created by Guerlain’s in-house perfumer to be sweeter for the American market, for those who found the original incredibly uninspiring French version too unsugared. SWEETER? What, the faux-black cherry caramel of the original synthetic dessert just wasn’t quite enough?
Apparently not! So, as a result, this more recent edition of the neverending fruitchouli bandwagon, allowing Guerlain to compete for market share with Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle, Mugler’s Angel, and Lancôme’s abominable La Vie Est Belle, has notes (allegedly: they elude me) of blueberry, Bulgarian rose, candyfloss, patchouli, white musk and vanilla that smell even cheaper, and tackier, than any other perfume I have possibly ever smelled.
Still, if this new version, of what is already a global success for Guerlain, makes major inroads into the North American market ( you can imagine some lady living in the back of beyond, when asked what perfume she is wearing, and answering in full, in god knows what pronunciation, “Oh, it’s just a spritz or two of GUERLAIN LA PETITE ROBE NOIRE MA ROBE SOUS LE VENT EAU DE PARFUM INTENSE ( and someone gunning her down in response ) – becomes a mega-hit, then I am glad.
YES. Keep my beloved perfume house afloat financially. Let the spondoolas from the trash that sells wildly flood the Champs Elysees so that the precious vaults of beauteous perfumes can be properly archived and maintained. If people have no taste, that is FINE. Let Guerlain rake in the coffers from their cheap-as-chips concoctions with disproportionately high prices, so that all the perfumes that we DO love by this house, and there are so many, can be kept alive, nurtured, and preserved; and that new ones, perfumes with imagination, creativity and fine ingredients, are still to be created.