Thursday, October 22, 2009

Guerlain Derby (Vintage)

Today was so gorgeous weather and nature-wise that even this Jersey town looked golden and magical . I was having a great hair day, wearing a favorite light dress and a green leather jacket. And three sprays of vintage Derby, a 1985 Guerlain creation.

Derby is usually considered as more masculine, probably because of all the green aromatics, nearly lack of any sweetness and a green leather drydown. But I don't find it very butch or macho, just uplifting. There's a casual elegance to Derby, a kind of classiness you often find in real oakmossy chypres, and a refined slightly floral heart that makes it go down easily even if you're not that much into chypres- this isn't Bandit and definitely not Mitsouko, despite the leather and oakmoss. More of a smoother, kinder Sous le Vent.

Derby was discontinued, reissued, reformulated and rebottled, and I suspect that it was changed more than once. I only have this original vintage eagle bottle, but I've smelled and tested the new one, though not a bottle that was manufactured within the last 12 months. Since the re-orchestration of the scent included quite a bit of citrus in the top (it smells to me like a very nice minty lemonade, before the more substantial parts of the fragrance took over), and IFRA has decided that citrus is harmful for your health, I wouldn't be surprised to hear it was changed and neutered. In any case, the 'Les Parisiennes' version (in a bottle similar to Sous le Vent) is still worthy of trying, even if it's not as potent and long lasting as the original.

Derby in its current formulation is only available from Guerlain boutiques and at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks flagship store in NYC. The vintage can occasionally be found on eBay.


1 comment:

  1. The best masculine, imo, though maybe I'm thinking "best masculine for a woman".


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