Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Guerlain Angelique Noire

Despite my general fondness for Guerlain's L'Art et la Matiere series, I never paid much attention to Angelique Noire other than the occasional sniffing to remind myself what it smells like. I always considered it nice, but a bit too floral and dainty for my taste. I'm a Shalimar and Mitsouko girl and often prefer my Guerlain on the dirty side. Angelique Noire felt a bit...blonde, I guess.

The above was true until some time last summer when a SA at the Guerlain counter of Saks NYC flagship store insisted I try it on skin. She took my hand and lightly misted my arm (she used the bulb atomizer) from the crook of my elbow to the wrist. It was love from the first hint of the slightly bitter green angelica mixed with citrus (bergamot, though the husband insists he smells lemons). Yes, Angelique Noire is quite floral, but it's not a pink sweater and pearls kind of floral and is unmistakably a Guerlain in the way it has threads of thick honeyed vanilla running through it.

I once made a comment that while I see the appeal in Chanel Beige, it doesn't go with my hair. Angelique Noire can suit someone who wears Beige when she wants to let her hair down and wear an outrageous (for her) dress. But it works for me just as well, unruly hair or not, and I don't even have to be on my best behavior to wear it.

Angelique Noire ($235, 2.5oz) and the rest of L'Art et la Matiere perfumes are available at Guerlain boutiques around the world, Saks 5th Avenue (only the NYC store), Bergdorf Goodman and a handful of Neiman Marcus locations. Neiman holds an occasional online Guerlain fragrance trunk show that allows internet orders. Samples and decants are available from The Posh Peasant and the Perfumed Court.

Images by Strangemagee on Flickr.


  1. I adore angelica (the raw material) which has got unbelievable complexity, from the green top notes all the way to the musky drydown. I loved Angélique Noire when I tried it. Unfortunately -- for my personal tastes -- I thought it dried down too quickly into vanilla and that the angelica aspect disappeared... Do you get that vanilla morphing, G.?

  2. SOunds quite lovely! I love Angelica as well, and vanilla/angelica chez Guerlain sounds an interesting blend indeed...

  3. Gaia, you do start the most delicious cravings in perfumes for me. I love each and every one.


  4. D., I get some vanilla from the very beginning and it intensifies rapidly. But the angelica never disappears for me and I absolutely adore it, so I get to enjoy all phases. Of course, I can deal with anything as long as there's enough vanilla thereto make me happy.

  5. LBV, it is an interesting blend and the angelica is green and vivid. Worth sampling for every Guerlain lover.

  6. Tamara, thank you so much :)
    Angelique Noire is definitely delicious. But sample first- not everyone finds the bitterness of the angelica as enjoyable. And I won't even start with Luca Turin's opinion on it.

  7. lady jane greyJune 30, 2010 3:23 PM

    I went to Maison du Guerlain for my 2nd bottle of Double Vanille and came home with Angelique Noire... I get only a little Vanille, and it remains bitter & green on me for long


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