Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guy Laroche- Clandestine

I didn't discover Clandestine by Guy Laroche (1986) until a couple of years ago, and that's a shame, because it could have easily been one of my signature scents back in the day. Clandestine has all the stuff I love and then some- a honeyed boozy plum opening that leads the way into a surprisingly dark floral heart and a gorgeous, rich sweet animalic base. What's not to like? Just look at the list of notes (from

Top: plum, bergamot, pineapple, aldehydes and apricot
Heart:  Damask rose, tuberose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, carnation, heliotrope, honey and iris
Base:  patchouli, amber, vanilla, benzoin, cedar, civet and musk

Seriously, that's the stuff big skanky floriental dreams are made of, and when it comes to this style, I'm a child of the 1980s through and through.

Clandestine is obviously a dark and sexy perfume, quite heavy and not for the faint of heart. It's also beautiful, rich and well-balanced, keeping the animalics, honey and heavy eyelids under control. For such a bold perfume with obvious intentions, this Guy Laroche creation is actually quite tasteful. It's easier to wear than another gem of the same genre and era, Paco Rabanne La Nuit, and feels more glamorous and less dabaucherous. It's still fun, though, and feels almost cozy with its warm honey and smooth base. Clandestine feels like taking off that red carpet dress and slipping into something more comfortable to continue the night.

Clandestine was discontinued quite a while ago (Fidji and Drakkar Noir are the only fragrances currently listed on Guy Laroche website, though we all know that Fidji hasn't been itself for years now). Bottles of the EDT of the most recent formulation can still be found online for around $50, but since my bottles are older and all are EDP I can't comment on quality.

Clandestine 1986 ads from
Guy Laroche fashion ads from the mid-to-late 1980s from (Benjamin Kanarek is the photographer who shot the ads).

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I would love to find some of this. Sounds like something I would love. Thanks for that review.


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