The yearning for spring continues.
Usually when we talk about "Guerlinade" we refer to the sweet floral-powder-to pastry shop accord most of us recognize as Guerlain's signature that runs with minor variations through many Guerlain perfumes and causes us to classify them as "very Guerlain" or a-typical Guerlain. One learns to identify this Guerlinade pretty quickly once he or she becomes familiar with both the classics and modern Guerlains. But Guerlinade is also the name of at least two perfumes (in several incarnations from the house), and today we're talking about the limited edition one from 1998, which was released to commemorate both the house's 170th anniversary and the 200th birthday of Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain, the founder.
The 1998 Guerlinade was created by Jean Paul Guerlain, fourth generation perfumer. His interpretation of what Guerlain is all about didn't take the most traveled road towards vanilla-fest. Instead, Mr. Guerlain wants to show us what 170 years in classic Paris look, smell and feel like. The result, surprising or not, is very very floral.
Guerlinade is mostly lilacs, later joined by sheer jasmine, a touch of linden and some powdery iris. The official notes also mention tonka bean and vanilla, but this is not what the perfume is about. Guerlain's Paris is so abstract and ethereal it has no room for the sensual pleasures of macarons, almond cookies or a buttery croissant. This is all about dreamy nostalgia, sheer curtains in a Parisian room letting the scent of spring in through the open window and gently filtering the light.
I don't wear Guerlinade very often. It's a bit too dainty for me and, let's be honest, I don't consider it among Guerlain's true classic masterpieces. My Paris is a lot more sensual, robust and aggressive than this daydream in lilac, but right now I'm in the mood for delicate blossoms and pale cheeks, so Guerlinade works nicely.
The 1998 limited edition of Guerlinade came in the presentation box you see above (that's the photo of my bottle). The outer box has the names of all four generation of Guerlain perfumers and pretty illustrations of 19th century scenes. The short-lived 2005 reissue smells the same to my nose (I just drained a sample) and came in the standard bee bottle.
Guerlinade bottle photo by me.
Art: Lilacs in a glass with apple and lemon by Jacob Meyer de Haas, 1889 and Les Lilas, Temps Gris by Claude Monet 1872.
Photo of blooming lilacs in Paris by *Kelso* on Flickr.