The first eleventy seven times I sniffed and tested Idylle all I could think was "whatever". It's not like we didn't smell this one before, and frankly, I was annoyed with the fact someone at Guerlain/LVMH felt the need to play the same game as Narciso Rodriguez and SJP's Lovely. Why bother, really? Then I had a chance to smell it on someone else and was surprised at the nuances and delicate harmony Idylle formed on her skin. This pushed me to work on my relationship with this 2009 Guerlain mainstream release, and after about 5-6 ml of spray samples I can say I don't hate it.
Don't get me wrong. I still think that Idylle is a redundant fragrance that's mostly geared towards an audience who doesn't actually like perfume in general and the Guerlain classics in particular. But if I absolutely had to pick and wear one scent of the synthetic floral and musk genre I'd go with Idylle because it's less offensive, less screechy and far better made than the competition.
They say Idylle has notes (see below). I can identify something that pretends to be freesia and that generic white musk. They also say Idylle is a chypre. It makes me want to cry and bathe in vintage Mitsouko and Parure. Yes, there's that cleaned up and castrated patchouli note we find in many a department store perfume nowadays, but chypre? Really? The funny thing is that I doubt anyone who actually buys Idylle would mind.
On my skin, Idylle is the ghost of a fruity-floral, which is probably the best part of it. Thierry Wasser created for Guerlain a well-behaved, kind of preppy perfume that's easy on one's coworkers or classmates. I've been wearing Idylle on some muggy days recently and while the dry-down bored me out of my skull I won't deny it's warm and pleasant and can work as a nice summer scent. I just don't do that kind of nice.
Notes: Bulgarian roses, raspberry, litchee, lily-of-the-valley, lilac, peony, freesia, jasmine, musk, patchouli.
Guerlain Idylle ($130, 100 ml) is available from most department stores.
Photo: Ladies Home Journal 1960 from myvintagevogue.com