Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Guerlain-Idylle (EDP)


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

14 comments:

  1. I agree that Idylle isn't nearly as disastrous as some people wanted us to believe... but here's something you might not have considered:

    It works rather well as a masculine!

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  2. I've got to say that I find this a wretched fragrance, bland yet mean and thin and headache inducing at the same time. If Guerlain wants to promote a piercing white floral, I don't understand why they don't just relaunch Jardins de Bagatelle. Having said that, the bottle is pretty. I was given some as a gift and am having no luck shifting it on ebay which suggests no-one else wants it either.

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  3. I tried to like it, I really did. It just doesn't work for me

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  4. My reaction was "meh" as well. I had hopes, as I had heard about this being a lily of the valley fragrance. OK, so it's there, but it's far from a Diorissimo. The bottle always reminds me of a garlic bulb.

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  5. It's wearable, although when I'm not earing it I have trouble remembering what it is like. And somehow it seems to be trying a bit too hard, like a little girl trying on her moother's lipstick and stilletos. Comical.

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  6. Preppy. That's the perfect word to describe that NR type of fragrance. It's elegant compared to a lot of other mainstream releases, but they play it safe in a way that feels very preppy.

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  7. Persolaise, I'll have to make the husband try it and report back.

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  8. GSE, I can't deal with the screechy Jardins de Bagatelle, which is why I've been dragging my feet on reviewing it, though I have a couple of minis.

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  9. dleep, I don't blame you even one bit.

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  10. Patty, you made me laugh with the garlic bulb thing. I'll never be able to look at an Idylle bottle the same way again.

    I used to think I hated muguet, but ever since Andy Tauer's Carillon and the two ones from DSH I've become a believer.

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  11. Annemarie, I agree, Idylle is trying too hard to be liked, especially by those who are just not that into perfume.

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  12. Thanks, Dain :)
    Once upon a time I wanted to be preppy. Got over that phase quickly, though.

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  13. I cannot abide Jardins de Bagatelle but for what it is (as you say screechy) it's incredibly well done, which is not what one can say about Idylle.

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  14. GSE, I know what you mean. JdB belongs to a different era in Guerlain's history. I'm not too happy with the way they're treating their heritage and loyal customers.

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