Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Guerlain- Le Parfum du 68

Modern day Guerlain is plagued by flankers, flankers of flankers, and third generation flankers of perfumes that weren't all that great to begin with. This, combined with aspirational packaging and pricing almost made me skip Le Parfum du 68, a "reworking" of the 2006 Cologne du 68 (that's a nice way to say "flanker").  I like Cologne 68 well enough, though I never bothered to get a bottle, and the whole premise sounded like someone at Guerlain was trying too hard just so they could put the 68 label on something more luxurious to coincide with the reopening of their flagship store on 68 avenue des Champs-Elysées that has undergone a major renovation. All that aside, Le Parfum du 68 is a delicious and very well-done perfume that deserves attention and praise for what it is. It's a modern interpretation of the unmistakable classic Guerlain  theme, and I'm a total sucker for that.

 Le Parfum du 68 is a golden scent. The opening feels like an enthusiastic sunrise, sparkling and zesty (every site has a slightly different version of the notes, but my money is on bergamot and lots of it).  It's steeped in immortelle flowers that are slightly neutered and smell less syrupy than they can be, for better and for worse. Not that this Guerlain perfume isn't sweet: it is, and there's all the tonka, resinous benzoin, and heliotrope you could ask for, creating the magical Guerlinade. But Le Parfum du 68 is so carefully balanced that it's kept on the mostly unisex side. I've heard comparisons of Parfum du 68 to several Guerlain perfumes, classic and new, from L'Heure Bleue to Terracotta and Tonka Imperiale. I'll add that I was instantly reminded of Angelique Noire, probably where 68 transitions from floral to balsamic and vanillic. But Le Parfum du 68 stands on its own, and wearing it is quite satisfying.

If I spray enough, that is. I've nearly depleted my decant at this point, because my skin seems to absorb this perfume. Sillage is very polite and longevity is a bit deceiving: since there's so little projection and the whole thing remains in the space between skin and clothes one stops noticing it unless body temperature rises quickly. It's still there, in a very powdery and somewhat musky fashion, hovering deliciously just above skin (and clings beautifully to sweaters and scarves). I'd say that it's a great third date perfume, one that invites to get closer.

Notes: immortelle, rose, heliotrope, benzoin, spices, Guerlinade accord, woods.

Guerlain- Le Parfum du 68 ($253, 75ml) is available from Guerlain boutiques and select locations such Bergdorf Goodman and Saks 5th Avenue flagship stores.

Top photo: the new Maison Guerlain via Vogue France.


  1. It took forever to get to the words after the first photo. That is what a major renovation looks like. Wow.

  2. You make the Parfum du 68 sound lovely. I am a fan of Cologne 68 and have bottle, but frankly don't wear it as often as my enjoyment of it warrants. That's because it's too sweet/not refreshing (for my taste) for summer; yet it's not quite rich enough for winter (again, per my particular preferences). The Parfum sounds like I might relate to it better. But at that price I'm not going to buy it any time soon, alas. Perhaps a decant eventually. Or maybe I should just revisit my bottle of the Cologne (tho I understand they're not the same)! Aha: a plan.

  3. Somehow I missed this one. Completely. Just raced off and ordered a sample. This sounds absolutely in sync with what I'm craving these days and I need the joy of discovering great new perfumes, so am actually sort of glad I didn't know about it before. Better timing to find it now.

  4. I tried this one in duty free in Paris and was surprised at how much I liked it. Wonderfully blended, smelled "expensive" (sorry, I know that sounds tackey, but so many "nice" perfumes don't smell that well done!). The dry down was so warm and smooth.


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