The two urban highlights of my (very short) visit to Montreal were the Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture exhibit at the art museum (launched before his sudden death); and paying a visit to the Guerlain Insititue Beaute (1350 Greene Avenue 514-933-6114) accompanied by the fine lady Joann, a customer and a perfume-friend.
While the YSL exhibit had no particular odorous to report about, the Guerlain Institute is what it’s all about (unless you are there for the makeup). Time was short before closing – we only had about an our to explore some of the scents exclusive to Paris and very few other boutiques. For the first time, I have tried several scents and even though I was only able to skin-test a couple (Sous le Vent and Attrappe Coeur), I jotted down my impressions:
Sous le Vent
On the paper:
Chypre, dry, fresh, herbaceous
On the skin:
Warm, sensual, pronounced labdanum, lavender, greens
Dry, woody, citrusy, unsweet
Peach, like Champagne (Yvresse) but deeper, and with a fair amount of labdanum (amber)
Peach, amber and musk are the main notes with a vague floral weaving its way through for good measure. This smelled bolder and more interesting on the scent strip and became very soft and a little too girly, powdery and sweet on my skin.
Dry citrus chypre. Base is mostly patchouli, with herbaceous and citrus notes and a hint of floral. First reminded me of my own ArbitRary, and a few hours into the drydown reminds me of a tamed and toned-down Aromatics Elixir.
On paper: soapy musk with a faded gardenia note
On the skin it smells like gardenia and skin.
It did smell better on Joann, whos skin brought out the gardenia in a most realistic manner. We both agreed it had a certain soapiness to it though, which I thought of as very similar to Chanel’s No. 22.
This smells like a subdued Serge Lutens to me. It is more sweet than woody, with resinous hints bordering on amber territory with obvious wink towards Shalimar. A little too sweet to my taste and Shalimar is incomparably better.
I’ve also briefly re-visited what used to be called Coriolan (for the first time, the helicrysum and absinthe jumped at me, dry and recognizable); the new Guerlain Homme (pleasant and interesting with warm gourmand hints; nevertheless not exactly what I would call original – I could swear I smelled something similar to it recently; perhaps Rochas Homme?); Spirituese Double Vanille (super-charged vanilla that caught me in a dry, anti-vanilla mood but otherwise I would have considered it very wearable).
Labels: Attrappe Coeur, Bois d'Armenie, Cruel Gardenia, Guerlain, Montreal, Perfume Review, Philtre d'Amour, Sous le Vent