French Impressionism in a Bottle
Heart Notes: Mimosa, Carnation, Sandalwood, Violet, Orris Root, Jasmine, Vetiver, Ylang-Ylang, Rose.
Base Notes: Iris, Amber, Musk, Benzoin, Vanilla, Heliotrope, Styrax.
After reading about Apres L'Ondee a few years ago, I was eager to try it because I am familiar with other Guerlain parfums, and I felt certain I would love it. There is a rumour circulating that it will soon no longer be available in the U.S., and there is another rumour that Guerlain intends to stop making it altogether, so before either one of these possible eventualities became realities, I ordered the eau de toilette on-line from an Amazon seller. This review primarily concerns the current EDT, but I do discuss the vintage extrait at the end to some extent.
The Apres L'Ondee EDT indeed smells very fresh and bright. I found it to be almost loud upon first application of it to my skin, but it quickly dried down to a softer scent. I would describe it as a quite green scent, but it is not green in the way that Diorissimo is green, for example. It smells of soft, vaguely sweet grasses and cut flower stems, not the blossoms so much but the green stems. I do smell flowers, but they seem more distant than the grasses and green stems. I do indeed pick up on a wetness to it as well. After it was on my skin for a couple of hours, I could definitely detect a very light, sweet, vanilla or honey note to it. It is quite charming in the dry down.
I do not particularly like the top notes, but I have only worn it a few times, and my opinion may change later. I like the dry down which is soft, vaguely sweet but not sugary sweet at all, grassy, and slightly wet. Apres is a very demure scent, and as other reviewers have noted, it it not very long lasting. I had perhaps two to three hours of it before it was completely gone. I intend to apply some scent-free lotion before I apply the Apres next time to see if the lotion will help it to linger longer on my skin.
The EDT has moderate to strong projection upon first application, but it quietens down pretty quickly. Sillage is also moderate upon first application, but it, too, quietens down quickly. My biggest criticism is the current EDT's lack of longevity, but this is a criticism I have of virtually all eau de toilettes, and it is the reason why I buy eau de parfum if it is available. Unfortunately, Apres L'Ondee in either eau de parfum or in extrait formulation is no longer made, so if you want to try it, you will either have to purchase the current EDT or find a vintage bottle or decanted sample.
I have been able to sample a vintage Apres L'Ondee in pure parfum formulation, and it is MUCH different from the current EDT. As expected, the vintage parfum has a deeper, creamier smell to it. It is also a bit sweeter but still not candy sweet. It has that wet, grassy sweetness about it. It wears very, very close to the skin, even closer than the EDT and its presence, too, was quite fleeting on my skin. I feel privileged to have been able to sample the long since discontinued extrait, though.
My overall impression of Apres L'Ondee is favourable. After trying it, I do not think anyone exaggerated in describing Apres L'Ondee as an utterly beautiful, iconic fragrance, a classic creation. It is unlike any other scent I have ever tried. Do I recommend you buy a bottle of the current EDT? Yes, it is worth sampling and keeping in your collection as a reference point as well as an historical artefact should Guerlain stop making it. Do I recommend you buy a vintage EDT, EDP, or extrait? Yes, a vintage is very worthy of the cost, and I think if you like this type of scent, then you will really like the vintage Apres L'Ondee.