Browsing through family stories has such its own unique appeal.
Especially, of course, if this family is called Guerlain and so with five generations the world of fragrances with remarkable creations beglückte.
Such information around the great and also smaller classics of the fragrances bring them closer to me. Because I love fragrances with history and stories.
So of course "Jicky".
When the sons Guerlain followed their father Pierre-François-Pascal in 1864, the distribution of roles in the company was clear: the younger brother Gabriel takes over its management; Aimé can devote himself entirely to the creations of fragrances. Which he does successfully.
After he had made a name for himself with "Fleur d'Italie" and "Excellence", he wanted to go other, previously unknown ways and also promptly produced a scandal!
There's nothing like a proper scandal!
It was certainly no different back then!
One tore the mouths; but what did it matter: usually a proper scandal attracted the success!
So, of course, it happened with "Jicky".
The time was ripe to try something new and Aimé simply dared to do it:
He used the first synthetic fragrances to make "Jicky"; such as coumarin or vanillin, an aldehyde taken from vanilla. (Still found today in sugar of the same name.)
It rustled already quite properly in the smell leaf forest: What does he make then? He dares what!
Because a women's perfume should smell like flowers; a well-composed bouquet of sweet-smelling roses, violets and jasmine expected one.
But "Jicky" was suddenly so different, half oriental and spicy-aromatic.
The fragrance notes tumbled more or less in confusion; "Jicky" was an entirely new, indefinable scent that resembled nothing familiar.
When "Jicky" came on the market, something unexpected appeared: this fragrance was suddenly bought predominantly by men. "Jicky" became the fragrance of the dandies!
They had discovered their passion for this elusive scent, and it was only after a magazine "for the lady" was dedicated to it in 1912 that "Jicky" was able to conquer the ladies' world.
With this history in mind, I tested "Jicky," the eau de toilette, for the second time; the first trials had left me a bit confused.
Well, no wonder, as I now know!
Right at the beginning, "Jicky" reminds of a fragrance duet of bergamot and lavender, accompanied by fresh singing by mandarin and lemon, to which rosemary hums spicy before itself.
A very southern French entry into this fragrance experience; the Provence with its so different scented landscapes sends its regards!
This impression is still deepened by the peppery spiciness of basil, before the heavy swathes of fragrance of white jasmine and the noble, no less fragrant rose enter the stage.
Not only followed by the iris, which also provides some powdery softness here, but surprisingly also by patchouli and vertiver: what are these two doing here?
I would not have suspected them in a heart note and now I realize why I was so strange when I first got to know: Aimé Guerlain has really shaken the otherwise so smooth structure of the classic fragrance pyramid and thus created a not floral-feminine, but also spicy-earthy mixture, which is not quite so soft and round.
For this, he remains in the base but largely true to the usual: the most beautiful aromatics emerge here in cozy togetherness.
If only because of the noble rosewood (how I loved the silky shimmer of my little sewing table made of rosewood, the light scent when the sun shone on it and warmed the wood).
It's accompanied by a surprising accord of spices and leather, before the smoky clouds of incense and amber make themselves known; a bit scratchy and resinous, and so attuned to sandalwood, which, after all, isn't always entirely cuddly either.
This creation retains its special, not only feminine charm, reconciles a bit with the unexpected so far; the flow of fragrance begins to flow more quietly, the eddies, which provided some surprises, become less.
But that only seems so: after all, civet suddenly shocks with an animalicism that no one would have expected. Vanilla and tonka bean ensure by their very generous warmth also still that this nuance can blossom sensually.
"Jicky" has its finale - with timpani and trumpets and a surprising Tusch!
For that reason alone, "Jicky" must have shocked when it first appeared in 1889!
Where were the opulent floral bouquets, the fine woods and all the feminine playfulness that was expected of a women's fragrance?
First the for spoiled ladies noses tart-spicy entrance, which reminded of pristine Mediterranean nature, and then also so clearly occurring sensuality.
A "decent woman", and for this the customers of the house of Guerlains held themselves at the end of the 19th century, did not wear something like that!
So it is no wonder that the dandies pounced on this new fragrance being: finally they had discovered something, whereby they could emphasize their personality.
A glance at the known years shows that this remained so for a good twenty years.
In the meantime, "Jicky", which I tested here as an eau de toilette, has conquered its place: it is worn by women and men and the explosiveness of its shocking appearance is long gone. No one asks for it anymore.
I miss a little the harmonious round scent that always delights me in the Guerlain fragrances and to which I can surrender, like a warm loving embrace.
"Jicky" interrupts this even harmony again and again by unexpected shallows in the scent stream, some corners and edges.
This certainly makes the special charm of this fragrance; but keeps me a little at a distance.
I fremdele even after several more tests and know: you are beautiful, charming and passionate - but nothing for me!
So I admit "Un défait en amour" - a defeat in a fragrance love, which wanted to win so much for me.
But "Jicky" is so much-loved that I can turn my back on it with peace of mind.
I was still happy to have made this second attempt; I know now what it is: for "Jicky" I am too much female!