As a newbie (meanwhile not so new anymore), I try to write a series of comments. This is the ninth part.
The motivation, the idea and the criteria
I'm a real fan of the scent of roses (in my youth my mother had Paris from YSL. I thought "the hammer") but the rose isn't exactly the first thing you come across as part of a men's fragrance. Nevertheless the rose is included in - as I think - more and more men's fragrances.
According to the following criteria I have therefore selected 12 of these fragrances and will comment and compare them one by one:
- Men's fragrance (except Desert Rose by Urban Scent as a unisex scent, I just had to use it)
- Rose as heart note (exception: Much Ado About The Duke from Penhaligon's, I was just in London at the idea)
- Published from the year 2000
- Rating of at least 6.0 with at least 40 ratings
- No Oud (not mine)
Fragrance no. 9 is: L'Homme Idéal - Eau de Parfum (*2016) by Guerlain
(so far: (1) Lumière Noire pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian, (2) 24 Old Bond Street Triple Extract by Atkinsons, (3) Lyric Man by Amouage, (4) Colonia Ambra by Acqua di Parma), (5) Déclaration d'un Soir by Cartier, (6) Desert Rose by Urban Scents , (7) ManRose by Etro), (8) Much Ado About The Duke by Penhaligon's
The house, the perfumer and the shopping
Guerlain is one of the oldest perfume houses in the world. Founded in 1828, it was run by the family of the same name until 1994. The perfumer-chemist Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain opened his first house in 1828 at Place l'Etoile, today's Place Charles-de-Gaulle (for those who are interested: The square was renamed on 13 November 1970, a few days after the death of the former French President). In 1853, Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain donated his Eau de Cologne Impériale to Empress Eugénie on the occasion of her marriage to Napoleon III, thus becoming the official court perfumer. Four generations later and after the development of classics such as Shalimar (1925) and Habit Rouge (1965), the company was taken over by the luxury group LVMH in 1994. The great-great-grandson of the company's founder, Jean-Paul Guerlain, was the last owner and, until 2008, the brand's head perfumer. Alongside Mathilde Laurent, who - as described in No. 5 (Déclaration d'un Soir by Cartier) - had already worked with and for Jean-Paul Guerlain in the early 1990s, it was and still is Thierry Wasser, above all, who drove the further developments. He succeeded Jean-Paul Guerlain in 2008, becoming the first perfumer-in-chief at Guerlain not to bear the legendary name. Swiss-born Thierry Wasser (*1961), who designed L'Homme Idéal - Eau de Parfum here - together with the German Delphine Jelk, is one of the "outstanding personalities in the perfume art of today". With this description, he was honored for his life's work on May 12, 2019 at the German Perfume Awards. After an apprenticeship at the Givaudan Perfume School in Geneva, his first creation (for Givaudan) was Salvador Dali for Men in 1987. In an interview, he describes his work as a melodic piece of music.
I came across L'Homme Idéal - Eau de Parfum for my series rather by chance and I would like to thank Shuqush for the bottling.
The fragrance, the ingredients and the experience
Guerlain's creations are often said to have a slight "family resemblance" in the form of a common, classic "scent chord". This so-called "Guerlinade" is the "code name" for a mixture of jasmine, iris, tonka bean, bergamot, Bulgarian rose and vanilla. L'Homme Idéal - Eau de Parfum also quotes this tradition. The fragrance starts with an intense almond amaranth, (cherry) fruity note. In contrast to the sometimes tangy-nutty to slightly bitter, here it is quite clearly the sweet side of almond, complemented by the fruity side of bergamot. And in my opinion, a hint of cardamom and possibly also cinnamon is added at the beginning - slightly balsamic. The bergamot probably comes from Calabria, where Guerlain - by the way - has been switching to organic farming for a few years now. According to Thierry Wasser, many people do not know the scent of bergamot from nature, which in his opinion makes it mysterious. This is part of the concept here, "enveloping, seductive and mysterious" is how the fragrance should appear. Interestingly enough, the almond tree belongs to the rose family and almonds are known to be used in the production of marzipan. While rose water is occasionally added to round off the taste - i.e. in the production of marzipan - the (Bulgarian) rose follows here, also in a rounded form. The heart note, however, is determined by vanilla. The incense is added - and it does so in a wonderful and perfectly balanced way - which then slowly merges into the leather. The whole thing is framed in a further rounding off by soft sandalwood and the manel-like tonka. As a result, Thierry Wasser and Delphine Jelk have created two triads in L'Homme Idéal - Eau de Parfum, two three-tone chords: The classic "guerlinade" (enveloping, seductive) of (1) bergamot - (2) rose and vanilla - (3) tonka, and the wooden oriental (seductive, mysterious) of (1) almond and spices - (2) incense - (3) leather and sandalwood. And the "gourmand" of almond, vanilla and tonka combines the two triads into a melodic work of art, entirely in the intention of Thierry Wasser.
The conclusion, the comparison and the practical application
In Guerlain's L'Homme Ideal range, the eau de parfum is certainly the fragrance for the cooler months and evenings, perhaps (with its classical DNA) for evenings with classical music. In my series, it's most likely to join Colonia Ambra (see "A dozen roses for men - 4/12"). The rose is also here accompanying and rounding off. Seldom have I experienced the development of a perfume from the top to the base note so finely and yet so clearly. However, for my taste - especially for an eau de parfum - the fragrance could be a bit stronger in the haltbarket and sillage. In any case, L'Homme Ideal - Eau de Parfum is "enveloping, seductive and mysterious" and 100% a wonderful gourmand.
(1) Lumière Noire pour Homme - The noble softie
(2) 24 Old Bond Street Triple Extract - The Elegant Briton
(3) Lyric Man - The "pure" rose
(4) Colonia Ambra - The "warm (rose) wood"
(5) Déclaration d'un Soir - The "olfactory emotion"
(6) Desert Rose - "The name of the rose"
(7) ManRose - The aesthete
(8) Much Ado About The Duke - The ambivalent classic
(9) L'Homme Idéal - Eau de Parfum - The Gourmand