Top Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin Orange, Red Apple.
Heart Notes: Iris, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Magnolia.
Base Notes: Musk, Amber, Benzoin, Vanilla, Honey.
Upon initial application, I perceive a rather bright, sharp citrus note that must have been a combination of the mandarin orange and bergamot, but I was unable to pick out the apple note. L'Instant transitions to the heart notes pretty quickly. I highly anticipated the heart and base notes after reading other reviews of this fragrance, and once they arrived, I was not disappointed!
In the heart notes I perceive a quite green, fresh, strong magnolia note accompanied by a smidgen of jasmine, both of which seemed to float upon the most deliciously soft, lightly sweet honey note. I also detect a tiny bit of ylang-ylang which adds to the light sweetness of the honey note. The parfum really begins to blossom quite beautifully with the heart notes.
In the dry down, I am able to pick out a sensual amber, a slightly smokey vanilla, a rich, naturalistic honey, a tiny bit of musk, and still a remnant of the fresh, green magnolia. The base notes are warm and very nearly gourmand but not quite. Together the heart and base notes make L'Instant a true standout amongst fragrances that feature prominent magnolia and honey notes. This is the best, most naturalistic, warm and rich honey note I have encountered in a fragrace outside of Elie Saab's Le Parfum Intense EdP which is a gorgeous fragrance.
I truly love both the heart and base notes in this EdP. I do not understand how anyone could describe L'Instant as either cloyingly sweet or heavy in any way. I found it to be a quite LIGHT and inoffensive scent. It is quietly elegant and truly unobtrusive. Compared to some of my classic Guerlains such as L'Heure Bleue and Mitsouko, L'Instant is an extremely demure fragrance, and I cannot imagine it would offend anyone given how lightly and airily it wears on my skin. As for age appropriateness, I think any woman in her twenties and upward could easily wear this fragrance.
L'Instant is elegant, classy, and very FRENCH smelling. I like it very much, but I wish it were a tiny bit more assertive. Unless someone were standing within an arm's distance of the wearer, I do not think L'Instant could be detected.
Maurice Roucel has added a new "classic" to Guerlain's stable of classic fragrances. I think I would like to have the matching body lotion for this in order to give it a bit more oomph, though. This is so very feminine, soft, elegant, and ladylike. I think it would be suitable year round in virtually any setting.
Again, I would like to emphasise that it is NOT heavy, cloying, or overly sweet. The sweetness in it is very light and very naturalistic as opposed to synthetic. It does not have a sugary, candy sweetness to it at all. In short, it is simply gorgeous. I definitely recommend everyone give L'Instant EdP a test. It is back up bottle worthy and even signature worthy.