Sous le Vent (1933) Eau de Toilette

Sous le Vent (Eau de Toilette) by Guerlain
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Sous le Vent (Eau de Toilette) is a popular perfume by Guerlain for women and was released in 1933. The scent is green-spicy. The production was apparently discontinued.

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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesCyclamen, Aniseed, Bergamot, Galbanum
Heart Notes Heart NotesJasmine, Rose, Lily-of-the-valley, Ylang-ylang, Verbena, Tarragon, Lavender, Myrtle
Base Notes Base NotesMoss, Balsamic notes, Musk

Ratings

Scent

8.5 (155 Ratings)

Longevity

7.3 (120 Ratings)

Sillage

6.4 (125 Ratings)

Bottle

8.6 (133 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 16.07.2019

Interesting Facts

The perfume, originally from 1933, was re-edited 2005 in the collection "Il était une fois Guerlain" (in English: "Once upon a time Guerlain"). This collection - also named "The Vintages" - was planned to comprise five historical fragrances, but finally remained restricted to "Sous le vent" and "Vega", re-edited 2005 as well.

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Reviews

8.0 8.0 9.0/10
ScentFan

325 Reviews
ScentFan
ScentFan
Very helpful Review    3
French Heroine
Sous le Vent is the name the French use to refer to the Leeward Islands in the West Indies, an exotic place they associated with Josephine Baker because of her banana dance, no doubt, even though she was African-American. Jacques Guerlain created this scent for her because she was the hottest thing in Paris at the time. This is a fresh, mossy perfume for an active woman on the way to climb a mountain, or... wait, how can that apply to Josephine Baker, a jazz dancer? Because she was much more than a boldly sexy cabaret sensation, she was an unusually independent, enterprising, stand-on-your-own-two-feet sort, awarded France's highest honors--the Croix de Guerre, Légion d'Honneur and Rosette of the Résistance--for her fearless support of the French resistance during WWII (e.g., smuggling secret messages in her music, being a sub-lieutenant in the Air Force). Guerlain must have known her well. No fainting violet she, but just the kind of strong and captivating woman who, rejected in America, would go to another country to make her way. Of course she'd risk her life for France, who loved and welcomed her. Strongly green and mossy, freshened by sea-breezy cyclamen, loaded with luxurious flowers, their sweetness balanced by tarragon, myrtle, musk and such Sous le Vent is for a woman of substance who knows she is female. A work of art herself, she wears this fragrant work of art and, courageously should it suit her, nothing else.
7.5 5.0 5.0 9.0/10
GothicHeart

87 Reviews
GothicHeart
GothicHeart
Very helpful Review    4
Carried by the wind...
Have you ever thought of selling all your perfume collection just to buy one extremely rare bottle of a perfume that shook your world? And how about if you're a man and the perfume in question is supposedly a feminine one? It's one of these abhorrent yet alluring thoughts, on which one might spend a whole life pondering over it, without being able to make a final decision. The proverbial "What if?".
Sous le Vent is the melancholic smile of someone who gazes at the horizon while being in some far-flung exotic place on this earth and knows there's a war going on back home. But while his thoughts are back there, his eyes are here. Beholding all the eye-hurting beauty which lies before them and floods every single grain of his soul's sands. The war is there, beauty and life is here... And he slowly turns his back to the horizon, and chooses life.
If there was some way to know how a painting would smell like, then I imagine this would be the scent wafting from Paul Gaugin's "Manao tupapau". Surrounded by an otherwoldly aura, created by a seemingly contradictive atmosphere of both innocence and debauchery. Like bright colours which can be a sign of life and a warning of danger at the same time. Like a joyous yet austere beauty, whose austerity comes from the very same quality of being beautiful, and thus unapproachable to many. I can picture Josephine Baker coming out of a giant bottle, and then dancing frenzily around it, before the eyes of the mesmerised audience, as though it was some kind of a totem. Primitive, yes, but also one of extremely skilled craftmanship. You can hold beauty in your hands, but can you hold its essence? You can put your arms around a beautiful woman, but can you put them around her soul? No matter how close you may be, Sous le Vent will always be elusive. Like the never-ending quest for happiness. Like the fleeting and short-lived fulfilment that beauty pursuers may feel every once in a while. Just like the wind, Sous le Vent may be at your side, but it shall never be yours...
I'm fully aware that my words may sound abstruse, but it's not reason that is speaking here, and the exact depiction of abstract sentiments through words is a privilege held by poets. And I'm not a poet... But Jacques Guerlain surely was. One of the greatest poets of his generation I'd daresay, even though he did not write a single word. For me, and based on my sentimental receptors rather than my olfactory ones and the iota of their analytic abilities, this is Guerlain's eternal masterpiece. One of just a handful of scents which drown me under a tidal wave of images and dampen my eyes, every single time I feel them. Not Shalimar, not Mitsouko, not L'Heure Bleue, not Apres l'Ondee, not Jicky. No. This...
1 Replies
7.5 5.0 2.5 8.0/10
Drseid

671 Reviews
Drseid
Drseid
5
A Great Unisex Chypre...
The first thing I noticed when I put it on was a great spiced almost lime-like accord. My guess is it actually was a combination of bergamot and tarragon. Whether lime or bergamot, it smelled incredible, and I pretty much knew I was going to like this one. Middle notes were relatively green in nature, with a lot of the top note remnants hanging around. The base of the scent was just a tad powdery with some of the expected Guerlain fingerprint dry-down (maybe iris?), but not as prominent as others I have tried (and to me this is a good thing, as I dislike the Guerlain powdery house dry-down as a general rule) mixing with a nice wood accord. I find Sous le Vent very unisex and men should not hesitate to try this one.

The only issue I had with it was the longevity. I only get 4-6 hours with average sillage, and that is short for me. Oh yeah, I guess the $300 price is an issue too... Too bad, because Sous le Vent is really quite good and I would like to add this 4 to 4.5 star winner to my collection.
5.0 5.0 7.0/10
Sherapop

1239 Reviews
Sherapop
Sherapop
Very helpful Review    4
Floral Green Morphs Into Old-School Chypre
Guerlain SOUS LE VENT unfolds in two very distinct stages on my skin. The opening is a bright and cheery floral green with a perfect balance of lavender, tarragon and probably other green elements (such as basil). Gorgeous, but incredibly fleeting, I'm afraid.

The drydown of this perfume is standard old-school chypre fare. If there's no oakmoss in this reformulation, I cannot imagine what accounts for the textbook dark and dirty, somewhat musty quality which dominates everything else, wiping out the optimistic opening to produce a brooding, introspective chypre. The overall effect is more that of a dried floral chypre—though the lavender is no longer detectable to my nose in the drydown—than a fruity one.

Although I generally love complex and layered chypres, this one seems pretty one-dimensional and does not stand out from the crowd. The opening of SOUS LE VENT is clearly unisex, but the much lengthier drydown of this perfume smells like a fairly typical "old lady" chypre—not an insult, by any means, in my lexicon, just a description...
10.0 2.5 7.5 10.0/10
Larimar

4 Reviews
Larimar
Larimar
Very helpful Review    5
How I came to love Sous le Vent...
Why do I love Sous le Vent when I can't do most (vintage) green chyprés?
In a one-liner I would describe Sous le Vent as a powdery aromatic chypré.

The opening accord of Sous le Vent consisting of green notes (galbanum, citrus) and herbs, mostly tarragon to my perception, creates a lime-like accord, which is juicy, zesty like the lime in tropical longdrinks/cocktails. The aromatic component is persistent and gets slightly less citric as the powdery woods come in. Next in its development is the revelation of a spot-on perfect chypré accord. By this time Sous le Vent is a skin scent (most chyprés are) that lingers on for a very long time. Very deep in the base is a slightly animalic/indolic component hidden that blooms more in summer I suppose.
Everything is gorgeously balanced in Sous le Vent, the refreshing, reviving aromatic citric opening accord (after all, according to history this was meant to refresh Josephine Baker after her legendary performances), the powdery woods and notes of undergrowth (official notes list) and last but not least a perfect chypré accord to my nose with a naughty hint well hidden underneath.
I have read many different perfume associations for Sous le Vent. What came first to my mind is the green note in the heart that clearly reminded me of the green in the current Vol de Nuit Extrait. Diaghilev by Roja Dove (another superb contemporary chypré) made an appearance when the woody facet and overall tone was most prominent. Eau de Guerlain and its citric opening blast is not far either.
One last word about the concentration - I think the airy character, like a breeze, the refreshing quality is retained best in the EdT concentration, however much I like to wear extraits in general.
Sous le Vent is as per January 2012 still part of Guerlain's product range and not yet discontinued. However, I am not hopeful for this interesting and sophisticated composition for the future. I also do not expect that the Guerlain 'Il etait une fois' collection (of which Sous le Vent is a part) will live on...
1 Replies

Statements

OPomone 4 years ago
I am thinking of all these theologians who worked so hard to prove God's existence.
What a waste of time!
One proof is enough: this perfume.+5
10.0
7.5
10.0
10.0

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