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Guerlain and the Zeitgeist
Uncommented fragrances No. 148
Guerlain is a traditional brand, no doubt! But at some point, traditional brands have also launched innovative fragrances: Jicky was the first uncompromisingly synthetic fragrance, Mitsouko was the first peach-chypre, Habit Rouge revolutionized the men's market with its oriental, Shalimar-like aura. You could think of many a Guerlain fragrance
But Patchoul-Ardent is neither one of the classic Guerlain fragrances nor an innovative one. It is a reminiscence of the spirit of the times. Is that bad?
In order to answer this question, one must take a closer look at the fragrance. First of all, there is an almost dominant peppery note that is a little reminiscent of incense: spicy, sparkling, almost takes your breath away at first. But there is something about it. Above all, because a green note is added to it, which I couldn't classify at all because I had overlooked the fig in the overview above. In retrospect, this is certainly the reason for this fresh, slightly grassy, sweet note, which is also found in other fig scents. As soon as this accent gets stronger, the peppery note is over and the fragrance quickly approaches its base.
Patchouli is certainly recognizable, but it doesn't really make sense that it had to be the one that gave the fragrance its name. But somehow this woody, dark, earthy accent is always present - even in the top note, especially on skin. I even like this combination of an earthy and a green note very much.
So far so unusual. So innovative after all? Not at the end of the day, because in the end, a leather note will be stronger, one that has been copied from the current penetrating imitation leather note and that has become the plague of men's perfumery since Tuscan Leather. I clearly prefer the classic leather notes (from Bel Ami, Knize & Co. which combine warm, amber, resinous and woody notes with carnation, animal accents). Nevertheless, the leather note here is never as obtrusive as in some new niche fragrances, but is used moderately and fragrance-wise in the guerlain type. However, if this note had not existed at all, I would have decided to give it a higher rating. So it remains for the time being with the above mentioned rating with an upward tendency.
Not a bad new Guerlain, maybe even a good one, but also not one that fits into my collection.