The house of Guerlain has always made tremendously good masculine fragrances. They can scent any man, from the dandies to the explorers and all that’s in between. Just look at their back catalogue, it’s overflowing with giants of the masculine world – legends like Habit Rouge, Vetiver, Heritage and L’Instant Pour Homme, not to mention the more subversive classics such as Mouchoir de Monsieur and Homme. When it comes to fragrances for men, Guerlain have every base covered, so a gent can easily find the icon for him, whether that be an esteemed classic or a contemporary new creation. You name it, Guerlain’s got it.
Speaking of contemporary, Guerlain have the modern man well catered for with their most recent masculine fragrance ‘L’Homme Ideal’ (The Ideal Man). This cheekily perfumed punk burst on to the scene in 2014, cockily wafting a uniquely fun signature of crunchy almonds and big, bold woods that was more than just a little bit reminiscent of their ever-so-couture feminine, La Petite Robe Noire. He smelled like a 1980s masculine brought straight into the 21st century and the noses of the world couldn’t help but fall in love with his delicious charm. It’s no surprise really, he is the ideal man after all!
For 2016, L’Homme Ideal gets the Eau de Parfum treatment with a slick and suave new flanker that is so debonair it almost hurts. Dressed in a sophisticated shade of taupe, the L’Homme Ideal Eau de Parfum smartens up L’Homme Ideal’s cheeky temperament, ageing it slightly into something more refined, wise and ultimately delicious. One could almost see it as a fine whisky of sorts, much better with age and most definitely worth the wait.
Top: Bergamot and Almond
Heart: Spices, Bulgarian Rose and Incense
Base: Leather Note, Vanilla Tincture, Tonka Bean and Sandalwood
How Does it Smell?
L’Homme Ideal Eau de Parfum’s first impression is not too far from the signature presented so beautifully in the original. For the first few moments at least, the Eau de Parfum offers up a familiar blast of cherry-like almond, all astringent, bracing and crunchy. That’s the L’Homme Ideal I know, but not for long and quickly the Eau de Parfum diverges away from the boise-sec style of the original to something much warmer and more sensual. There’s rose, spices, incense and leather, all working together to temper the gourmand tendencies that are so ingrained in L’Homme Ideal DNA. Together they create a pleasingly warm and inviting heart accord that serves merely as a taster for the main event, which can only be described as the dry down to end all dry downs.
We now head to that dry down and this paragraph comes with a short disclaimer in the interests of health & safety. Ladies and the gentleman-appreciating males out there, please be prepared to swoon. You will need your smelling salts and a fan to hand because things are just about to get very sexy all up in here. That’s right, L’Homme Ideal cockily boasts the Tom Hiddleston of dry downs made only from the most handsome materials on offer. Vanilla is the star here and it’s safe to say that what the house of Guerlain doesn’t know about the humble vanilla bean really isn’t worth knowing, they are lifelong addicts of the material, after all. The vanilla in L’Homme Ideal is dry with glorious facets of caramel, smoked woods and leather. It is supported by a velvety-soft dose of sandalwood that plays into the vanilla like the slowly melting embers of a very sexy fire. It is pretty much perfect as far as dry downs go – how’s that for an endorsement?!
L’Homme Ideal Eau de Parfum is an unexpected fragrance. One could easily assume that it is simply a more intense version of the Eau de Toilette, but that could not be further from the truth. This particular ideal man is less fun-loving and more suave. He’s older, more sophisticated but he still has a cheeky sparkle in his eye. To put it another way, Guerlain’s original ideal man was likely to dress in skinny jeans, white trainers and a leather jacket but this one wouldn’t be seen dead without a shirt and blazer. He’s less showy, less attention-grabbing and bold, but definitely more complex. So onto the big question: which is better, the EDT with its mischievous smile or the EDP with its sartorial elegance (I so want to call it a Silver Fox, but it really could be worn by a guy of any age)? Well, they’re both so different that it’s not a case of which is the greater fragrance, but instead it’s a question of what the wearer wants from their Guerlain. If the answer is a modern yet sophisticated masculine with a vanilla dry down that might make people a little bit weak at the knees, then Mr Ideal Man the Eau de Parfum is the one to beat.