Following on from the uber-floral Idylle Eau de Parfum in 2009 and last year’s lighter Idylle Eau de Toilette, Guerlain have launched a brand new version of the fragrance for 2011: Guerlain Idylle Duet.
If I had a choice of fragrances, I would probably leave a deeply floral scent by the wayside in favour of something a bit darker, or a little bit fruitier. Even though Idylle Duet is primarily floral, as soon as I saw that its core composition was a fusion of Rose and Patchouli I was immediately interested. Patchouli always seems to give fragrances a lovely sensual twist that sits really beautifully on my skin, especially when it’s paired up with rose. In fact, the fragrances I’m wearing right now are both rose and patchouli-based (Juliette Has a Gun Miss Charming, YSL Elle), so I was itching to try Duet.
I have a pretty embarrassing love of perfume spiel, and I’m glad to say that the story of Idylle Duet doesn’t let me down. Inspired by the ‘Les Nuits d’éte’ cycle of six melodies written by Hector Berlioz and based on the poems of Théophile Gautier, the composition of Idylle Duet is based upon one of the six tunes named “Le Spectre de la Rose”…
“Every night my rosy ghost
will dance by your pillow.
This light perfume is my soul,
and I have come from paradise.”
– Théophile Gautier, La Spectre de la Rose
I’m not ashamed to say that I pretty much ate that up with a spoon!
It’s a deeply romantic perfume, considerably darker than Idylle’s first incarnation. Upon first sniff, a clear, green and slightly sweet whisp of rose meets the ambery-woodiness of the patchouli, creating a complex opening that ticked all the right boxes. Before long this mellows, with the sweetness of the rose making way for the radiant creaminess of Lilac, Freesia and Peony. This floral accord is supported on top of the ever-swirling base of patchouli, stopping the composition from being too powdery or green.
Eventually this bouquet blossoms to include Jasmine and Lily-of-the-Valley, a fragrant contrast of sensuality and lightness that ensures the perfume stays faceted and interesting. It was this aspect of the scent that really secured my affections- it seemed that every time I smelled it, I was getting a different floral scent each time.
Idylle Duet is very different from anything else I’m wearing. It is light, creamy and sophisticated, but retains the long-lasting and deeply feminine qualities that I usually get from much darker scents. It’s the perfect transition from winter to spring – not too much of a departure from the scents that I love, but different enough to be a really enjoyable wear. I definitely recommend!