Mon Guerlain is finally here and we have a lot to talk about with this hotly anticipated fragrance, so let’s hop straight to it. Where to start? Well, this is Guerlain’s first feminine pillar since La Petite Robe Noire in 2012 and it would be fair to say that the success of Guerlain’s Little Black Dress most definitely has some big stiletto boots to fill. I’d even say that La Petite Robe Noire’s cartooned character of couture certainly cast a large shadow, but Mon Guerlain has something entirely different to intrigue: the personal touch. With Mon Guerlain, the historic Parisian house situated at No. 68 Champs Elysees is launching your Guerlain, not mine or anyone else’s, it belongs to you and when you wear it, you are channelling nearly 200 years of fragrant history, all of which has been brought together to bring you a fragrance to love. So yes, Mon Guerlain is a very exciting new launch indeed, but I feel as if there is something else that I’ve forgotten to mention – an important detail that I’m overlooking. Hmmm. Oh, that’s right! Angelina Jolie!
The house of Guerlain really does not make a habit of picking celebrities to front their fragrances but with this latest launch they have broken with tradition entirely and have chosen arguably one of the most famous, and most beautiful women in the world to be the spokesperson for Mon Guerlain. I think Jolie is an excellent choice because this multi-talented woman is not only a tremendous actor, she’s also a phenomenal director too, but both of these talents pale in comparison to the huge amount of humanitarian work she has undertaken throughout her career. Having been a Special Envoy to the United Nations, Jolie has worked tirelessly to shine a spotlight on human rights and has fronted campaigns about sexual violence in military conflict zones. So what Angelina Jolie brings to Mon Guerlain is not just timeless physical beauty, but also a generosity of spirit that is very much in tune with Guerlain’s own environmental work, which has focused on sustainable procurement, eco-responsibility and the improvement of working conditions of its suppliers. The collaboration between Jolie and Guerlain feels like the perfect fit.
For Mon Guerlain, Guerlain has been inspired by Angelina Jolie’s free-spirited nature to create a modern fragrance that is strong, feminine and free. Her tattoos have served as key inspiration, with Guerlain describing the scents as a fresh oriental that wears like an invisible tattoo. It boasts house favourite notes of lavender and vanilla in a scent that works as a clash between the modern and the classic. The bottle is historic too and Mon Guerlain is the first mainstream fragrance to be housed within Guerlain’s iconic quadrilobe flacon, which has been associated with the house’s pure parfums since its design in 1908, most famously Jicky. The bottle comes without a label, simply bearing the name of the legendary house of Guerlain, allowing for it to feel like a special object that belongs solely to the wearer – a secret they hold with Guerlain. All together it feels like an incredibly special launch and by now, I’m pretty sure that you’re desperate to know what it smells like, so I shall put you out of your misery!
Carla Lavender, Vanilla Tahitensis, Sambac Jasmine and Album Sandalwood.
How Does it Smell?
Mon Guerlain opens with a tiny shimmer of bergamot before unleashing a glorious lavender note. Now, lavender gets a bit of a bad rap if you ask me. So often people say that it’s ‘grannyish’ or ‘old-fashioned’ (they’re wrong, by the way, lavender is and always will be gorgeous) but in reality it’s such a beautiful smell. Lavender is the smell of summer and it portrays a vast number of nuances, smelling minty fresh, herbal and sweet like caramelised sugar. In Mon Guerlain the lavender used is the Carla variety grown in Provence, which has a touch of the herbaceous freshness of the material but for the most part it’s all sugar, showcasing a gorgeous lilac-shaded marzipan vibe that may be high in calories, but is also remarkably translucent. Mon Guerlain will change your opinion of lavender and I reckon you may just fall in love.
Underneath all of that lavender is a robust gourmand base that pairs vanilla and sandalwood together in perfect harmony. The result is a clash of soft, supple sweetness and gauzy woodiness that creates a really interesting texture in the base. Together, these notes create a buttery quality that is reminiscent of hard toffee candies. What could be overwhelming and lead to olfactory indigestion is actually remarkably restrained, with this delectable gourmand quality taking on a silky feel that is wonderfully luxe. As a contrast to the lavender, Mon Guerlain’s toffee base of vanilla and sandalwood is warming, velvety and sensual in that naughty way only Guerlain knows how to do.
Mon Guerlain is perfectly on-trend, with its delicious toffee-like vanilla and pink juice, but it also manages to be utterly and completely ‘Guerlain’ in its spirit. It feels like that rare thing: a beautifully delicious gourmand with a delightful sense of freshness that makes it incredibly wearable and never sickly. Mon Guerlain also pays homage to many of the Guerlain classics, with its lavender note feeling reminiscent of 1889’s Jicky, its vanilla serving as a nod to Shalimar and its fruitier aspects nodding politely at La Petite Robe Noire. All of that said, Mon Guerlain holds its own and it’s yet again, a delicious delicacy from the house of Guerlain that really needs to be sniffed. My one piece of advice: it may be ‘your Guerlain’, but I hope you’ll agree that it’s too delightful not to share. Go on, be generous with it.