Guerlain Jicky: Relationship Status – Its Complicated

jicky label Guerlain Jicky has been around since 1889 (obviously reformulated some along the way), so it deserves our respect in the way that we should always hold the door for an elderly lady who still wears pearls and a brooch.

The first time I tried Jicky I thought it was vile and didn’t understand how it could smell good on anyone (although it smelt lovely on my friend Lisa: kind of spicy and woody).

I tried again. This time, lemons and halitosis. It was not going well.

“But it’s my favourite” said at least two of my friends, whose opinions I respect. I tried a third time, and that was it. After that if I didn’t like it, we were never going to see each other again (that’s Jicky and me, not my dear scented friends).

I tried to get some context. I tried Caron’s Tabac Blond, then Apres L’Ondée , and then Jicky. Ah, now I get it.

jicky ad

I think Jicky needs to be sniffed alongside its contemporaries (or as near as dammit). Modern noses have been trained ( through lack of choice mainly) to smell modern formulations from the 21st century. Since Jicky was created in the 19th century, I felt I should bow to it accordingly. In the same way that a bustle and bonnet looked dignified back then, but would look ridiculous  in today’s High Street,  we need to think outside the Twenty First century mindset. Jicky was not made for modern tastes. Once I got that, and had smelt other older perfumes, I kind of “got” it.

However, I was puzzling my way through the notes and there are a couple that stop it from being on my list of favourites. Firstly, I adore Eau de Cartier with its Bergamot and Lavender, so I thought I would like it in Jicky, but I didn’t  I also love an occasional woody and spicy scent, which Jicky is, but I didn’t.

jicky bottleI am not an expert, merely a consumer with an obsession, so I will try and phrase it in as subjective a way as possible. For me, it should be one or the other. Woody and Spicy OR Lavender and Lemons. Putting them together jars like a beautiful woman with awful hair, or an evening gown with brogues. Great on their own, but together its just not right. In fact, there was kind of a fuzzy harsh note which I couldn’t identify at first until the penny dropped. It was Ginger! Its not listed as a note, although spices are and that’s what it smelled like- the Ground Ginger I have in a jar rather than the fresh, clean smelling ginger you can buy fresh.

So Jicky is better now than I ever thought, but I think its more respect than love. Jicky, you’re great, but what can I say? I don’t think we should see too much of each other.  Its not you, its me.


7 thoughts on “Guerlain Jicky: Relationship Status – Its Complicated”

  1. My nose is notoriously unreliable – sometimes my sense of smell nearly disappears altogether, and I end up putting so much perfume on I nearly asphixiate people. I always think Jicky smells of apricots…

    1. I don’t think you can wear too much Jicky, its quite close to skin and would never make people faint in a lift. If you DO want people to faint in a lift, blast yourself with Thierry Mugler’s Alien and then watch everyone fall over like dominoes! (although in small doses, Alien is rather lovely). I don’t think any of the Guerlain Heritage scents would be too much first thing in the morning, except maybe Vol de Nuit.

  2. When I haven’t worn my beloved Jicky for a while I am invariably surprised when I spray it on. I should know by now, but… I always think of cleaning products with all that lavender and lemon. I’m programmed by Pledge and Mister Sheen to think ‘clean!’. But there again, like you, I am a fan of citrus fragrances like Eaux de Cologne and I love Jicky’s slinky back end, with all that skanky civet. However, my ex thought the Parfum de Toilette smelled of baby vomit. (There are good reasons he’s an ex…) 😉

    1. I KNEW there was civet in it! Civet, in my experience can either smell sexy as hell or like a hint of unwashed tramp. In Jicky there was a slight animal smell coming through and it was driving me mad trying to pinpoint it. Thanks for clearing that up!

  3. An interesting blog. I’d like to challenge you for the next year – when this project of wearing one scent a day is finished – to write reviews of perfumes in such a way that would recommend them to specific types of people. It would mean you will need to understand each perfume not from your own personal, subjective, point of view but from the point of you of other people with different characters and tastes. I think it will be a lot more difficult but I believe that after a year of what you are doing now you’ll be well prepared for the next challenge! You have already got it in places, but it’s not that pronounced because your objectives are different right now, obviously. Good luck 🙂 x

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. That’s a really interesting idea. As you have picked up, this is a random and subjective blog but its teaching me a lot so it would be nice to do a more objective blog with what I’ve learned in the first year. I was thinking of doing a “Best Of” page at the end of Yr 1, so that could lead nicely into Year Two. Thank you for inspiring me!

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