Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire EDT and EDP: Loves Me, Loves Me Not

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La Petite Robe Noire was launched in 2009,  and can be found at the forefront of any Guerlain display, often standing in front of its Maiden Aunts, Mitsouko and Shalimar.

The first time I tried it last year I was a little irritated since I had  recently tried Lancome La Vie Est Belle and thought “Oh no, everything’s gone gourmand!” As an habitual baker, I try and avoid smelling like food. It’s kind of a busman’s holiday to me.

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Recently, a kind Guerlain Sales Lady persuaded me to try both La Petite Robe Noire  EDP and La Petite Robe Noire EDT, emphasising that the two were completely different. Today  and yesterday I have been wearing one on each arm. Here is my judgement on the matter:

 La Petite Robe Noire EDT

Playful and fruity, this smells floral and light with a background of cherries. With more green notes than the EDP, this is a youthful gourmand, with the typical red berries that are smelled everywhere right now. The Jasmine, Rose and Neroli keep it light, whilst cherries and apples keep it fruity. The floral notes make this preferable to its more gourmand big sister, the Eau de Parfum. In fact when the cherries fade, the floral notes remain, making this a very pretty scent.

Radiance and longevity are both good: this is Guerlain after all. However the main drawback is that this is not particularly original and in a blind test, I would not have ever said it was Guerlain. On the High Street, it fits right in. It’s a shame really, as I always saw Guerlain as a fashion leader rather than a fashion follower.

 La Petite Robe Noire EDP

This so totally different that they ought to warn EDT fans off by giving it a different name. If you took a Cherry Bakewell Tart with its Almonds, Cherries and whiff of Anise, and Imageconcentrated it into liquid form, keeping it in brand new Tupperware until it was ready, then this would be the end result.  If Serge Lutens had run out of money half way through making Louve, this may be an approximation of the end result.  The Almonds and Cherries dominate. The vanilla adds a custard note. And something, somewhere disagrees with my skin, hence the plastic vinyl note, like old fake peaches.

This doesn’t come cheap, but smells like it does.

 Verdict

La Petite Robe Noire EDT is pleasant but generic. I would buy it, but I wouldn’t be faithful.  La Petite Robe Noire EDP is completely different. If you like Almonds, go for Hypnotic Poison. If you like Cherries try Serge Lutens Louve. If you like vinyl notes, then you are a bit mad and there is no hope for you. Have a glass of wine instead and God bless you.

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2 Comments

  1. Oooh, be careful! You’ll alienate all the weird-vinyl-smell-lovers out there! :-) And they do exist. Though they’re catered for – and interestingly, you can find some at the YSL counter (yes, that surprised me!), as well as in the wilder outreaches of the Comme Des Garcons repertoire. Apparently, YSL’s Parisienne L’Essentiel is “an oriental – floral fragrance. It opens with notes of juicy blackberries mixed with vinyl accord. The heart of the composition includes a bouquet of iris, Damasc rose and Sambac jasmine. The base reveals accords of suede, tonka and musk.” Thank you Fragrantica.com

    Sadly, thanks to what I think is a patchouli base, I am forced to make my gorgeous little Chick try the Petit Robes Noir, as everything smells lovelier on her. But they still smell like aftershave to me, even on her. (And I adore and own both Louve and Hypnotic Poison.) I think they’re not Guerlian-worthy, but that is me being a shocking snob, and I apologise. But, well, I just expect more and much better from Big G, you know?

  2. OK, point taken. Disclaimer: If you are a vinyl fan, I warmly embrace you. I have weird foibles myself that not everyone likes. The world is a beautiful tapestry made up of different colour threads.

    As for the Guerlain brand- yes I did not think for a minute that this was anything like the rest of the brand. It’s a bit of a crowd pleaser, which has never been Guerlain’s thing.

    I will be reviewing Shalimar Parfum Initial soon and that was so far away from Shalimar that I don’t know why the name is even in the title. Funny old world.

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