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.
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 concentrated 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.
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.