Guerlain Après L’Ondée : it’s no joke

21oUCRMcp4L._SL500_AA300_ This is a serious grown up perfume. There’s no messing, there’s no laughing at the back. It’s not playful (This isn’t  Ô de Lancôme  for Heaven’s sake!). It’s melancholy and rather beautiful and… well, it doesn’t really suit me if I’m honest. However, I admire it greatly, in spite of the fact that it makes me feel like I wearing someone else’s clothes. I also admire the Old Masters in the National Gallery, but I wouldn’t want one on my mantelpiece.

Après L’Ondée (translation: after the rain shower) was created by Guerlain in 1906 and has stood the test of time, still with a die hard fanbase of ( I imagine), elegant Parisian widows with mournful expressions and good jewellery.

My initial impression at first spray was of an old bookshop. The papery dry Iris and Heliotrope made me think of very old shops with a bell that rings when you enter, and of sniffing ancient reams of paper or antique tomes. In other words, it made me think of Hay on Wye.

It’s a rather sombre scent with mournful heliotrope notes. Light violet tones try and cheer it up, but heliotrope has slammed the door and gone to its room to listen to her gramophone.

It’s powdery in a dusty way, rather than a talcum powder sort of way. It makes me think of a pair of evening gloves that I inherited from my late grandmother. When you sniff closely there is the faintest hint of a long gone party. It’s a kind of the good times were here, but now they’ve gone sort of scent. You would only wear it to a wedding if you hated the groom and thought the bride was making a huge mistake.

It’s beautiful, but a bit sad, like a statue of an angel in a rain sodden formal flower bed. (Don’t get nervous Doctor Who fans, I don’t mean Weeping Angels)

 Après L’Ondée venir les larmes.  If you work in a funeral parlour, this is your new office fragrance. Congratulations!

11 thoughts on “Guerlain Après L’Ondée : it’s no joke”

  1. Lol @ “You would only wear it to a wedding if you hated the groom and thought the bride was making a huge mistake.”

    I’m dying to try this scent. I have mentioned/commented this on some other blog too. I can’t find this in my country and I am so wary of ordering it online. A lot of perfume bloggers says a lot of good things about it!

  2. Thanks Mel! 🙂 I found it quite cold. It’s unique though, so worth ordering a sample or decant is you can before you buy a whopping big bottle. I borrowed a bottle from a kind friend. I’m very lucky to have her as her perfume collection makes mine look like a bumbling amateur!(which I am!).

  3. I cracked up at the last line about the funeral parlour! The only Guerlain fragrance I liked (and didn’t give me a headache! Shalimar brought on a migraine!) was Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia – a very sunny, daytime fragrance 🙂

  4. First of all im a 40yro guy who has wore & loved Apres L Ondee by Guerlain for many’many years! You could say im a Guerlain type of guy,as I use a couple of Guerlain fragrance’s in this order1.Mitsouko-meaning Mystery 2.Apres L Ondee-meaning After The Rain Shower! I think I was around 16yrs old when my Mum/Dad bought me my 1st ever Guerlain fragrance,which was Mitsouko,which I always make sure I have a bottle off! The very 1st time I ever smelt Apres L Ondee at the Guerlain counter in Belfast I knew I loved it,& could’nt wait 2spray it onto the back of my hand,which I did to warm up the fragrance! Immediately Apres L Ondee worked it’s pure magic on me right away! as if it had wraped it’s arms around me,& carried me off to somewhere far,distant & magical! & yes Jaques Guerlain could ‘nt have choosen a better name for it! “AFTER THE RAIN SHOWER” When I wear it,it somehow manages to carry me of to my own beautiful secret garden,where there’s Lush green grass,covered in clover with beads of rain drops sprinkled all abound! Wet & wild Violets in little clumps here & there! New born green leaves on a Orange or Lemon plant or tree,All being kissed now with the warm rays of bright sunlight! The reason that I love Apres L Ondee so much is simple-“THERE’S NOT ONE PERFUME/FRAGRANCE OUT THERE,THAT SMELLS NEAR/OR THE SAME AS IT! IT’S SMELL IS TRUELY UNIQUE,& DIFFERENT! IT’S A REAL VINTAGE/CLASSIC/TIMELESS FRAGRANCE,THATS TRUELY UNIQUE! IT’S ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL,& NOT AT ALL OVERLY SWEET! & BEST OF ALL US GUYS CAN WEAR IT TOO!!!

    1. Welcome Paul! I love how passionate you are about the wonderful Apres L’Ondee. It is indeed very special. Not a favourite on my skin, but I admire it greatly.I understand you are in good company as Karl Lagerfeld is also reputed to wear it. Apres L’Ondee is one I will go back to one day. I feel “it”and I have unfinished business, and I do love a tiny bunch of violets in the dew. Thank you so much for your valuable input and comments. Much appreciated.

      1. I love après l’ondee, but I wouldn’t wear it going out out 🙂 it’s definitely restrained.

        Quite almondy too.
        Himself detests it

      2. Hi Macloon

        I never noticed almond in it but I shall look out for it next time I sniff. I borrowed a bottle to wrote my review which I have now given back (although I was tempted to steal it and do a “what Apres L’Ondee?” face, but scruples got the better of me. What does himself smell of, out of interest?

  5. what a shame to describe a noble fragrance by your words in a poor and low level way!!!!
    You should stop describing fragrances ,it is not right for your sense.

    1. Hello Rachel and welcome!

      I’m sorry you feel that way. In fact my words are very respectful. This review was one of my early ones and I like Apres L’Ondee a lot more now. However, I don’t like to go back and change reviews as this blog kind of tells the story of a journey of discovery.

      Best wishes and welcome to the blog!


  6. Dear Samantha,
    I just found your blog. I love to sniff perfumes. I love to read blogs about perfumes.
    In response to Rachel’s comment: What a boring world it would be if we all loved all the scents, if we only wrote about scents that we love, if we all agreed with each other all of the time. Pablum! I’d rather have spice! I’m a fan of Apres l’Ondee, and I don’t expect everyone to agree.

    1. Hi Lorna,

      You are most welcome to IScentYouADay! Thanks you so much for your comments. I agree that perfume is totally open to interpretation. My good friend Lisa and I often have very opposite views on scent, but we never take it personally! Perfume is like poetry, there is no wrong interpretation. Apres L’Ondee grew and grew on me since writing this and I wouldn’t turn down a bottle at any time of day!
      best wishes

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