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 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.
I 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.