From yesterday’s High Street fluff back to majestic Guerlain, and L’Instant de Guerlain to be precise. I have on loan the Parfum itself, in its tiny glass bottle (see photo) and enormous box. By the time I opened the box, removed the inner sleeve, and removed the 7.5ml bottle from its little case, it seemed like a tiny Queen on a huge throne Using the glass stopper as a dabber, I wore this on my throat and forearms (putting a scent on my wrists means it gets washed off many times over the day).
I was amazed to see that L’Instant de Guerlain does not contain violets. My very first thought was violets and then iris. In fact, after a few moments I decided this was a little like smelling Apres L’Ondee through several layers of musk daubed white chiffon. It’s warmed up with a little honey and some magnolia. It’s classy and timeless: you could wear this as a teen and as a 90 year old Grand Dame. There is powder too, but it’s a mere velvety muffler, rather than an old lady’s make up case. It’s a muted Iris/Violet with the light musk softening any sharpness or earthiness
Now I feel that at this point I should pause for thought on the matter of iris. I love iris the flower, and my much beloved late grandmother was called Iris, so I have always associated it with love and beauty. However, in the world of fragrance, I have not got on with it at all. I have been encouraged to persevere, despite the fact that Malle’s Iris Poudre utterly repels me and even suffocates me. I recently tried Maitre Parfumeur et GantierFleur D’Iris and didn’t like that either. I also tried Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile and didn’t much care for that either (although it did defrost me somewhat with it’s prettiness).
Recently my friend and co blogger Lisa Wordbird, whose writing you will now be familiar with, gave me a curious experiment which cured me of Iris phobia. Spraying Guerlain Apres L’Ondee on one arm and Frederic Malle L’Eau D’Hiver on the other, I do believe I finally saw the light. Sniffing one then in the other in rotation brought out the best in both of them and made L’Eau D’Hiver (one of my earliest reviews), much more floral and prettier than it was when I first encountered it. So as my esteemed fellow blogger The Perfumed Dandy told me recently “Never give up on a note”. Sometimes I guess you just have to look at it from a different angle.
So could I accuse L’Instant de Guerlain with its honeyed, musky Iris notes to have converted me into an Iris fan? I almost think I can.
Disclaimer: I still can’t bloody stand Iris Poudre though!