Guerlain Insolence: Where Have You Been All My Life?



Sometimes when I’m  exploring new fragrances to blog about, something comes along that makes me wonder why on earth I have taken so long to get round to it.  Guerlain Insolence is one example- why haven’t I tried it before?

This gorgeous violetty dream was created in 2006 by Maurice Roucel  and Sylvaine Delacourte, both solidly experienced Guerlain Noses.  It could be said that this was Guerlain’s answer to the thirst for  fruity florals, but using Violet and Iris as the florals and including Bergamot and Lemon as the fruit, they have created a masterpiece that ticks the fruity floral boxes yet remains unique in the field.

Yes there are strawberries and red berries , but somehow the restrained use just serves to make the Violets smell sweeter, but not sickly:  like sugar free Parma Violets.  Then the Iris comes in and stops the Violet getting overly sweet, framing it in that very slightly rooty, dry sort of way that Iris has. There is a gorgeous soapiness that I happen to love in a fragrance:  here it smells like high-end soap from a luxury hotel, thrice milled and pure white.


Resonance and longevity are not just good, but could go nuclear with overspraying, in an Angel sort of way.  With Insolence, two sprays will last till lunch, eight would bring down an elephant.

I adore this violet perfume that has such a thick soapy background and yet remains pretty and complex at the same time.  I have a wish list of Guerlain fragrance and it goes like this:  Chamade, Vol de Nuit, Shalimar and now, Insolence. Maybe I will print this off and send it up the chimney for Santa or Mary Poppins.







6 thoughts on “Guerlain Insolence: Where Have You Been All My Life?”

  1. Luca Turin was spot on about this – especially the hilarious ‘WTF?’ Hairspray top note in the original version that was released.
    I remember not liking it at the time, as I was used to Classic Guerlains, but since then my mind has broadened. 🙂

    1. Yes i know what you mean. I am a bit sceptical of the “new” Guerlains- I’m really baffled by La Petite Robe Noire, but I loved the Violet in this.

  2. Lovely review. I think the mention of a hairspray note and the bottle had put me off trying this but it actually sounds right up my alley and I tend to like Maurice Roucel’s work (and Guerlain of course!)

    1. Funnily enough, I rather like a hairspray note and really like the smell of Elnett hairspray. I find Cacharel Noa is very hairspray and I can’t get enough of it!

      I didn’t find the hairspray note in Insolence, but then I did review the EDP, which I probably should have specified.

      best wishes

    1. Dear Mr Dandy,

      You do surprise me. I have often glared accusingly at Calvin Klein Euphoria (2005 or 6 I think). If indeed Insolence is the birth mother of the fruity floral then I can only express my disappointment that such a non-sickly, non-cupcake scent has been exploited and moulded into a genre I do not care for.

      Having said that, I am about to review a Beyonce. I do not care for it. My nose is in the air and my face is turned away from it.

      Your friend

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