Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time for another draw...and a request!

I have been rushed today so I might throw the ball to you. First let me announce a drawing for a luxe sample of Amouage Ubar, which we reviewed yesterday on this link.

Out of sheer coincidence (and generosity I might add!) some more ended on my lap just this morning, so one lucky reader might benefit from the good Moerae... Please state your interest in the comments!

Also, the artistic director of Guerlain has graciously accepted our invitation for a one-to-one interview which I will be conducting shortly, so I am inviting you all to post/send me the questions you always wanted to ask to the head-person at Guerlain. It's not often that we get the opportunity to get a message across the top echelons and now is the time, so don't miss your chance!

Please be short and to the point (do so anonymously if you prefer, just be civil) and I will pick the best ones!


  1. I'd love to know:

    1. whether she sees Guerlain going more into the direction of a superluxury house (given the latest interesting releases have all been in the €150+ range), abanding more economic releases?

    2. how she sees the typical Guerlain house-style evolve given changing consumer preferences?

    Of course I'm very interested in the Amouage sample, too! Should I be selected, thanks in avance! :)


  2. Petals16:48

    Oooh! Exciting E. A few things which you may want to raise...

    1. Reformulations! We understand that it is beyond their control since there are legal restrictions on certain ingredients, but is it not the onus of the house to ADMIT that changes have been made to classics like Mitsouko, Samsara etc. Most long term wearers have noticed massive changes but when the SAs are queried, they plead ignorance and it is absolutely irritating! It also makes the wearer feel very stupid!

    2. Is it a Guerlain marketing strategy to take away a unsuccessful product from the market (like Coriolan), package it in massive 125ml bottles, make it exclusive and hence expensive, to make it more sale-worthy? (oK, kidding, I am just ranting here!)

    3. How do you think Guerlain will be remembered in the future. When people think of Guerlain today, they think of Chamade, Samsara, Shalimar, VdN, Nahema... nothing launched in the last 15 years seem to have been or become a cult classic, favourite, creation of awe like some of the older ones. Is this something to be worried about? Is Guerlain catering to the young market, by releasing ultra fruity scents while negating its classics, for which it is and will be remembered?

    4. I am sure I have more! Will let you know. It is almost midnight here and I cannot think properly.

  3. Please include me into the draw. :) I try my luck all the time.

  4. Re: Ubar
    My budget is already screaming, "NO! Not another Amouage! Your Lyric split arrives next week!" But I'd love to smell Ubar, so please enter me in the drawing. Thanks so much.

    Re: Guerlain
    1) I'd be very interested to know how the timeline now stands for rerelease of some old classics - I'd be particularly interested in finding out when/if the promised Ode will be rereleased, among others.
    2) I've heard some carping from perfumistas that many of the newer releases are "dumbed down" and far less interesting than the old beauties. Does this assessment surprise Ms. Delacourte, or does she find it legitimate? To what would she ascribe this perception - difficulties in obtaining excellent raw materials? changing consumer tastes in much, though not all, of the market? IFRA regulations? (I did love Shalimar Light and Attrape-Coeur, and haven't smelled the Mitsouko flanker - I'm just quoting from some of the blogs I read, which occasionally rake Guerlain over the coals for inconsistent quality in their recent output.)

    Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions!

  5. rappleyea16:57

    Congratulations Helg! What a great event for Perfume Shrine and its readers.

    If you haven't already read the article in the N. Y. Times on the problems in the fragrance industry, here is the link:


    I would be very interested in Mme. Delacourte's views on these industry problems and specifially what (if anything) Guerlain plans to do to confront these issues and reverse the trends.

    As a classic/oriental lover (and especially of the Guerlains) I was especially taken by the comment, "After the high octane perfumes of the 80's evaporated, fragrances became lighter, and perhaps they trained us not to smell scent."

    That remark seems especially appropriate in light of Guerlain's recent release of the ultra light and fleeting Fleur de Lotus.

    I'm sure many other of your readers will bring up the reformulation issues so I won't beat that dead horse at this time.

    I'm really looking forward to reading what I know will be an excellent and informative interview.

  6. I'd love to be in the draw!

  7. Fiordiligi17:36

    E dearest, congrats on the interview; of course I can't possibly let the chance to ask a Guerlain question go by:

    - I've been a dedicated Guerlain fan for over 35 years yet have always longed to be able to try the legendary scents from earlier times. I understood that when 68 Champs-Elysees was refurbished and relaunched, several of the legendary perfumes from the early 20th century were to be re-launched as limited editions (Cachet Jaune, Ode etc). Is this still the intention or has the plan been abandoned?

    - I understand that Guerlain is trying to move with the times and attract a younger clientele, but there are many, many people who adore l'Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Shalimar, Vol de Nuit etc with their inimitable Guerlinade. Is there any prospect of new releases which fall into this signature Guerlain category, or is the line now dedicated solely to modernization and "light" fragrances?

    I look forward to reading the interview, and bonne chance!

  8. gautami17:46

    Congratulations Dear Helg!!

    One question that comes to my mind right now is:
    How has LVMH's acquisition of Guerlain affected her role? I am not sure if she was their creative director since before LVMH acquired Guerlain. If she has been their creative director since before acquisition has her responsibility changed at all, or has her approach been affected in any way? I can imagine heightened work pressure just because Guerlain has had so many new releases lately. So how does she manage to find inspirations at that rate? Is she solely responsible for coming up with an idea which is then executed by Mr. Wasser or is there a panel at Guerlain now?

    I amy come up with some more later.

    And thanks for entering me in the draw!!

  9. Fernando17:54

    Please include me in the draw!

    My biggest question/request for Guerlain is why not make their Paris-only fragrances available online. Those of us who live in the boonies really would like to have access to something like Derby... and going to Paris is too expensive to justify. I don't see that Guerlain would lose anything by such a move.

    Another question is where she sees men's fragrances going. Recent releases seem to be all in the very light eau de cologne direction. That's all well and good, but it'd be frustrating if that were all that was available.

  10. Re Guerlain: In a global economy, why are many US Guerlain counters not stocked with a variety of fragrances? As an American consumer I'd rather spend my dollars on luxury fragrances of merit rather than mass-market perfumes.

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter the Amouage sample drawing.

  11. Dear Helg, Please include me in the drawing for the Amouage sample. I am named after the city of Ubar/Iram and I would love to try the fragrance. Thanks.

  12. Anonymous18:17

    Please put my name in the drawing. I second all the questions above, so won't add any more. Thanks,

  13. Anonymous19:01

    Hi E,

    What a wonderful opportunity we have been presented with! My question must doubtless have been asked while I was typing, but here goes anyway:

    I understand a lot of money has been poured into new launches in hopes of attracting new customers to Guerlain, but what about the "grands classiques" which have been synonymous with Guerlain's heritage, and which are still considered by critics and aficionados to be Guerlain's best? These scents like Mitsouko, L'Heure Bleue and Jicky still have a strong (and extremely impassioned) following, is anything being done to maintain their appeal in this current climate of reformulations, market saturation and glitzy ad campaigns?

    Thanks and please also include me in the Ubar draw.

    Warm regards,

  14. I would love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks so much!

  15. Helg,

    Please enter me in the draw! Nothing like a random, unpredictable draw to add some interest to my week. :)

    For Guerlain, I would ask:
    - where do you see your target market being in the next 10 years? The perfume market seems to be fragmenting (niche, "clean", department store, luxury, etc.), so it will be hard for one company to do everything. Where does Guerlain want to be?

  16. Anonymous19:33

    Throw me in the drawing.

  17. Can we have pretty please have re-releases of the old stuff in affordable packaging? I want Djedi back (and those 730-ish more) but I cannot afford to spend a thousand euros on a bottle.... Please!

    (Helg, I know I'm annoying with this one but it's Guerlain's fault, they spread so many legends that people get enchanted... and after all, I should finish the piece about my love for Guerlain. Still sorta unrequited, I don't have a big bottle of, say, Sous le Vent...)

  18. Oooh! Please enter me in the drawing. I've only tried Dia for women (wow! what a fragrance!) and would love to try more!! :)

    Questions for the interview:
    * The aqua allegoria fragrances are often recommended as "Guerlain for beginners". Which fragrances would you recommend a beginner in niche perfumes try by Guerlain? Do you agree that the AAs are the best starting point?

  19. Please include me in the draw...I am smitten with the few Amouage I've had a chance to sample, and would love to try this one.

    So many good questions already asked...will have to think some more...but what a wonderful opportunity, this interview!

  20. JAntoinette21:00

    I am curious as to how the house will address the new IFRA regulations - Do I need to stock up on my Mitsouko?. (and please throw my name into the hat for the Amouage!)

  21. Alexandra21:02

    Can we hope that one day (soon)Guerlain will reissue great discontinued Parure?
    Please include me in a the draw.

  22. Anonymous21:54

    Hi Helg,
    Please enter me in the draw.
    I also love the classic Guerlains, as well as most of what I've tried from JPG up to 2000. That list includes Mahora and Un Air de Samsara, which I prefer to the original. No questions for Mme Delacourte. I'd be happy to read whatever she has to say.

  23. Please enter me in the Ubar draw, thanks!

    As for Guerlain, my problem is always in finding them. I have never had the pleasure of smelling the legendary Mitsouko, Jicky or L'Heure Bleue. All I can ever find is Shalimar, Samsara & Champs-Elysees and their flankers.

  24. Sorry - I'm the Anonymous poster with the timestamp 23:54

    Please enter me in the draw....

  25. Congratulations, Helg! And it's very kind of Sylvain Delacourt to answer the questions of perfume lovers.

    Well, as I previously mentioned, it would be very interesting to understand the role of creative director in a process of fragrance creation. The most interesting to me would be to read a story of a single perfume creation, but I guess it's too much for an interview.

    It's always nice to get to know the person behind a role. So, what are the favorite notes of Sylvain? To wear and to work with? What is her favorite moment during the creation?

    Guerlain. I am very curious what ideas and motives stand behind the recent modernizations? How could one explain that many Guerlain fans don't recognize the Guerlain spirit anymore? What balance point is taken between the loyalty to Guerlain traditions and modernization?

    And, of cours I'd like to be in a draw for Ubar. Thanks for the opportunity.

    Good luck and... I'm looking forward to read the interview!

  26. I would love to be included in the draw.

  27. chris g00:06

    Please enter me in the draw - thanks!!

  28. Hi E.

    Congrats on the interview! Lots of good questions here and I'm not sure that I have any more to add. Just the comment/semi-question that I very much like and appreciate some of the new-ish releases (Rose Barbare, Iris Ganache, Cuir Beluga), but I am confused by more recent releases. It seemed that L'Art et la Matiere had a distinct direction-almost a niche line within the grand house of Guerlain. I find this group of fragrances to be very interesting and modern.

    But since then, the releases have seemed scattered and a bit directionless. So I would like to hear Mme. Delacourte comment on her vision for Guerlain in regard to both the preservation of the classics and the development of its modern identity.

    As I think you know, I love Amouage Lyric, adore Gold, swoon over Jubilation 25, and I now must give Ubar a fair try. I've only given it a little sniff, so I would love to be entered.


  29. Would love to enter the sample draw!

  30. Anonymous02:45

    Dear E,

    Please enter me in the draw and my questions to Mme Delacourte are very simple: What inspires her today? Is there a book she has read (or reread), or a place she has visited, or a play, opera or music she has listened to that has stayed with her?

    Thank you,


  31. Please enter me in the draw for Ubar.
    I don't know if this is a loaded question or not but I'd be interested in her opinion on Patricia de Nicolai in regard to her perfumes. does she see any Guerlain gentics in any of de Nicolai's creations.

  32. Hi E,

    Please enter me in the draw! I haven't yet had a chance to sample any Amouage perfumes, and I am curious, since they are praised to the skies by just about everyone!

    Congratulations for scoring this interview. Ms. Delacourte is really a good sport for reaching out to the contentious world of perfume enthusiasts--not an easy or safe thing to do, by any means.

    I don't have a question so much as a plug for my opinion--a webstore for Guerlain products, please! As others have observed, it is difficult to get the juice if you do not live in or travel to Paris, New York, etc. I'm sure that Guerlain is watching the debut of Chanel's Exclusifs on the internet. I hope it spurs them to offer some exclusive products online.

    Oh, and I was a little skittish about the most recent Guerlain frag I have tried, Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus, but it's quite lovely. Like any good sequel, you get more out of it if you're familiar with the original, but it holds up quite well on its own.


  33. Anonymous05:23

    Please include me in the drawing, sandalwood's and roses are two of my total favorites.

    Ross Urrere

  34. I would be curious about how they deal with not only what they are allowed to use by the new regulations, but also can they actually get the raw materials they really want? The costs and availability for many naturals is unreal given labor and environmental concerns.
    Thanks and thanks for your time and all you put into this.
    Ross Urrere

  35. Will you please make Apres L'Ondee more accessible?

  36. Hi E,

    How exciting.

    I wonder could you ask if Guerlain plan to make the exclusive scents available in other countries?

    Also do they ever envisage relaunching an Apres L'Ondee Eau De Parfum/ pure parfum?


  37. Congrats and thank you for asking the audience for questions, E. !
    What i would like to know is why classics like e.g. Mitsouko aren't just sold with a "caution" sign on it instead of taking away ingredients taht are essential for the cahracter of the juice ? And i would love to know if there will be a special "INDIAN" themed scent again, now that they are exploring the new market! I am a confessing lover of the GRAND ASIAN THEMED ONES of the house: Shalimar, Mitsouko and Samsara.

  38. Maybe an enhancement for my last question: was "Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus" maybe a nod to the new Indian market (Lotus being the Indian national flower)? And will it become a fixed member as a Mitsouko flanker in the Guerlain programme therefor? Don't know really myself why the Indian market thing fascinates me so much..? ;-)

  39. Thank you everyone!
    I have been humbled by your eloquence and your wonderfully stimulating questions. You have been all great and I hope we can catapult a lucrative and effective dialogue with the creative forces at parfums Guerlain!

    Re; the draw, I have noted down your names. Please carry on, the draw is open till the end of Friday, midnight! (I will hopefully announce the results on Monday)

  40. stella p11:37

    So many good questions from your excellent readers! And congrats with the upcoming interview. I don't have any to add, but would, like AromaX, very much like to read a shortstory of a particular perfume creation, without the fairytales. Particularly interesting it would be to hear about the rationale behind one of the "dumbed downs".
    Your review of Ubar made it impossible not to lust after trying this perfume; words like "lush lemon", "baroque", "hand sewn dark lace", get the message through! :) (even if I also like red vinyl..)
    please enter me in the draw!

  41. This is all so exciting!
    Can you include me in the draw. Thanks!

  42. Congratulations on your fabulous upcoming interview!! Can't wait to read it.

    Would love to be in the draw for Ubar! Thank you for the opportunity...

  43. Elizabeth15:56

    No questions, being a novice, especially with Guerlains, but I'd like to be in the drawing for the Ubar! Efcharisto.

  44. Such interesting questions everyone! I too would like to know about reformulations and also why they don't sell products from their website.

    I very much look forward to the interview...congratulations on the opportunity!

    And, of course, enter me into the drawing for the Ubar sample

  45. Helg:
    Please enter me in the draw. I have been a huge fan of Jubilation XXV and Homage, and have been dying to try Ubar.
    For Ms. Delacourte: How much does Guerlain's place in the perfume pantheon guide new releases, is history and lineage a curse or a blessing?

  46. Please enter me in the drawing, and ask Ms. Delacourte which Guerlain fragrances stand to be most drastically affected by the new regulations. (Commence hoarding now?)

    Many thanks for such a great blog!

  47. Vanessa22:42

    1. Would Guerlain re-introduce the full bath and body lines for classics ie Mitsouko. Is this not a way round the IFRA problem - I recall something that allows a higher content of "allergens" such as oakmoss in wash-off products?

    2. Is it really necessary to eliminate all oakmoss given the low atranol versions now available at a price. I'd pay more to have real Mitsouko back

    3. Why is Guerlain'marketing strategy to hide all the classics on the counters and promote only the latest fragrances?

  48. Anonymous23:55

    Hi E,

    Please enter me in the drew. I love Amouage Gold, and have enjoyed the other Amouages I have tried.

    For Guerlain, I second the question about online availability directly through the Guerlain website. (Stores in my country seem to stock very limited product.)


  49. Rappleyea00:12

    Gator Grad: LOVE your screen name. I'm another SEC alum, but U. K. Go Big Blue!

    Helg: I have another question if I may for Mme. Delacourt. Why didn't Guerlain and the other perfume companies fight these regulations, which in effect ruined so many of their classics? And I will respectfully request NOT to play the health card as there are much more dangerous chemicals in perfume (i.e. phthalates) than these alleged allergens.


  50. I would love to be in the draw for the sample of Ubar. I have read so many positive reviews, but I don't want to buy it if I don't just LOVE it!

  51. maitreyi197801:40

    Hello, please include me in the drawing. I would ask about smaller bottles. Why not sell just a half or quarter ounce bottle instead of huge 100 mil bottles. I bet they would make more.

  52. PhinClio02:02

    Please enter me in the draw!

  53. alexp09:38

    Thanks for giving us this opportunity !
    I would ask Mme Delacourt two questions.
    1. In the actual context of the new regulations which are more and more spread to the perfume public and re-formulations are the topic of the day, which will be Guerlain's stategy ? Are they going to communicate about reformulation of their clasics(like Serge Lutens for Feminite du Bois did) or they will be silent?
    2. Concerning their latest lauches, is their intention to develop also to the niche market too?
    Pleaseee enter me into the draw! This could be my first ocassion to smell one of Amouage perfumes

  54. Please enter me for the Ubar!

  55. You have all been included to the drawing and I have listened to your questions.

    I hope mme.Delacourte replies to me soon and your questions get answered. It should be interesting!


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