Perfumer Thierry Wasser was allegedly inspired by the work of classical composer Hector Berlioz (he of Symphonie Fantastique fame), specifically from his 1841 opus Les Nuits d'Été, towards evoking a certain feeling in Idylle Duet, Guerlain's latest fragrance and a flanker to their release from 2009, Idylle. Whether he succedded in that task or not, you will be able to judge by listening to the piece below (Op.7, Villanelle). As regards the fragrance, it's an entry that could stand in any other mainstream brand. Which, for Guerlain, is a let down, I'm afraid.
Bypassing that, the rose here is a little liquerish, a little darkish, good traits, but something is missing. Rose and patchouli are such a popular combination that either tilting the scales towards the woody leafy constituent (as in Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan) or towards the multi-petalled wonder of nature (as in Portrait of a Lady or the rather better Une Rose in the F.Malle line), one is bound to come up with something at least memorable. Instead the new release, despite its limited edition nature, is passable but ultimately forgetable, like a catchy jingle you heard in passing.
Fragrance notes for Guerlain Idylle Duet:
Bulgarian Rose, Indonesian Patchouli, Jasmine, Peony, Freesia, Lily-of-the-Valley, Lilac, White Musk
Idylle Duet comes as the latest feminine mainstream distribution for the house of Guerlain,(apart from the two new Aqua Allegorias, Jasminora and Rosa Blanca, announced here and more on which shortly) but it's a limited edition ~apparently due to its ingredients, but don't hold your breath. The new Guerlain fragrance is available in Eau de Parfum concentration in a 35ml flacon shaped like its antecedent. The box presentation is the same as the one for Ode a la Vanille but this time in rosy gold.
Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Guerlain fragrance reviews, Guerlain news, Floral fragrances.
Soprano Jessye Norman sings Villanelle from Hector Berlioz's Les Nuits d'Été Op.7 on poems by Théophile Gautier. London Symphony Orchestra, 1979, conducted by Sir Colin Davies accompanies.