Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Guerlain Les Deserts d'Orient ~Encens Mythique d'Orient, Rose Nacree du Desert, Songe d'un Bois d'Ete: new fragrances

Guerlain does Middle East. At last! After several companies catered to the affluent and genuinely discerning Middle-East market, an audience intent on appreciating perfumes through a profound familiarity with good ingredients and complex compositions, Guerlain has joined this trend.  
Les Déserts d'Orient (Oriental Deserts) comprises three fragrances, inspired by mythical raw materials of Middle Eastern origin: incense, rose and oud. The fragrances are exclusively destined for the United Arab Emirates with some discussion into expanding distribution into Qatar and Kuwait later on. The Paris flagship boutique will eventually feature them as well.

This new trio of oriental fragrances is a tribute to enchanting Arabia with creations that represent the Orient in all its original splendor. The perfumes are credited to head perfumer Thierry Wasser who focused on every possible nuance of the Arabian Nights for this Middle Eastern opus with exotic names. This is Guerlain and at the same time it's beyond Guerlain, "savage and dark", pettering out into a place of legend and lore.

The Exclusive Collection Les Déserts d'Orient by Guerlain comprises:

Encens Mythique d’Orient : A smoky effect, aromatic waves, a divine emotion. Inspired by frankincense, but given a typical Guerlain treatment, this sweet & bright musky oriental composition fuses aldehydes with neroli, moss, saffron, Persian rose, ambergris and musk to render incense new again.  

Rose Nacrée du Désert : An intense rose, a bold flower, an established mystery. A fragrance built on lush Persian rose, the legendary blossom of the east. Creamy yet dark, rose is given a mysterious air via saffron, patchouli and a hint of agarwood (oud), fanned on rich benzoin resin.  

Songe d’un Bois d’été : A deep leather, sumptuous woods, supreme momentum. Dry, spicy, smoky effect with authentic oud nuances; the woodiness is based on cedar, the jasmine heart gives an individual touch. Saffron and cardamom provide the spiciness, laurel a dry aromatic touch. Oud, myrrh, patchouli and leathery notes complete the base notes of this intriguing composition.

The bottles are adorned with Arab-cript calligraphy down one side, the French names down the other side. They are the tall, architectural style of the collection L'Art et la Matière with the antique gold overlay on the sides holding 75ml of perfume. The concentration of the fragrances is Eau de Parfum for tenacity. Prices are set for 190euros/AED990 per bottle.  

Reviews on all of them coming up soon!!


  1. MariaA15:50

    I am very curious about these ones, wonder if the Paris boutique will be the only one having them or will they be available in others also like the one in Thessaloniki? Hmm I will try to check it out! Will be waiting for your review!!

  2. Will these be available online or only in UAR bricks and mortar stores? Would be nice to try these - no way I would pay EUR190 before sampling first.

  3. Somehow, the news is a little depressing. Thanks to IFRA and Arnault's race-to-the bottom business strategy, Guerlain seems to have given up on their old glories and rather tries to mimic Arabian perfumery. Sad.

    That said, Hedonist at basenotes tried them and liked the bois oud and the rose (he disliked the incense as too sweet). I guess one has to content himself with what's available...


  4. Anonymous21:08

    @cacio, the genre of "Arabian perfumery" seems an apt bridge for a house like Guerlain to continue their tradition of rich and full-bodied scents beyond recreating the past glories, which as you mentioned IFRA guidelines have rendered toothless going forward. I look forward to trying this series principally for that reason.

    As other commenters mentioned, any reliable info on availability beyond Middle East is appreciated. Looking forward to reviews regardless!

  5. Maria,

    for the time being, these are ONLY for the Arab market at the Emirates. But of course we know Guerlain makes concessions in that distribution pattern sometimes; if they prove popular in Paris, maybe they will send them over at a couple of other places.

    BTW, θυμάσαι μήπως το όνομα του μαγαζιού στην Θεσσαλονίκη; Θέλω να ρωτήσω κάτι για τηλεφωνικές παραγγελίες.

  6. Micheal,

    I believe online defeats the exclusivity. AFAIK it's only Emirates for now and any online/phone order would be in relevant countries.

    I bet decanters will try to get a bottle and then split into samples for lotsa cash, though, LOL.
    It might save you some $$ just to satisfy your curiosity. ;-)

  7. M,

    discussing this with Hedonist he recommended I try them. Hence my interest. I usually get irked with exclusivity "tricks" though it's perfectly valid to address a market that has very specific tastes.

    IMHO it's not too sad that Guerlain taps at this pool of buyers, as they're both affluent and discerning. More than one can say for even the French themselves, eh?

  8. Anon,

    I will report with any news on expanded availability as soon as I get info. Net mention of sales is specifically addressed to citizens of the Emirates, as per my research.

    Indeed it should be an interesting experiment to see whether the place-specific placement is a small leeway into producing what Guerlain excelled at anyway: rich, lush, full-bodied perfumes.

    More detailed opinions though on the matter soon! ;-)

  9. According to the internet, Haute Parfumerie in Brussels (Place Vendome) is going to have them too. Another thing to do in between bouts of moules et frites.

  10. Miss Heliotrope08:50

    To be a lot more on on topic, it is interesting that there are specific scents that are associated with the Middle East - and that it is being sold back to them. Are all these ingredients from their or associated with that region or just in our exotic associations?

  11. Miss Heliotrope08:51

    (I meant than my previous, non appearing - reasonably - comment)

  12. MS,

    they do get their hand on some of the exclusives, though I understand it's through a special connection of the owner with Guerlain rather than the company's overall policy ;-)

    I do place high hopes on them trickling into closer quarters.

  13. MH,

    good point: They do have a culture of those scents there. That's a fact. These are traditional Middle Eastern ingredients (myrrh, frankincense -which also comes from Somalia- , rose etc. plus the real appreciation of good oud). I had a post here named Arabian Rituals, I believe it's under the Travel Memoirs tag, if you're keen to search for it. ;-)

    To actually make them in Europe and then sell it back to them is highly interesting on several levels nevertheless!
    One can say that the French have excelled at selling milk to the cows, in what concerns perfumery *sarcasm*

  14. MH,

    please clarify: which non appearing comment?? Must have missed something?

  15. MariaA10:12

    Οι πληροφορίες που θες είναι εδώ:

    όπως θα δεις σου στέλνουν ότι παραγγείλεις στο κοντινότερο Notos

  16. Thanks for the official description Helg! Where did you find that? Just talked to the Champs-Élysées boutique, it well appear there in mid-June. Can't wait. Since Guerlain has always loved the Orient, I find it quite natural that they now make a direct reference to it.

  17. These magnificant fragrances are already for sale at Haute
    Parfumerie Place Vendôme in Belgium!! :-)

  18. Miss Heliotrope01:29

    Just that I wrote something rather vague & rambling (so not of importance or very relevant) & thought I had posted it - I may well have failed to do so (have a cold, not very with it) & you're not missing anything...

    I shall go looking for your article. I think it shows what a label does to people - and that those who can afford it will pay for the association.

  19. Maria,

    είσαι κούκλα!

  20. U,

    I got the intro phrases & notes (which I put in a description myself) from the UAE directly.
    It's good to hear they will be in Paris in mid-July; perhaps a trip there would be in order.
    Thanks for commenting, as always!
    Hope you're very very well. :-)

  21. Steven,

    so I hear. The owner has a special affinity for Guerlain, so... ;-)

  22. MH,

    ah, that's all right and get well soon! I thought you meant Blogger ate it or it was moderated (which is not the case for recent articles, only for old ones so I keep track of spam).
    The Arabian Rituals article is linked here, btw.


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