Friday, May 16, 2008

Guerlain News

News about Guerlain drop like bombs this morning for us, evening for some. There are groundbreaking developments which merit their own mention.

First of all Thierry Wasser was appointed head perfumer at Guerlain, succeeding Jean Paul Guerlain after years at the helm up till 2002 and being the first one tied so tightly to the house without being family. Of course other perfumers had worked for Guerlain before: Maurice Roucel for L'instant and Insolence, Edouard Flechier who had reformulated Mitsouko...But somehow this is the end of an era. I am crossing my fingers it will be the best possible development for the historic house. Previous work by Wasser for Guerlain included Iris Ganache and Quant Vient La Pluie.
Sculptor Sacre Nobi, founder and artistic director of S-perfumes, >was on to something when he was commenting a few days ago about the upheaval in the big perfume companies and the moving of noses from one to the other.

According to fashionweekdaily:

Thierry Wasser has been named the exclusive perfumer for Guerlain as of June 2008. The announcement was made today by Laurent Boillot, Guerlain's chief executive officer, and master perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain.

"This appointment upholds the Guerlain philosophy of entrusting its olfactory creations to a 'nose,' a tradition that has been followed for almost 180 years," Boillot said in a memo. "Five generations of Guerlain perfumers have produced an incomparable body of know-how, illustrated through bold creations, unique in the history of perfumery."

As one of the leading figures in contemporary perfumes, Wasser became a perfumer after studying botany and training with Givaudan. He joined Firmenich in 1993 and spent nine years in New York before moving to the company's office in Paris in 2002. [...] In his position as perfumer, Wasser will work closely with Sylvaine Delacourte, who joined Guerlain in 1983 and is actively involved in the development of numerous Guerlain perfumes, including L'Instant de Guerlain and Insolence.

On the heels of that news, Guerlain announces the launching of the three Carnal Elixirs to be issued in autumn in the exclusive Guerlain Boutiques and available at Bergdorf Goodman, The Breakers, and Neiman Marcus at San Francisco.
The fragrances are named all after "femme" and the notes are as follows:

Femme Fatale (fatal woman): white peach, rose, pachouli, vanilla
Femme Erotique (erotic woman): Clemintine almond, tonka bean, vanilla
Femme Enfant (woman child): black pepper, rose, rum, chocolate

The bottles of 75 ML Eau de Parfum will come at $250.00.

Finally the new Guerlain for men we had announced some time ago is materialising and will simply be called Guerlain Homme, built on lemon, citrus and mint. It will be at the Saks and Neimans counters come October. Created by artistic director Sylvaine Delacourte it will be encased in a bottle designed by Paelo Pininfarina, the Mazeratti '06 and Porsche designer.

So, what are your expectations?

Thanks to Reckless Red of POL for shopping info. Vintage ad from ebay. Pic of Thierry Wasser courtesy of What we do is Secret


  1. Sadly, me and Guerlain do not get along, the guerlainade does not smell good on Jen. So quite simply i really don't know what this means. To put it this way is Wasser goes away from the Guerlain style he will be yelled at, but if he does it might be something I can wear. As for Guerlain Homme, kind've sounds boring, but on a funnier note, Guerlain Vetiver is the only Guerlain that really works on me.

  2. Anonymous16:40

    If I had to live with the perfumes of one house only it would be Guerlain and so I am interested in this news. I rather liked LT's suggestion that they hire Patricia de Nicolai but I also guess that she may be happy enough thank you with her own house. I did not like Iris Ganache and do not know Quand VlP so cannot comment on M. Wasser's style fit with my beloved Guerlain. Will simply cross everything I can that it works. (Wouldn't Mathilde Laurent, the lady who did Attrape Coeur and at least one of the AAs have been a good fit too? But she went to Cartier.) I shall try and keep an open mind but I'm not all that taken with those Femme ones. (Trying not to worry!)Have a good w/e !Nicola

  3. Jen,

    I can certainly understand what you're saying: he is facing a tough, daunting task ahead of him. If he stays close to what his predecessors did, he will be accused of non originality, perhaps, and it won't catch the nose of new clientele which is what Guerlain is trying to do, I believe. If he veers too much off the beaten track he will be a betrayor to the heritage.
    Let's see what happens.

    Vetiver is a classic for a reason, so I think you should feel fortunate it works for you.
    Btw, have you tried Herba Fresca? It's in that vein and very refreshing.

  4. Dear Nicola,

    there was such a stampede from perfume lovers for Patricia de Nicolai getting the position, thanks to Luca's praise! Me thinks, she was never an option: if she were, she would have been considered a long time ago. She must have started her own house for a reason ;-)

    Wasser has done other commercial work and it seems adequate for the budget alloted. Of course working at an historic house such as Guerlain changes things and makes matters more complicated. Then again, there has been some cheapening of the brand in recent years, despite the exclusives (which are indeed very good), so it remains to be seen what direction shall be taken.

    I believe the Carnal Elixirs (shades of F.Malle there??) must have been already developed and Wasser will supervise over the final touches? At least by the time schedule, which talks about him being head of fragrance come June. Of course no one knows if he hadn't been working in secret for a long time already. Hmmm...

  5. Truth is I love the smell of herba fresca (I would love a candle of it), but on my skin it develops a weird tar note. By the way for fun with Guerlain Vetiver layer it with Stella Rose Absolute. What cracks me is how much I have been complemented when wearing Guerlain Vetiver and then telling them I'm wearing a mens fragrance.

  6. Then spray your clothes, Jen! Spray your clothes with Herba Fresca. Yes, I know, isn't it a bummer when there isn't a candle in such wonderful scents as this one? It would make the perfect backdrop to a warm summer's morning.

    I am surprised by the combination suggested (and will try it!) and it doesn't phaze me that you receive compliments on Vetiver. Why shouldn't you wear it if it is so good on you, just because it's intended for men?
    BTW, it's also Elle McPherson's signature. So there!


Type your comment in the box, choose the Profile option you prefer from the drop down menu, below text box (Anonymous is fine too!) and hit Publish.
And you're set!

This Month's Popular Posts on Perfume Shrine