Today I’m sharing the next chapter in my journey to collect the greatest hits from my beloved house of Guerlain. I’ve written previously about L’Homme Ideal Cologne and Shalimar, and in today’s review we’ll be discussing Idylle, the eau de parfum. I hope that you’re enjoying this series, because there’s nothing I love more than to talk about the mythic house and there’s plenty more to get to. There is so much history and drama that it’s like watching your favourite telenovela! You can also find the Guerlain makeup feature I did this spring here.
Idylle came to be in 2009, followed by no less than 7 flankers in the subsequent 5 years (which is, granted, less than the 19 variations La Petite Robe Noire received since its release the same year). In-house perfumer Thierry Wasser put his signature on the juice, one of his first feminine Guerlains according to the Fragrantica database. The reason you don’t hear much about it is that Guerlain simply did not fully get behind Idylle, which is a tougher juice to market than the sickly-sweet LPRN, resulting in its gradual resignation from department store shelves. Perhaps this will give you the inspiration to pick it up and give it a deserving try.
I received my bottle for review consideration from FragranceNet.com, which has such a great selection of Guerlain fragrances and makeup it’s like walking into one of their sparsely located boutiques. You can find the classics like Mitsouko for a stunning 47% retail savings, as well as the new releases such as Shalimar Souffle De Parfum set for 53% off. You can find these and all the other amazing deals using the banner links in this post (affiliate links, much appreciated!).
Of course, the first thing that drew me to Idylle was the laboratory flask packaging. This bottle almost looks insect-like to me, with a long stalking antennae and bulging body. The cap is coated in metallic gold, giving it a very luxurious look. The harsh plastic edges do give it a slightly cheap feeling, but it holds itself together well enough with a solid grip on the glass. The pictured bottle is the smaller 50 ml size, and is a perfect gift for Mother’s Day and other important occasions.
The juice is different from anything else I own, the closet comparison being Christian Dior’s J’Adore L’Absolu. It opens with a soapy Lily of the valley note (slightly off-putting, but fades away quickly), and as it wears it grows into an intensely sweet Bulgarian rose with a generous helping of Earl Grey tea – emphasize on the “grows”. The tea helps neutralize the gigantic rose that emerges, which is warm and decadent and rich like jam. An English tea party is a good metaphor for what happens here, where the uninteresting florals turn into a delicious surprise. This is what the marketing machine failed to recognize, and the reason that not many people talk about Idylle in my opinion. If more fans knew how scrumptious this gourmand floral is despite not adhering to the traditional Guerlain vanilla recipe I think it could take off for good. It is not as complex as some of the Guerlain names that appeal to the niche market, but its simplicity is not a bad thing for it is impeccably made although not groundbreaking. I must add that silage and longevity are out of this world, and every time I wear this I receive compliments. More importantly, I can smell the rose and tea on myself and it makes me feel sophisticated and grown up, bringing me massive pleasure.
I highly recommend everyone to check out Idylle, which was failed by its own makers but has the potential to be huge again especially with the 30+ crowd, both men and women. Because it is so heavy I thought I would enjoy it more in winter, but it is proving perfect for this hot weather as well. Let me know which of Guerlain’s scents you think deserves more attention, and what you’d like to see me review next!
*Prices true at time of writing.
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