Sunday, 26 December 2010

5 Rare Guerlains in 5 Days (Part 2) - Day I: L'Abeille de Guerlain

When Thierry Wasser was announced as head nose at the helm of arguably the world's most coveted perfume house Guerlain, he had some big shoes to fill. For almost two centuries, the family-run business nurtured and educated a single bloodline to sit in the perfumer's chair, passing on knowledge and expertise that remained a coveted family secret. When Jean Paul Guerlain stepped down as nose in 2002 and stayed on as advisor, much was expected of the new in-house perfumer Monsieur Wasser. All eyes were trained in his direction, and lips hushed as many sought to discover if Wasser could continue to uphold the celebrated legacy of the perfume giant. In 2008, Guerlain launched Guerlain Homme to Wasser's credit, though it suffered a luke-warm reception. In 2009 Idylle was introduced too. But in 2010, Wasser gave us L'Abeille de Guerlain, and everyone finally breathed out.

L'Abeille de Guerlain is limited to production of only 47 numbered flacons holding 245ml of perfume worldwide, hence it is not at all easy to obtain. The sculptural baccarat presentation is not only stunning to look at, but I also feel, befitting of the incredible elixir inside. Wasser was inspired by bees... the creature that has stood as the company emblem for centuries, and also represents the sovereign crown. Wasser "followed the bee" when creating this perfume, painting a picture of a summer garden speckled with blooming yellow flowers. L'Abeille de Guerlain is a tribute to verdant green, dense opulent florals and one whose queen accord is the narcotising note of mimosa.

Mimosa has a distinct honey-like perfume... it is tenacious and luxurious, but with soft, powdery qualities that render it tender and graceful. It brushes over the skin like the tickle of a soft feather, and with its yellow velvety perfume, truly epitomizes the scent of summer. One can hear the ring of cicadas in their ears, and feel the sting of the sun across their legs. L'Abeille de Guerlain shifts and caresses like a soft summer breeze where the hum of the bees is carried on the air. A warm band of honey is apparent... not at all saccharine, and melds with the mimosa seamlessly. Tiny stars of jasmine and yellow ribbons of ylang ylang cartwheel over an orange-blossom heart... they are tender and tranquilizing; lulling you to nap with a book on your chest in a hammock strung between two trees. There is a sense of monarchial romance about this perfume... an elixir that harkens back to the perfume of immaculately maintained royal gardens, or lover's games of hide-and-seek in flowering, leafy labyrinths.

L'Abeille de Guerlain is both carnal and chaste, and ever so pretty! In my opinion, Thierry Wasser has certainly done Guerlain proud.
If you are fortunate enough to sample this verdurous golden essence, heed my simple warning before you hold it to your nose: beware... you will absolutely want to own it. And with a €12,500 price tag, in this particular fairytale - unless you are extremely well-heeled - there are no happy endings.
What do you think it would take to have them release this perfume in a less expensive presentation?


Angela Cox said...

I think only not selling the few available. They know very well they can make the money. It's a pity they don't feel more love towards all the customers who are devoted to them. As a "retailer" I am sure I would rather have ten million sold worldwide than be seen as really elitest.

mikeperez23 said...

Oh how I envy you D - it sounds scrumptious. Thanks!

BTW - if this is "Part 2" (or Rare Guerlain) when did you post Part 1? I missed it.

Mauro said...

I sincerely think that is only marketing.... no more than this!

Dimitri said...

Mikeperez, click on the Guerlain tag at the foot of the L'Abeille post and scroll down. You will see 5 previous "Rare Guerlains in 5 Days" entries.

Maurio, have you smelled L'Abeille?
Of course in restricting its accessibility, it becomes an object of desire. But the juice inside is worth its weight in gold at 51 euros per millilitre.