1937 marks the year perfume heir Jean-Paul Guerlain was born... the baby boy who was to grow into the man who would be the fourth successor to the title of Master Perfumer at Maison Guerlain. It is alleged that Cachet Jaune - a Jacques Guerlain creation - was created as a gift for Jean-Paul's mother the very same year. Produced solely in an eau de cologne concentration and presented in the now-iconic watchface-style 'flacon montre' (later used to house a variety of Guerlain eaux de colognes), it is fascinating to discover that contemporary Guerlain perfumer Thierry Wasser and his assistant, Frederic Sacone have reprised Cachet Jaune for visitors to experience at the Guerlain boutique in Paris, in pure parfum form.
This astonishing carnation is underpinned by signature Guerlain florals (jasmine, iris and rose, which indeed feature heavily in the Guerlain DNA)... but a generous measure of musk at its core pulls the composition away from a resolutely feminine bouquet and gives rise to a coarser, more physical facet. These delightful components simmer over a classic Guerlain foundation comprising amber, vanilla and tonka.
After some hours, as the last remaining molecules of perfume evaporate from skin, I crave the sweet aromatic spiced floral aspects that were so abundant in the beginning. I long for those generous sunny hues that seduced my nose - as it did Jean-Paul's mother's - so many decades ago.
Such a pity that Cachet Jaune never appeared resurrected next to Vega and Sous le Vent in their most recent incarnations, as was originally intended. For lovers of carnation, and for those simply hankering for a unique olfactory snapshot of the 1930's, Cachet Jaune has it in spades.
Tomorrow's Review: Fleur Qui Meurt (1901)