Wednesday 20 May 2015
"Mon Exclusif" is the newest perfume release by French perfumers Guerlain... a name which feels as all-encompassing as it does maddeningly vague. It would appear that the LVMH marketing machine behind the brand are cashing in on the concept of "exclusivity for all" with this affordable fragrance that asks you to christen it with your very own title.
Mon Exclusif comes presented in a clear glass flacon which is a modern rendition of the gilded bow-tie bottle made famous in the 1930s to house "Coque d'Or" and "Dawamesk". With it, Guerlain have provided a sealed packet of adhesive silver letters which you can use to personalise your bottle. This is a nice idea in theory, but in reality, yours truly dislikes the cheapness of the letterforms and indeed their gargantuan size, which frustratingly would make it quite impossible for me to name my dream scent Doppelganger or Onomatopoeia. Aside from this shortcoming, the bottle itself is prettiness personified; its facets outlined in silver to underline further an après-Deco feel.
So how does it smell? Well off the bat, whoever suggested it is a modern, sweeter version of Jicky needs some significant rhinoplasty. Granted, a huff of aromatic lavender in its flight may be a common accord shared between Mon Exclusif and the House's afore-mentioned 126 year old giant, but the similarities distinctly end there. Mon Exclusif is sweet... tooth-achingly sweet. If you have an aversion to the candied purple buzz of Insolence or the fudge-dense chewiness of the L'Art et Matiere offerings, then Mon Exclusif will raise your glucose levels through the roof! Sweet mandarin and zesty bergamot meet the nose, followed by a familiar candied almond accord which one can find in both L'Homme Ideal and LPRN... this is wrapped in lavender sugar and nectar-like solar accords that I sense present perhaps in Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia. Bittersweet iris and clean white musk are combined with a burnt sugar accord, the sum of which act as a fondant poured generously over the whole composition. It is this sticky vanilla/toffee that lingers on skin and in the nose for many hours.
If I'm honest, I can't say I understand Guerlain's fondness for the slew of gourmand creations leaving their factory in abundance of late. Whilst Mon Exclusif is pretty and sure to become a favourite for some, a part of me would certainly give my left gonad to welcome a new mainstream chypre to the Guerlain portfolio... one devoid of a single sugar-dusted almond, nutty praline or saccharine pink berry.
Mon Exclusif will surely charm perfume laypersons, but I predict that serious perfumisti will be left wanting more than a pretty collectable for their scented treasury.
Available now from Guerlain.fr