I actually never expected to particularly like the old Guerlains.
Of course I wanted to try them, own them even, because I think a collection should have such important “founding fathers” of perfumes present and accounted for. Like Shakespeare belongs in every library, and Mozart in every CD collection.
How extraordinarily stupid of me.
They became classics after all because they are good, well-made and timeless creations that appeal to many people.
I already talked about Shalimar. My next conquest was L’Heure Bleue.
L’Heure Bleue was created in 1912 by Jacques Guerlain. Notes include bergamot, aniseed, carnation, orange blossom, heliotrope, Bulgarian rose, tuberose, iris, vanilla and musk.
I don’t want to talk about how it smells to me, dissecting it into its components goes against my better judgment this time. It is the same with some poems that I always refused to analyze. Some things are perfect in their entirety and poking around to see what they are made of only takes away some of the magic.
I can tell you how it makes me feel though.
The story of its creation is famous, here is an excerpt from Guerlain’s website:
“One summer evening, Jacques Guerlain was overcome by intense turmoil. It was the suspended hour, the hour when the sky has lost its sun but not yet found its stars. Everything in nature is clothed in a blue light”.
The descriptions and stories attached to L’Heure Bleue are very “me”. That sad, a little self-indulgent moodiness, the twilighted atmosphere of bitter sweet ruminations – that is definitely something I like to do. Wallowing in self-pity, is what my husband likes to call such a mood, and maybe he is right, but what he doesn’t see is how lovely that can be.
L’Heure Bleue represents my shadowy side, the side where happiness is a smile at the most, where tears are a constant twinkle in the corner of the eye, where anger is blessedly absent and a feeling of longing for the unattainable, not even definable, is pervading me and my surroundings.
In that state, I am L’Heure Bleue. Curiously detached from the world, removed into a realm of introspection and futile musings about paths not chosen, dreams never realized.
I love L’Heure Bleue to accompany me in such a mood, to help me cocoon myself in my private world of unnamed desires.
But that is no place to stay long. It would be neither good for me, not for the important people in my life.
There are perfumes to welcome me back into the world of starker contrasts, light and dark, loud and quiet, good and bad. Even, or especially ones by Guerlain.