Aprés l’Ondée was my very first Guerlain. For a long time I also thought it would be my only one (insert hearty laughter here), because I thought all the others were not my style, I couldn’t imagine myself in something as challenging and grown-up as Shalimar or Vol de Nuit.
As my dear, constant readers know, times have changed and Guerlain is my favorite (if I absolutely had to pick!) perfume house. I have tried most of the classics and many of the exclusives by now and it turned out I can wear many of them.
But Aprés l’Ondée still has a place in my heart (and my perfume closet) as my first Guerlain, and arguably the loveliest.
Aprés l’Ondée was launched in 1906 and created by Jacques Guerlain. Notes include bergamot, neroli, aniseed, hawthorn, violet, heliotrope, iris and musk; there may also be carnation, rose, jasmine, vetiver and sandalwood. (notes info borrowed from Now Smell This)
Aprés L’Ondée starts with top notes of bergamot and neroli as well as violet together with spicy anise. It smells like a garden in spring-time after a torrential rain. There is the smell of wet leaves and flowers warmed by sunshine. As the perfume develops spicy carnation, violet and heliotrope take a prominent place, luckily for me, without getting overly sweet. The drydown lets the iris shine in concert with a soft musky-vanilla note.
Aprés l’Ondée is markedly different to the other classic Guerlains. It needs no getting used to, no fear of being called an old lady when wearing it, a lady maybe, but definitely not old. Aprés l’Ondée is soft, sweet, natural, the equivalent of Beethoven’s 6th, the Pastoral Symphony – programme music.
It is all there, the lovely flowers, the wetness after a rain shower, the bitter-sweet mood, it all unfolds before our very noses. Aprés l’Ondée is not hard to get, it is all right there for the taking, one only needs to appreciate the loveliness. And that can be harder than one might think, sometimes.
I need to be in the right mood for Aprés L’Ondée.
Not too cynical, or I get overwhelmed by its loveliness. Not too exuberant or I get dragged down by its wistfulness. Not too mad or I smell only its sweetness.
But when I am feeling fragile and a bit overwhelmed with the day ahead of me, nothing is better than Aprés L’Ondée.