Rage Against The Dying Of The Light – Review: Guerlain Vega

In yesterday’s post I talked about the blue hours and how perfume can jolt me out of such a mood, one that can do this job excellently is Guerlain’s Vega. (This is what I ordered from Heaven in Belgium along with one other perfume, the identity of which is still undisclosed ;))

Vega is the one to spread the light, light up the darkest corners, all pervading, blazing, it means safety, warmth, security, it stands for everything that is good and right in the world.

Upon first spray Vega bursts into flame and burns with the brightest light, a bluish white hot light, gleaming like a super nova.

Vega burns for a good while before it mellows into a warm glow like the embers of a camp fire.

In the drydown one becomes aware that this is a Guerlain for sure, although the first hour, in its luminescence it is much more reminiscent of other aldehydic floral classics, like Chanel N°5 or N°22. It feels almost like a Chanel N°5 on steroids. 😉

I love the drydown the most. The initial aldehydic power has its purpose, namely brightening up my day, but the mellow warmth and softness of the Guerlinade base decorated by white flowers, ylang-ylang the most prominent to my nose, is more my cup of tea. I even like to underscore the base with a spray of Spiritueuse Double Vanille underneath Vega to amp up that lovely warmth it radiates.

My very own bottle of Vega from Place Vendome Haute Parfumerie

Composed by Jacques Guerlain in 1936, Vega was recreated by Jean-Paul Guerlain for the opening of the renovated La Maison Guerlain in the summer of 2006. It is an aldehydic floral including notes of rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, iris, and sandalwood.

As you might have deduced from the title already, there is some Dylan Thomas to come. I immediately associated his famous poem with Vega when I first smelled it. It is not in the intended spirit of Vega, I dare say, but it is what I see in it none the less. The spirit of holding on to the light, of holding on to life, even in extremity, that declaration of “See, I am here!” that is what Vega smells like for me.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas, 1914-1953

Vega is hard to come by, it is sold exclusively at Guerlain boutiques. It comes in a beautiful apothecary style bottle in Eau de Toilette strength (no qualms about lasting power here though).

Would you like to try Vega? I will give away a 5ml sample of Vega and one of the second Guerlain I recently ordered, in a few days when I review the second one, to two lucky readers. GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Picture source: Advertisement for Vega: Vintage Ad Browser, thank you! Picture of Vega: my own

About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Aldehydic, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Guerlain and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Rage Against The Dying Of The Light – Review: Guerlain Vega

  1. Gisela says:

    That’s something I love about perfumes: that they can trigger a whole world of emotions and drama and references to other art forms, inducing all this creativity. It’s enriching and entertaining and educational – in other words: I love your posts. And that is a great heartbreaking poem. The extraordinary brightness of Vega creating a deep dark shadow – brilliant pairing!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Gisela, welcome, thank your for reading and your lovely compliment! 🙂
      I have always loved that poem since I first encountered it in high school, Vega brought it to my mind in an instant. I love when perfume triggers memories or associations from every part of the soul (brain?).
      No light without the shadow, eh? 😉

  2. *jen says:

    Floral + Guerlainade sounds dreamy, as always. Can’t wait to hear what the other scent is. 🙂

  3. Marina says:

    I need to revisit it. It is beautiful, but felt cold to me, a distant cold star 🙂

  4. Victoria says:

    So beautiful! I completely agree with you, such an elegant, vivid bouquet.
    I might wear it today, as today is gray, dark and quite unpleasant. I miss sunshine.

  5. Tara says:

    You write so beautifully B it’s hard to believe English is not your first language – you put me to shame! Vega sounds stunning so I’ll be sure to enter the draw in a few days time. Many congrats on your full bottle, when do you think you’ll wear it – day, evening or special occasions only? As for the second perfume you ordered, I’m betting on Sous leVent but I’ll be patient…

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you so much for the complimemt, it means a lot to me! 🙂
      I think I will wear it when the mood strikes me, it is appropriate for elegant daywear as well as for the evening, much like a little black dress.
      As for your guess, I’m not telling. 😉

  6. lady jane grey says:

    Hm, have never tried Vega. But have I mentioned to you already, that Double Vanille Sp. is one of the very few parfumes in my collection, which I used up and had to buy it again? So I have one half of your winner combo…

  7. linda says:

    ooooh….that would be nice! Thank you for the offer.
    I enjoy your postings very much.
    Thanks for the good read with a cup of coffee this AM.

  8. deeHowe says:

    Wow, you really went for it! A full bottle of Guerlain Vega… if that’s not reason for celebration, I don’t know what is! My spirits are lifted just hearing about it 🙂

    I would not have guessed Vega, and now I’m even more curious about what else you bought… hmmm. Could it be Attrape Coeur?????

    That poem is so moving; Vega must be fierce!

  9. Tarleisio says:

    I suspect there must be something in those Eaux de Guerlain that bring out your own inner poet, B! This is such a beautiful review – and now, my curiosity is piqued. Vega and Dylan Thomas – wow!

    Something in that evocative bottle made you see a star – did you remember to make a wish, too? 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, it seems I already got my wish. This blog and all of you are making me very happy. Finding a great perfume is the icing on the cake.

      Thank you, T. Guerlain speaks to me in a special way, it seems. 🙂

  10. bloody frida says:

    Oh that D. Thomas quote made my day! Thank you!! And please include me in the draw – I have never tried that Guerlain.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you! 🙂
      The draw will officially start on tomorrows post when the source of the second sample will be reviewed. You’ll have to come back tomorrow. 😉 (I hope you do!)

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  12. JoanElaine says:

    I love the parallel you have made between Vega and Dylan Thomas’ poem. By your description of Vega, those powerful aldehydes sound like they won’t allow you to go gently into anything! A life-giving fragrance perfect for the dead of winter.

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