I never even bothered with Insolence. Truth be told, I roundly dismissed it as not worthy to be smelled. How snobbish is that? But to my defense, it comes in a highly questionable bottle (by Serge Mansau – he and I will never see eye to eye), it is pink, it is called Insolence, it really asks to be ignored, Guerlain or not.
Dee on Beauty on the Outside had written a damning review and sent me a vial, and going from her review, I was in no hurry indeed to apply the pink juice.
But it seems there is a time and place for everything. I recently applied a spritz of Frederic Malle’s Lipstick Rose, more out of a sense of duty, since it was the only Malle I had no sample of and never tested on skin. Promptly, I fell in love in the hours afterwards, such a lovely perfume. But budget and circumstances did not allow for more Lipstick Rose at the moment so I branched out and took a sniff through my sample box on the hunt for something similar.
To Dream by Sonoma Scent Studio was the first violet rose contender and it was a resounding success. L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Drole de Rose -well, not so much. It is too thin and rosy and altogether inconsequential to me. The more violet-leaning perfumes I tried at the time like Tom Ford Violet Blonde and good old Aprés L’Ondée are great, but did not exactly satisfy my Lipstick Rose craving.
The rather florid ad copy treads this fine line between irritating and amusing me, here are a few choice bites:
“L’Insolence is a spark in the eyes, an intrepid smile that knows no fear and fears no one, an amused silence. It’s a bearing; a careless grace; an ironic elegance. She is bold, with style to boot! To top it off, for nothing in the world would she be like everyone else. Her motto: “Whoever loves me will follow!”. “
-from the Guerlain website
Insolence’s opening is not pretty. Sharp, PINK and very fruity-berry-unimaginative, I was ready to dismiss this out of hand. But after the first ten to fifteen minutes, I got rewarded by the appearance of violet, some rose and a lovely iris. This actually started to smell like a Guerlain now. Like Après l’Ondée actually. Although less complex than its famous predecessor, Insolence is not really bad. It is a soft, warm iris-violet on a sandalwood and tonka base.
Insolence won’t see me racing out the door to get a bottle, but it won’t see me scrubbing it off either. It did appease my appetite for that cosmetic accord of rose and violet that Lipstick Rose awakened in me, at least for the moment.