Magic Skin! – Review: Guerlain Angelique Noire

Guerlain Exclusives are a bit of an obsession with me, especially the L’Art et la Matière line. In an ideal world I’d have them all (on second thought, hold Cruel Gardènia, I don’t really need that one). But the others, all those gourmand wonders, so very Guerlain and so modern as well. Oh yes, please! I’ll take one of each.

In the real world I own one of the line (Iris Ganache, sadly discontinued now!) and my wishlist is flush with Guerlain Exclusives jostling for the first few positions.

Tara reviewed Bois d’Armenie for us, Tonka Impèriale, Rose BarbareCuir Beluga, the new Myrrhe et Délires, they will all be reviewed here eventually.

But now for Angelique Noire: I received a whopping 30ml decant from Lady Jane Grey, loyal reader and commenter on this blog and fellow Viennese, she was very generous with me. And it turned out to be a truly amazing gift, as I fell for it immediately. (Unfortunately so did my husband, with an entirely different agenda though!)

Created by Daniela Andrier in 2005, Angelique Noire includes notes of angelica, bergamot and vanilla.

Angelique Noire smells great! Aside from that unqualified statement, I couldn’t quite pin it down of what the perfume reminded me. It felt familiar with its bitter-sweet beginning and vanilla-soft drydown. Then all of a sudden I had it – it is reminiscent of Serge Lutens Douce Amère.

Angelique Noire is not noire in the least. It is light, airy, uplifting, bitter, sweet and features an unusual top note and the familiar Guerlain-vanilla in the base. Citrus paired with bitter angelica contrasts beautifully with the sweet and almost treacly base, setting a force field of sorts, a tension that serves to hold the fragrance up in the air. It is like an electrical current, an arc of energy that is self-sustaining.

I was told that I seem to wear Angelique Noire quite well, (Vanessa exclaimed that it smelled amazing and I must have magic skin. I wouldn’t go that far, but) I like to think it meshed well with my skin and fits me somehow. It is no stretch for me to wear it, it is like a favorite garment, that is particularly flattering and therefore worn often and without second thought.

The Husband’s shenanigans with this perfume brought me a promise of a full bottle, and the way I am going through my big decant shows that this promise will have to be made good soon. (I hope the relevant party is reading this right now.)

What is your favorite exclusive Guerlain? Do you like the L’Art et la Matière line?

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51 Responses to Magic Skin! – Review: Guerlain Angelique Noire

  1. civava says:

    I would be satisfied if I only had Cuir Beluga and Tonka Imperiale, but I can always have more ;-).
    Just that prices are a bit out of range ;-(. Actually I’m totally Guerlain girl and I guess would easily have them all. Old and new. No modesty herel Ha, ha. Keep dreaming! At least that I can have ;-).

  2. Undina says:

    It looks like I started from the one you didn’t care for 🙂 Well, more for me.

    I tried Angelique Noire and liked it so I can see a decant in my future. And I clearly see a FB in your (the relevant party is reading, right? 😉 )

  3. Lyubov says:

    How inspiring it sounds – especially the bittersweet part! Unfortunately, I didn’t smell any of those perfumes you write about.
    Funny to say, I have only encountered Cruel Gradenia from this line. And it was nice – tender, comforting and calm. I didn’t find it cruel at all! It reminded me of my mom’s closet and her Panny Walewska’ creams from my childhood.
    I am really , really sad that Iris Ganche is discontinued since I recently found that I love some certain combos of iris (PG’s Iris Taizo, AdP’s Iris Nobile, The Body Shop’s White Musk Midnight Iris and some more) which I wouldn’t go for 2-3 years ago. Nowadays, I crave iris…And I was intending to try and eventually buy Iris Ganache next time I visit Paris, but now I wonder if it would be possible…
    However, every single one of L’Art et La Matiere line is tempting for me. But maybe the first one I’ll put on would be Rose Barbare since I’m a rose sucker and this flower usually puts a magic spell on me when I’m wearing it!

  4. andrea says:

    Oh how I crave the Guerlains, the packaging and everything about them is beautiful. I love my bottle of Iris Ganache and decant of Tonka Imperial. I had tried to ignore Angelique Noire as I feel sure that there are not many in this line that I will not want to own. I am craving the Gourmand Coquin next from the Elixers (not many in there that I will dislike either) Maybe if I win the lottery at the weekend I can just order them all. (As well as buying all remaining stock of Iris Ganache) Obviously I would happily share my haul with fellow perfumistas. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I hope the British Lottery heard that and will show a little generosity, we would all greatly benefit from Andrea’s win! 😉

      I really love Rose Barbare too, I thought I would like it the least, but no – of course it is another winner for me. 😦

      • andrea says:

        I hope they heard it too, I keep buying tickets but never win, I feel like asking for my money back. 🙂

        I am ignoring the Rose Barbare too, I would never lean towards this one either with it having Rose in the title but as we share many tastes I am guessing I would love it too.

        The SA on the Guerlain counter in Selfridges was very helpful and was very enthusiastic about all the Guerlains, he also recommended Cuir Beluga. Probably just easier to list the ones that I won’t like. 🙂

  5. lady jane grey says:

    There is nothing “Noir” in there – which was quite a disppointment for me. Indeed, the scent is bright and happy. As of Guerlain : Spiriteuse Double Vanille was one of the few perfumes in my life (and the only non-dep. store one) I managed to use up entirely and “had” to buy a 2nd bottle, so far… iris Ganache is (was 😦 ) awesome. BUT, I’ve never really tried the rest (just spritzed on a blotter very hastily at la Maison du Guerlain in Paris).

  6. Tara says:

    Well the opening of this was surprisingly fresh and green on Vanessa but I know Guerlain love sneaking some almond notes into their exclusives so I’ll have to test the drydown 🙂

    Bois d’Armenie is my favourite from the line so far but I’m happy with a decant for now. Very much looking forward to Myrrhe et Delires.

  7. Alnysie says:

    Ha! When my alarm rang this morning I was in the middle of a dream in which I was at a Guerlain counter, reaching for the Cuir Béluga tester! I wonder what it’d have smelled like in my dream…

    I never smelled any of the exclusives yet, mostly to avoid big spending! But I want to, especially Cuir Béluga. I’m sure I’ll love at least one of them, given all the praise written about them.

  8. malsnano86 says:

    I’ve managed not to test most of the L’Art et la Matiere line – I did rather enjoy my sample of Cruel Gardenia but, like you, didn’t need a bottle. It’s just pretty, and for that much $$$, it better be darn amazing for me to shell out for it.

    I was expecting to love Rose Barbare – I generally like rose chypres, I usually do well with Francis Kurkdjian, but unfortunately RB smelled like shaving cream on me. Bleargh.

    (I WAS rather tempted by my sample of Elixir Charnel Floral Romantique, which was similar to Cruel Gardenia but less soapy… and then I checked on pricing. Uh, NO.)

  9. Vanessa says:

    Aha – I thought I said you smelt amazing and your husband stepped in to explain that you had magic skin! : – ). And if you don’t have it in regard to this particular scent, which is even nice on me on a retrial, I think the statement holds for your dermatological response to some other scents that I would call challenging. Though there again, I am easily challenged, hehe.

    Anyway, I like this a lot, and Rose Barbare and Bois D’Armenie and Tonka Imperiale. Have not tried them all, but I agree that it is a good strike rate for the range!

    From the train / phone so apologies in advance for typos and other inevitable grammatical oddities in my comment.

  10. Suzanne says:

    I’ll look forward to trying this one (and others from L’Art et la Matiere line) on my travels in May. Although at the rate they are discontinuing things these days, maybe I ought not to wait that long! Hope they don’t discontinue this one as your review really makes me want to try it.

    Spiriteuse Double Vanille was a favorite for a while, not quite so much anymore. I really can’t wait to try Bois d’Armenie, as from everything I’ve read (including Tara’s lovely review) it sounds the most me. Although Cruel Gardenia does too… 🙂

  11. bloody frida says:

    I hadn’t read that post from The Husband before – OMG – I couldn’t’ stop laughing!! Made my morning! (still giggling here!)

  12. I’m hoping Mr O makes good on his promise, he doesn’t want to face the wrath of a scorned perfumista 😛

    “An arc of energy” – What a powerful description!

  13. Jaime says:

    If I could only pick one line to wear forever and ever, it would be Guerlain. I adore almost anything I’ve ever smelled from them. I bought a partial bottle of Gourmand Cocquin from a friend, and thought it was my true love, until I smelled Angelique Noire. Uh-oh, said my wallet. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I think I would do that to, Jaime (if forced at gunpoint that is, otherwise I hope never having to give up everything else). Guerlain has such amazing perfumes in their portfolio.

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  20. Am I the only one who sees a similarity between this and Baiser Vole? That same powderiness and the evoking of images of freshly cut flowers? Please tell me I’m not alone. It’s very pleasant, but I’m not sure it’s worth the price on my skin. I could just be lying to myself to save my wallet though..

    • Olfactoria says:

      I can’t say I smell a lot of similarity here, sorry. 😦
      I don’t find Baiser Volé sweet, whereas Angelique has plenty of gourmand goodness. But then again I don’t know Baiser very well, just from cursory testing some time ago…

  21. hd says:

    I’m late to the party, but I just spritzed this and the Paris-moscou. At first, I fell hard for Moscou, but two hours later and AN has won out. Oh that creamy vanilla. (By the way, the SA doused herself in AN while we were talking. Her enthusiasm was at first frightening but now I get it). I’m going to hunt down a sample to see if I still love it, but since I think we have similar tastes (Chanel 18 and lutens Jeux de peau) I suspect I will! Love this blog, olfactoria! Thanks!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi hd,
      I’m glad you like reading my blog! Thanks for commenting!
      I’m not surprised you fell for AN, it’s truly gorgeous! I hope you get your sample/decant/bottle soon!

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