Oriental Brûlant is part of the Elixirs Charnels (carnal elixirs) line, exclusive to Guerlain boutiques worldwide. The line launched with three scents, Oriental Brûlant, Gourmand Coquin and Chypre Fatal. In the meantime two more have joined the ranks: Boisée Torride and Floral Romantique.
Oriental Brûlant had a few things going for it, but at least as many against it, and that is before I even started smelling.
I love Guerlain, I like gourmand-y orientals, I have yet to meet an almond-y tonka-vanilla scent I don’t like – those are the arguments on the plus side.
Oriental Brûlant is a pink juice in a questionably priced big bottle and is accompanied by the most luridly stupid ad copy of all time. Not very classy, Guerlain! (Or should I say LVMH?) That is the negative side.
But all theoretical musing aside, what decides in the end is how a perfume smells, so let’s have a sniff…
Oriental Brûlant (Burning Oriental) was created by Christine Nagel and includes notes of clementine, almond, tonka beans and vanilla.
I don’t get the clementine or any citrus at that, but Oriental Brûlant opens right up to the smooth, soft and warm oriental gourmand scent that I expected. The almond is fluffy and sugared, the drydown heavy on coumarin and vanilla. All very Guerlain-y, without the teeth though.
I liked Oriental Brûlant, it was perfectly loveable, but initially it failed to excite me. It was a bit too smooth, too perfect, too size 2, blonde and wrinkle-free, if you know what I mean.
At least that is what I thought the first few times I wore it, but after a few more wearings Oriental Brûlant grew on me and slowly began to unveil her secrets. They are not earth shattering, mind you. Her life is still pedestrian and no comparison to the wild, Parisian ride of her old Aunt Shalimar. But secrets they are. Oriental Brûlant hints at hidden depths, shows flashes of darkness, but never, never loses her composure.
Oriental Brûlant is easily wearable, comfortable and elegant and smells pretty damn good. But you have to go looking for its edge. Once you’ve found it, you’ll be loath to let it go.