The Dangers Of Gold-Plated Vanilla – Review: Guerlain Metallica

I did not go looking for Metallica. I studiously avoided it actually, since I think not much good can come from seeking out a discontinued Guerlain.

But, as fate wills it, a decant arrived on my doorstep courtesy of the beautiful Asali and I can’t but love this perfume.

This is probably the best vanilla fragrance ever made. I’m not joking. Guerlain knows their vanilla and there are a few excellent ones among their ranks, but Metallica beats them all.

Metallica was created in 2000 as a limited edition in the gorgeous bottle you see above. After a copyright problem with its name (Has nobody at Guerlain heard about the band before?), it was re-issued as Metalys in the Parisiennes line, but has since been discontinued (which seems to be the primary function of the Parisiennes line: re-issue, then discontinue within months), it includes notes of bergamot, ylang-ylang, jasmine, orange blossom, carnation, orris, tonka bean and vanilla.

Opening with almost sharp bergamot, Metallica is true to its name. It starts out hard and cold, metallic, but almost immediately the metal starts to warm up. It morphs from white-gold to warm, molten rose-gold as the floral heart unfolds, petal by petal. A spicy carnation,  a fruity jasmine, a soft and warm ylang-ylang all finally fall upon a bed of infinitely warm and cushiony vanilla. Not really gourmand, but delicious none the less, Metallica progresses into eye-rolling, toe-curling goodness in the drydown. You won’t be able to stop sniffing yourself. Trust me, you won’t. I have tried time and again.

Metallica smells like a cross of Caron Bellodgia and Spiritueuse Double Vanille – only better.

Metallica is a perfume that makes you gladly accept the risk of being taken for a complete idiot in public, because of compulsive wrist-huffing with all its accompanying symptoms (involuntary moaning, eyes rolling backwards,…).

Metallica is also a perfume that makes you hand over your credit card no questions asked to whoever happens to sell some.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned:

Golden vanilla is dangerous!

Image source:, Liquid Gold by Deevona via

About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Carnation, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Gourmand, Guerlain, Jasmine, Oriental, Powdery, Spicy, Vanilla, Woods and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to The Dangers Of Gold-Plated Vanilla – Review: Guerlain Metallica

  1. Sandra says:

    Discontinued! Why oh why do you torture me so? I am now going to suffer in silence.

  2. andreawilko says:

    Again, I choose not to listen (or read) I did notice there was a bottle or two on evilbay but the price was enough to put me off. That’s another want but will never have on my list.:-)

  3. Tara says:

    Best ever vanilla? Yay! Discontinued? Booo!

    A cross between Bellodgia and SDV, only better, sounds like my perfect vanilla but I guess it’s just not to be. I enjoyed reading about it though!

  4. Asali says:

    I’m sorry to have ruined your intent… But since this is the best vanilla ever, I hope you’ll forgive me 🙂 I love it’s non-gourmand feel, and in a funny way it seems all the more perfectly embracing in its slightly unsettled character. Anyway, I never tried Metalys, but heard it just isn’t the same. Have you tried it B.?
    I’m sure you’ll find it eventually, I’ll let you know if I see it, until then, let me know if you run out 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I do forgive you… barely. 😉
      I didn’t get to try Metalys yet, but I too have heard it is different.

      I’m happy I got the chance to try it, better loved and lost then never even have known it.

  5. masha7 says:

    Did you ever try Mahora? If so, what did you think of it? It’s got a lot of ylang and jasmine, I think, with a vanillic drydown. It’s available online, still, unlike Metalys, which is pretty much as impossible to find as Feu d’Issey!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I never sought out Mahora because it has such a reputation for being loud and OTT. I will try it when I get the chance, thanks for the tip.

      • masha7 says:

        It seems to be very polarizing- I’ve read reviews from trusted perfumistas who HATE it and think it’s an abomination, and others who think it’s gorgeous. I have to try it at some point, too!

        • Olfactoria says:

          I’m definitely curious now…

          • masha7 says:

            OK, let’s both find it, try it, and review it! I’m guessing we’ll agree….

          • judith dm says:

            Anyone want to host a split of the bottle on ebay! Unfortunately, I cannot afford to front it and have never made a split! However, there are some experienced out there! IF yes, sign me up!!!!!! Maybe to be fair there should be a limit to the mls for each!

          • judith dm says:

            Brigit and Masha, when I suggested a split of the ebay bottle, I was referring to Metallica! Wish I could help! I could join someone with experience in creating splits in buying it, but cannot upfront the entire amount!

          • Olfactoria says:

            I think so too! 🙂 Let’s do it!

          • judith dm says:

            Which one are you looking for??? The Metallica (which I found in edt splash, or the other! Wish someone would host (I will help) a Metallica split!

  6. Alexandra says:

    Oh my…

    I think this has just joined my ‘keep an eye out just in case – because you never know’ list, it is a list based on very wishful thinking! Sounds glorious, you had me at ‘molten rose-gold’..

  7. Well, you’ve certainly got my attention here. Re Mettalica being polarizing, I can believe it, since if it’s at all like SDV, that scent seems to split smellers pretty precisely into love it or hate it camps. I like it though, and love the idea of carnation in there with all the vanilla!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I think the polarizing comment was meant for Mahora, I can’t imagine Metallica eliciting hate in anyone. 🙂

      If you get the chance to smell it, do! It is a beauty!

  8. Emma says:

    Argh, what is this, Torture Tuesday?!!! This sounds fascinating… Another holy grail to seek out. (I love Bellodgia)!

    I’d like to hear your take on Mahora, too, btw.

  9. judith dm says:

    Vanilla Freak here, hated to read this, discontinued is a harsh word! I have to sniff this before I go over the Rainbow!

  10. Suzanne says:

    “The best vanilla fragance ever” … wow. You do indeed make it sound stunning, and since it came to you by way of Asali, I have no doubt it is. I’m nominating her as the bad girl of perfume this week and you as the runner-up, for making us lust over something we can’t have, you bad-y bady girls!

  11. The best vanilla fragrance ever you say? I’m all over this like like Homer Simpson on Doughnuts!

  12. Civava says:

    OMG and damn you for that ;-). I just hopped that one is just metallic and nothing else and didn’t pay much attention to it. At first I even thought it was a joke of some kind. Nowdays people makes jokes about everything. Ueeeee.

  13. flittersniffer says:

    Oh goodness, I am always on the lookout for the best vanilla ever. Today I am wearing AG Vanille, which is perfectly nice, but couldn’t claim that title. Vanilla remains my favourite note, though, so you have really reeled me in with this review and I am not at all surprised to learn that something so lovely has been discontinued – typical! Only problem is – I don’t really care for Bellodgia or SDV and wonder what their offspring might smell like – I am not big on carnation you see. I will certainly keep an open mind though, not least because I know children who are a lot more attractive than either of their parents… : – )

    • Olfactoria says:

      The best perfumes can be found on Guerlain’s graveyard… 😦

      I know many such children too and it is surely the case here (although I find the parents not half bad either. 😉 )

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  16. Must. Try. Now 🙂

    I think we are going to need a bigger crevasse for all the lemmings created 🙂

    So strange to hear that no one at Guerlain thought about the band Metallica . . . This actually reminds me of a professor that I had at university. One of his closest friends was Bernardo Bertolucci. When the movie Little Buddha came out, the director was completely baffled why the reviews were so negative. He had cast Keanu Reeves as the Buddha. So my professor sent him videos of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Apparently, Bertolucci flipped out and started ranting about why no one had bothered to mention those movies to him!

    Anyway, that’s what it made me think of 🙂

  17. ginzaintherain says:

    I always thought of this as a husky musky carnation. I NEED TO SMELL IT AGAIN!!!!!!

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