Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Today’s Sample: Guerlain Après L’Ondée

I’m on day three of my samples from Victoria of Victoria’s Own. Oh, what a pretty, pretty scent this is! Ethereal, delicate, yet not cloyingly floral.

Basenotes lists the notes as follows:
Top: Aniseed, hesperidic notes, rose
Heart: Violet, hawthorn
Base: Iris root

Many of the reviews (and there are lots of them) describe this scent as “chilled” or “cold.” I suppose this must have something to do with the iris rhizomes…I often find iris fragrances described in this way. With the exception of Serge Lutens Gris Clair, which indeed is a beautiful, chilly fragrance, I would describe the iris-based fragrances (Hermes Hiris, Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile, Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental) I’ve tried as quite warm and earthy.

Yet, ethereal is anything but warm and earthy, so I suppose I contradict myself. Ethereal is a pale maiden, a timeless beauty, forever young and out-of-reach. And, I suppose, cold. But still, I don’t find it so.

Interestingly, the two Guerlain fragrances that I both wear well and greatly enjoy, Après L’Ondée and Attrape-Couer, are both based on violet and iris—yet wearing Après L’Ondée is like wearing beautiful lace, while wearing Attrape-Couer is like wearing cashmere or fine suede (no, not implying a leather note). One is light and delicate, where the other is smoky and sensual.

Most of the usual suspects in my Perfume Links to the right have wonderful reviews of Après L’Ondée, but I found this article from the TimesOnline, and thought I would share it with you all.

Note: This fragrance is only available in EDT, and is online at both and

*photo from