August 5, 2013
Middle Notes: Bulgarian, Turkish roses, licorice, smoked black tea.
Base Notes: Aniseed, tonka bean, vanilla, iris, patchouli.
Before I wax lyrical about Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noire, let me preface this review with two bold statements: 1) you can do no wrong to choose any and every Guerlain perfume, regardless of your taste in scent; 2) Guerlain is in its own class as a perfume maker - few, save Chanel, Patou or the house of Caron come close. Why? Thierry Wasser for one thing - the nose behind more than one Guerlain scent and one of the scent the perfume world's most masterful noses. You could have no innate taste at all and choose Guerlain (any Guerlain perfume) and come out, well, smelling like a rose.
But now to La Petite Robe Noire - it is indeed a perfect black dress perfume - suitable for day or night and for women of any age although it has a definite flirtatiousness about it. It starts sweet and fruity, mellowed with almond nuttiness, segues to floral sophistication of a twin bouquet of roses (Turkish and Bulgarian) and then is rounded out on accords of vanilla, another lashing of licorice (in the aniseed, which is always sporting whimsy and a pleasant candy note) and a quiet drum beat of sultry patchouli. It all leaves an impression of a femme fatale, certain of her own charms - wearing crinoline and black ribbons and underneath has a leather bodice-thing going on, intended for a later discovery. In other words, this is an exceedingly pretty, feminine, deceptively innocent perfume with the spine of a knowing temptress.
For those who hedge at sweet perfumes, relax. If anyone can bring sophistication to a sweet perfume, it's Guerlain. Moreover, the sweetness is so balanced, there is almost a litchee like watery-ness to whole affair that only adds to a feeling of sheer ripeness.
La Petite Robe Noire is in one of Guerlain's vintage shaped bottles, has a youthful black frock on the front and casual script lettering - graphic styling that only makes the potion inside that much more surprising. If you're a Cool Water or White Linen type, La Petite Robe Noire is probably not for you. If you adore being a girl - look no further.
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