Guerlain introduced Insolence last year to mainly mixed reviews among the fragrance community, gaining flak for being too sweet and simple and not particularly Guerlain-ish. I have to agree with Victoria of Bois de Jasmin that if one waits for it to emerge, underneath this sugary violet exterior lies a rich Guerlain heart of iris, woods and smoky vanilla.
However, while this may be true of the perfume, the same complexity is sadly not present in Guerlain’s matching shower gel; its fragrance captures only the Eau de Toilette’s sweet innocent phase: the smell of violets tinged with greenness, sugar and a hint of berries, reminiscent of a sweeter, greener Violetta di Parma. However, I love both stages of Insolence, both its girly light “un-Guerlain” stage and its complex heart, and I enjoy the gel very much — it somehow transforms my shower into a cold, icy garden at dawn, filled with dew-covered violets.
The only concern is that the Insolence Shower Gel is a bit thin and runny for its price, which means one goes through it a lot faster than a normal shower gel; both undesirable and unreasonable for its price ($43 for 6.8 oz). Still, that cold, icy violet patch is a lot more exciting than most of my personal morning destinations, and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another bottle.