No harm to the models (a paying gig is a paying gig)...but the print and video ads for the new Guerlain L'Homme Idéal1 are so daft! Believe me girls, there is nothing shocking, surprising, "dirty" or revelatory inside that bottle! (Maybe they're just happy about the bottle, which everyone in Perfumeland seems to love.)
Guerlain hasn't released a men's pillar scent since 2008's Guerlain Homme; and I just realized the last Guerlain men's pillar scent I bought (recently) was 1992's Héritage. Though I appreciate perfumer Thierry Wasser's reformulations of Guerlain classics (and can't wait to smell his sought-after Terracotta Le Parfum), I've never bought a Wasser perfume creation (which means nothing, except he and I have different styles/tastes).
L'Homme Idéal opens with strong leather-tinged bergamot: opaque, slightly mentholated, and a tad artificial. Next up? A flat, harsh-smelling orange blossom note. What disappoints me most about L'Homme Idéal's opening is its lack of sparkle. The orange blossom note turns creamy in mid-development and blends smoothly into L'Homme Idéal's "amaretto accord," which is sweet and heavy with tonka bean — a mainstay in contemporary men's fragrances and a note that can dominate a composition. The base of L'Homme Idéal presents soft vanilla, a touch of almond, faint cedar wood and a "caramelized/toasted" note. (L'Homme Idéal's base smells very much like Thierry Mugler's A*Men "Pure" perfumes...but, for me, is not as pleasing.)
L'Homme Idéal has received raves and some less-than-enthusiastic reviews from bloggers; I don't love it and I don't hate it. I'm unmoved. Either in actuality, or in their treatment or combination, L'Homme Idéal's materials smell very synthetic to me. Has Wasser, tired from around-the-clock reformulations thanks to IFRA regulations, simply chosen ingredients that are not on IFRA's radar...forestalling a re-mix?
Every perfume house has to make money; if that perfume house is "venerable" with a large portfolio of fragrances to maintain, it needs hits to keep the machine rolling. Guerlain had a major hit with La Petite Robe Noire; now, perhaps, it will have a big men's success with L'Homme Idéal — a perfume taking a well-worn (mainstream) path. If L'Homme Idéal finds a huge audience, good! As long as Guerlain keeps my many old favorites in stock and in shape, I'll be happy.
Guerlain L'Homme Idéal has good lasting power and sillage; it's available in 50 ml and 100 ml (at Sephora in France prices are, respectively, 58,50€ and 82,90€).
1. Perfumer Thierry Wasser; listed notes of bergamot, tangerine, rosemary, orange blossom, amaretto accord (almonds, vanilla and tonka bean), leather, vetiver and cedar.