The House of Guerlain

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The Guerlain Fragrance House has gelled five generations from the same family for nearly 200 years. The legacy begins with Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain (1798-1864) who opened his first Parisian store at the age of thirty. The founder of the Guerlain dynasty was fuelled with the ambition of moving the fragrance crown from England to France because, at that time, the English were famed for being the best perfumers in the world. This was during the French revolution when the livelihood of merchants had been destroyed, leaving Guerlain with an opportunity to service many of France’s royals and nobles. In a seamless transition, Pierre-François Pascal taught his skills to his son, who in turn taught his nephew who then gave the reigns to his grand-son, Jean-Paul. Jean-Paul’s heirs had no interest in the industry and the business was sold to LMVH leaving Jean-Paul as the last standing family member. Today, the brand remains steeped in tradition – creating a threshold into a magnificent world that honours tradition and weaves innovation to create some of the world’s most beautiful creations.

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It’s been nearly 190 years since its inception and Guerlain continue to hold their own in the luxury fragrance market. The true legacy begins in 1921 with the first flagship perfume Shalimar, a refined and oriental fragrance that is still sold today, and continues to encompass over 325 other fragrances. Worthy of note is Mitsouko, a fragrance that pre-dates even the flagship, launching in 1919 as a representation of one British officer’s love for a Japanese admiral’s wife named Mitsouko. The notes are fruity but full – with scents of moss, vetiver, and peach.

While Mitsouko is inspired by Asia, L’Heure Bleue is a vive la France classic from 1912. With a top note of aniseed, thoughts of French pastries are evoked and blended with roses, neroli, and violet.

Fast forward to 1979 and the release of Guerlain Nahema marks a flirtation with Guerlain’s dark sensuousness side. Encapsulating the smell of a room strewn with rose petals the top notes are peach, rose and bergamot with ylang-ylang at the core.

Despite Guerlain’s heritage, the brand continues to revolutionise with new releases. In 2015, a spin-off to Shalimar was launched and aptly named Guerlain Shalimar Cologne. This contemporary flanker is a fresher and lighter version of its muse – inviting a new generation into the wonders of Shalimar. 2017 was a busy year for Guerlain, with the release of no less than four fragrances. The first Mon Guerlain stealing the limelight because the ambassador of the fragrance is Angelina Jolie. Following hot on its heels was Joyeuse Tubereuse a flirtation in white flowers. The fragrance is famed for a return to a classical spray instead of a pump. Finally, the most recent additions to the Guerlain portfolio include Rosa Fizz and Bergamot Calabria – a refresh of the famous Aqua Allegoria line from over twenty years ago.

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Despite Guerlain’s stand-out success in the world of perfumery – it’s worth remembering that the portfolio encompasses much more than just fragrances. Au contraire, Guerlain also offer lotions, shower gels, lip balms and a full makeup range with a five-star feeling.

One of the most classic pieces, away from the fragrance portfolio, is Guerlain Meteorites Pearls which launched in 1987. The fragrance house spent years engineering a machine that could create perfectly shaped spheres to create what today still stands as a firm cult favourite. A compact shape allows women to pick up enough product with a brush; blending the gold, pink, white and green illuminating balls. This product was so popular during its first year that it was rationed at the Paris Flagship boutique and sold-out in America.

Taking perfumes away from the spray, Guerlain also has a wide range of shower gels which promise to fragrance the skin like a tattoo. Mon Guerlain Shower Gel is inspired by Angelina Jolie – so you can you expect a strong, free and sensual type of femininity. Rich in Carla Lavender from Provence, Sambac Jasmine from India and Vanilla Tahitensis from Papua New Guinea the essence is truly international.

Moving on to makeup and one of the bestsellers from Guerlain is the Terracotta range – a summery collection that sees new releases every year. Particularly famed is the light bronzing powder, incredible intangible, lightweight and iridescent. Another classic is the Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara, famed for its hold, volume and curl paired with a lightweight and supple texture. It enables layering which puts the wearer in control.

In true Guerlain style, no area of potential beauty is left unexplored and KissKiss Liplift offers the ultimate accompaniment to lipstick. KissKiss is the first stick-form smoothing base that smooths, shapes and unified the lips in preparation for lipstick.

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“Guerlain’s history is so rich, with a product offering so vast – one can really only understand it by enjoying it yourself! Discover your new favourites today”.

To find out more about the history of this exclusive brand visit the official Guerlain site here.

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