Guerlain launches ‘La Petite Robe Noire’

by Katie on June 19, 2012

When the very epitome of sophistication in perfume houses launches a new fragrance (and I mean an actual bona fide new fragrance not some re-worked flanker) it’s big news indeed. Step forward Guerlain with its luxury glam flagship boutique at 68 Champs Elysees re-worked by Andree Putmann to resemble the inside of a glittering, curvaceous, enigmatic Guerlain bottle. As the French would say, ‘plus chic plus sexy’.
Guerlain, if you hit upon the brand, is the most exclusive make-up and fragrance brand, dowsed in elegance since the beginning of the 19th century and being the byword for sheer style, reeking of taste and refinement, in a world that’s become celebrity focused and fast, fast, fast for more ‘new’, more ‘updates’, more NOW. Guerlain quietly exudes the pace, style and charisma of a personality that’s so centred and assured that it takes others’ developments in their stride. Still, in a digital and hungry consumer age, the House knows that while other big brands (such as Dior, Chanel, Versace and Armani) may have the ever updated ready to wear and couture collections grabbing headlines and the designer personalities behind the thrones at each label, Guerlain has to rely on its heritage and esteem, difficult when appealing to a new and younger audience who aren’t aware of the power of Guerlain.
The launch of Guerlain’s latest big hitter fragrance, ‘La Petite Robe Noire’, has now arrived at Selfridges and will be in a store near you soon. In development for two years, perfumer Thierry Wasser has sought to capture the youth, the femininity and the enigma of a young Guerlain girl, tracing her glamorous footsteps across Paris in ‘La Petite Robe Noire’ and distilling the very being of young chic. She’s there and then ‘not there’ and an enigma. By creating a personality that fits the House and the new perfume, the perspicacious wily old Wasser has brought the perfume house bang up to date and, by adding in the design talents of fashion illustrators Kuntzel & Deygas, the brand now has a definable persona to hang ‘The Little Black Dress’ upon.
The fragrance radiates black and pink to it’s core both in smell, look, vibe and vivacity. The first hit is very light, very pink tinged with sweet black cherry. The warmth of the black rose rose and echoes of patchouli and smoked tea are there but the graceful thing about ‘La Petite Robe Noire’ is the way she changes before your eyes. At first precociously light, dig deeper and she’s more elegant and rotund and feminine fleshy than you think. With a powdery halo dry down, La Petite Robe Noire begins to take on an older, more assured character to be reckoned with. She may play coy but don’t be fooled by those tip-toeing footsteps.
Her look is distinctive and directional…as everyone who dons ‘La Petite Robe Noire’ should be. The ‘little black dress’ may help make the woman but it’s the character of the woman which attracts. Guerlain’s girl/woman is flighty, forward, directional, decisive and flirty, playing with the background of Paris as she plays with the admirers in her life. High heels clip across the rooftops and streets as ‘La Petite Robe Noire’ makes her mysterious mark felt.
The bottle which hosts the fragrance is unmistakeably Guerlain and from the L’Heure Bleu/Mitsouko school of flacons. Then the tutu image of the ‘little black dress’ is adorned across the front of the glass contained with pink filled liquid with the glass graduating to black, just as the scent does on skin.
La Petite Robe Noire is fetching and flighty. She manages to capture youthfulness while not being averse to the appeal of older women with her powdery punch. If you wish to seek her out, do so currently at Selfridges, Oxford Street.

La Petite Robe Noire EDP is £86 (100ml), £60 (50ml) and £42 (30ml). Body Milk is £35.50 (200ml) and Shower Gel is £30.50 (200ml).







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The Style Examiner June 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Excellent write-up! x

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