Guerlain’s Rose Nacree du Desert

by Katie on December 15, 2012

It was only at a recent Guerlain afternoon tea with Thierry Wasser, Guerain’s head perfumer, that I smelled the beauty of this perfume. And I do mean beauty. Like a handsome chap with swagger clutching two dozen deep red roses, this bowled me over from the first hello.

I had, of course, known of the release of  Les Déserts d’Orient collection and the Rose Nacree du Desert release along with Encens Mythique d’Orient and Songe d’Un Bois d’Été but hadn’t chanced to sample these as they are such limited distribution.

It was quite something smelling Rose Nacrée du Désert when its creator was sitting right next to me but I’m certain I gave him the reaction he was looking for when he had imagined this sultry goddess. It was a great excuse to dig deeper into his inspiration for the perfume.

Thierry explained that on a visit to the Middle East, he had met with a gentleman who caused him to question our use of scent in Europe. In the Middle East, its used copiously and sprayed and dapped on clothes and hair as well as skin so that the scent permeates a body as well as the soul. The perfume almost becomes the person as its aura is indelibly linked with the person wearing it. But Wasser, while realising he wanted to appeal to a Middle Easter market, was inspired how to add a touch of typically Parisian Guerlain and femininity.
Monsieur Wasser set to finding the best and most feminine agarwood oud (not raspy or deep that catches at the back of the throat) but a big, round, fleshy oud that he could combine with voluptuous Persian red roses to make this feel like sinking into fleshy, satin, rose petals. It is incredible from first spray. Like being pulled into a vat of rose petals with a Middle Eastern swagger and a kiss and touch of the mysterious. Its deep sensuality is undoubtable. A musky leather back composition with the redoubtable patchouli makes Rose Nacree du Desert a choice for those who like to emphasise their latent femininity with a catwalk sway.

Rose Nacree du Desert (Pearly Rose of the Desert) speaks of romance and passion, warm glows and lingering looks, of electric spark brushes of skin and furtive glances – the ultimate ‘come hither my sweet’ call in a bottle.

The perfume’s drydown gets rounder and rounder. It seems to grow bigger, fuller and more sultry with hints of spice rather than be a flat-on-flat layer of scent experiences. This dry, smoky, sweet baby like good red wine needs time to breathe before savouring. Its benzoin deep heat and stickiness comes to the fore. It’s a plush, power fragrance without meaning to be.

Rose Nacree du Desert may be hard to find but good things often come to those who wait. I’d saunter along to Harrods or Selfridges in London to seek out this curvaceous lovely. 
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