L’Heure Bleue EdP by Raymond Guerlain 1912

Hey there Perfumed Peeps,

Tonight I’m giving my fresh bathed skin L’Heure Bleue,  the modern EdP from Madeleine’s reject pile. I am totally ignoring my many other new frags for Madeleine’s unloved babies, they are seeing more wear time than anything else right now, even though I’ve still not finished opening bottles from my various travels this year. I am officially a TRAGIC, GREEDY, FRAG HOARDER!!!

L’Heure Bleue EdP (2011) by Raymond Guerlain 1912

L'Heure Bleue Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, neroli, aniseed, bergamot, coriander
Heart: Bulgarian rose, carnation, tuberose, violet, cloves, ylang, orchid, heliotrope, neroli
Base: Vanilla, Tonka bean, iris, musk, vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin

There has been much talk of reformulation, IFRA regs etc, especially around some of our long term favourite and historical hallmark perfumes. L’Heure Bleue is a case in point, especially because last year was its centenary and that century has seen so many changes in fashion, materials and consumers taste. My oldest L’Heure Bleue in the collection only goes back to the 1980s and is an EdT. What happens on my skin with the modern EdP?

There is no denying that even in the 30 years across my L’Heure Bleue collection that it is changed. The opening is still definitively Guerlain, all sugared citrus candy and adding in the very slight spicy/herbal tinge. In fact for me the openings are the most similar part of the fragrance life. I can’t parse all the flowers for you but the bouquet is still gorgeous and beyond. Lighter, floatier, fluffier: the powders are silken soft and they waft gently in spring breezes compared to the heft and depth of the vintage. More floral and its lasting power is considerable less. It still has something glorious and fun, like eating PEZ in a bakery’s back alley. MMMMMMM

PEZ WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

It has had some of it’s animalics and dirty back end amputated and towards the very dry down end in about 5-6 hours, depending, I get a very clean laundry musk that first wear surprised the freakin’ shit out of me. It is nice but not something I expect from a Guerlain, maybe a Body Shop. Really, it’s not offensive, just unexpected.

Wearing the current L’Heure Bleue is fear free. I find it polite and wearable in most situations and it has moderate to low sillage now, with good wear life. I will be interested to see how it changes over the next 30 years. If I am extremely lucky.If L’Heure Bleue was released today as it is currently I think we would love it and it would probably come out in the Guerlain exclusives line, especially with DIOR’s Milly-la-Foret and CHANEL’s 28 La Pausa being popular powdery releases by the big guns.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Olfactoria’s Travels
Fragrance Shop has $74/75ml EdP
Surrencer To Chance starts at $3/ml EdP

Have you smelled any of the L’Heure Bleue formulations or strengths? Which is your favourite?
Till tomorrow, waft fragrantly,
Portia xx


20 comments on “L’Heure Bleue EdP by Raymond Guerlain 1912

  1. Jan Last says:

    Welcome to the hoard house!!

  2. poodle says:

    Honey, hoarder is such a negative sounding word. I prefer to think of you (and me) as more of a collector. I haven’t had much luck with L’Heure Bleue the few times I’ve tried it. I keep trying but it just hasn’t won me over yet.

  3. Lavanya says:

    Thanks for the review Portia!- I am always curious about comparisons between different formulations. I know L’Heure Blue in the (slightly) vintage PDT form and enjoy wearing it a lot- I am now curious to get to know the current EDP/parfum. Especially since I think the current Shalimar parfum (I have a tiny mini) is rounder and dirtier than my slightly vintage PDT.
    So, since I know you love Shalimar- which is your favorite formulation of Shalimar? (or if you’ve already written about it, please direct me to the post..:))

    • Hey Lavanya,
      I have written about Shalimar but I also take every incarnation as a different perfume. they are all so nuanced and beautiful to me, a little extra leather here or sweetness there, a heftier vanilla or civet. I have a beautiful 1970s or 80s 7.5ml basket goldtone parfum that I adore but I still think the parfum is pretty damn special. I also have some early 21st century EdP that I like very much and to tell the truth last year I was bought another EdP which is different but so pretty through the open and first hour that your heart could break for it.
      Sorry, I love them all, even the EdC.
      Portia xx

  4. scentatorium says:

    I have a mysterious decant of l’heure. I know nothing about it other than it’s an edp and I attained it sometime in 2007. The label makes no specification as to whom I purchased it from. Undoubtedly, I must have acquired off of eBay, back when you used to be able to hawk decants freely on the site. Sadly, I’ve never sniffed any other version, so I have no reference. It could be GLO for all I know.

    It is absolutely lovely, however! A thorough research project is on the to do list:

    1) Seek out and obtain as many versions as possible. 2) Sniff and wear. 3) Attempt to pinpoint the vintage of my mysterious decant.

    If anything, just for the smell of it all!

  5. Jackieb says:

    L’Heure Bleue is such a classic, I love it. I have a funny little EDT tester, don’t know how old but in a generic looking square bottle. Also 2 vintage EDP which have a much richer deeper scent. One I am wearing, the other I am h…h…hoarding!
    My sister wears the current edp and it seems lighter by comparison.

  6. laniersmith says:

    I have only smelled the current edition and…I love it!

  7. RuthF says:

    Portia, I’m going to call you a collector! I come from a family of collectors, everything from clocks, door knockers, hand held cake beaters, boat dresses, art, hat pins and bloodletting instruments, and they think I’m odd for collecting perfume! My collection is very small but I hope to own a bottle of L’Heure Bleue one day. I was lucky enough to try a sample of the parfum from the 50’s which was amazing!

    • WOW RuthF,
      I love the idea of being a collector. We have two interesting clocks here, a brass carriage clock and a rosewood mantle clock. I don’t know what to do with them, they were my Dad’s who was a jeweller/watchmaker and neither works. We spent $500 to have the rosewood one fixed a few years ago and it went for a month and then stopped, when we took it back they said nothing they could do. shrug
      L’Heure Bleue will come when you least expect it.
      Portia xx

  8. Annina says:

    Ah, one of my top 5 loves. I have a newer formulation, but I do get as little dirtiness. I don’t know just how recent it is. I wear it to bed a lot, and when I wear it out, I get lots of compliments!

    I have a teeny bit of vintage extrait. To my probably untrained nose, it isn’t too terribly different in the dry down from my edp.

    • WOW! That is interesting. You don’t get a bit more animal in the dry down? Maybe your newer one is late last century? That’s still considered vintage in the ingredients lists.
      It’s great in any incarnation, isn’t it?
      Portia x

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