Friday, July 1, 2011

Guerlain Exclusives VIP Workshop

About a month ago, when I was at  Guerlain counter in Myer, Sydney, I was told about an upcoming perfume workshop. I put my name down even before I took the next breath and impatiently waited for the day! Yesterday I went to the Guerlain workshop and really enjoyed it. Sharing my experience here with a pic-heavy and a long post!

Guerlain The Exclusives, VIP Workshop:
The invitation
The workshop was an introduction to The Exclusives range of Guerlain fragrances. The Exclusives is a part of Guerlain that has 'modern' perfumes with the concept and exquisiteness of the classic brand. It was a promotional event, read: see, sniff, buy (I hate disclaimers but got to say, I have nothing to do with Guerlain or Myer) It was quite informative and nice experience. The best part was the ingredients and the inspiration. I loved that we could touch and sniff the raw materials that are the key notes in the fragrances.

We were welcomed with drinks and macaroons (really delish macaroons) and got ready to start sniffing and taking notes!
Getting started
Ready to sniff!
Frances O'Connor, who presented the event, started off with the rich history of Guerlain fragrances and took us through the journey from the first perfume "Eau De Cologne Imperiale" created in 1853 for the wife of Napolean III, to the first commercial perfume, Jicky in 1889 to the many masterpieces to date.

She gave us an insight into "La Maison Guerlain" at 68, Champs-Elysees in Paris, the translation and rebirth of custom perfumery through The Exclusives range. The Exclusives range is the new creation retaining the art and the love of raw materials and the vision of the house of Guerlain.

We were presented with each fragrance of the Exclusive range, told about the muse, inspiration and the notes. Each fragrance, along with the visuals, was "fanned" to us to sniff! I just love the way they sprayed the paper fans and aired us with the perfume! It made me appreciate the notes better!
Fanning of the fragrances, to get a whiff of it!
The perfumes discussed and the prices
The fortune cookie and the key charm
for keepsakes!
My Fortune: This evening trust in Chypre Fatal
and become a femme fatale for
the love of your life!

The best part:
To me, the highlight of the entire workshop was the raw materials. We could sniff the ingredient and compare with the fragrance inspired by it. L' art et la Matiere is a collection in The Exclusives range that is the love affair between the "Art and the Materials" (a French pun for 'Art and Manners'!)
Raw materials: Leather, Angelica, Rose, Gardenia, Tonka, Benzoin, Iris
Seeing, touching, sniffing and trying these on the skin was a really great experience. 
Tonka Absolute is just beautiful! Sniffing the Tonka Absolute and Tonka Imperiale side by side made me swoon! 
Benzoin absolute is another ingredient that I fell in love with! I have sniffed Benzoin before but this stuff is wonderful!
It was fascinating to smell Iris Butter/Orris Root accord! It is the one responsible for the 'makeup-like, powdery' smell and used in Iris Ganache. It smells so different than what I had in my mind. It smells earthy, green and somewhat like paper! 
I had never smelt Angelica essential oil before. It is green and sweet, can really feel it in Angelique Noir (which is inspired by a cake made with angelica seeds by the perfumer, Daniela Roche-Andrier)
The limited edition: No, it is Ultra Limited Edition!
The Muguet: Lily of the valley 

It was released and sold on 1 May 2011, just for one day. Lily being the symbol of summer, the fragrance is released for May Day, the first day of summer (as for northern hemisphere) You can pre-order it in Australia and will be available after a few months costing about $600.

The juice is same as that of Muguet which was released in 1905 and released as a ultra limited edition. It is housed in a bottle with a lily painted on it. This special bottle is made by angels, aka, the artists at Guerlain, who hand weave the silk threads and seal them with something precious, the art that is passed on through generations.

We got to sniff it, straight up Lily of the valley, delicate and luxurious!

Finally, a fragrance consultation which spans around 4 hours, basically involves your taste in clothes, colours, mood etc. which I did not go through as I already found the ones I love!
Fragrance consultation kit
I enjoyed the presentation and all the sniffing. I think for someone knowledgeable in perfumes, it would feel novice, but being a little more than lay person, I did enjoy all the talk and stories. I did not buy anything, which made me ineligible for the goodie bag. But I fell head over heals with two new loves Bois d'Armenie, Boise Torride and resurrected my love for Tonka Imperiale! TPC, here I come! 

Bois d'Armenie
Boise Torride
Tonka Imperiale


  1. I enjoyed reading this & it sounds like a really good experience

  2. Thanks Sugarpuffish! It was really good see and sniff the "real" stuff :)

  3. Did you want to steal all the raw materials and smuggle them home??

    I wish I got to smell lily of the valley - its a toss up between that and rose for my favourite fragrance!

  4. LOL, absolutely! I would not have minded decanting some :)

    Muguet is gorgeous! You'll also love Rose Barbare or Floral Romantique from the collection :)

  5. Oooh what a lovely experience. Loving those jars of raw material. Were they spot on with the leather one.I`m so glad to have joined your blog. Love perfumes.

  6. Thank you Pandora :) The leather note was really intense and very animalic, although synthetic.

  7. Su, thank you for the story and pictures.

    Have you decided before going there you wouldn't be buying anything or did you just not found anything special enough to go for a full bottle? Was there anything interesting in the goodie bag?

    Undina (Blogger doesn't allow me to log in with Google account :( )

  8. Hi undina!

    Actually, I was pretty impressed by the collection and loved Bois d'Armenie. Unfortunately, I can't think of spending $300 on a bottle. If I could I would :)
    The goodie bag was more of a gift with purchase. I wasn't eligible for it as I did not buy anything.

  9. Unrelated, but the key charm is SO cute! :)

    EEEEEEEP $300 A BOTTLE? I'd rather eat, thank you. haha

  10. I like the key too, Vintage! YOu can actually wear it with a necklace :)

    LOL, I can't justify $300 for a bottle. I would surely buy it if I win lotto!

  11. Sounds like a lovely experience, makes me want to get some paper fans and fan myself with perfume hehe :D

  12. LOL Jade! I just loved the paper fans. Going to try it at home, only if I had someone to fan me...

  13. OMG, I really enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures! Must have been a great experience. I also love Tonka Imperiale! I have not smelt Boise D'armenie, what does it smell like?

  14. Outstanding post Su! Tonka Imperiale is one of my all time favorites, though I've only ever owned samples and decants of it. What a treat to experience all those Guerlains and thank you so much for sharing with us,

  15. Angie, Bois d'Armenie smells like benzoin, burning incense and mild spices! Very beautiful and unique :)

    Clare, thank you! I love Tonka Imperiale too and it is just decants for me, at least for now :)

  16. Seems like such a lovely experience! Though I agree, I could spread $300 over so many most-wanted goodies from my wishlist=)

  17. Was wonderful Emma! Perfume love is not cheap, unfortunately.