So, I bought a sample of the 2006 version of Guerlain Vega for comparison. I was curious to see how much it had changed and I was curious to see how “off” my very vintage bottle of Guerlain Vega is.
They’re definitely the same fragrance and it seems the parfum of the original version stayed in good condition. None of the notes seem that altered, unpleasant or “off” and it’s easy to find the common notes in both versions (although they’re not totally identical of course). However, despite the innate commonalities there are a few noticeable differences.
Aside from a bit less depth, the 2006 version is also less powdery, more sharp, less vanillic, less smoky, and more tangy. While the original version almost makes you want to cry with its authentic, emotive core, the 2006 version is more defiant, punchy and perhaps a little more green. Actually, I almost think I smell lily in the 2006 edition…although that note isn’t listed.
The 2006 version would have been worn by a young, quick-witted Katherine Hepburn… And the older version would have been more suited to a melancholy Greer Garson or a particularly earnest Ginger Rogers. But that’s just my opinion. Either way my vintage bottle is from the collection of Old Hollywood star, Jane Withers.
I want another bottle… 😂
Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot and orange blossom. Middle notes: jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, blackcurrant blossom, carnation, iris and rosewood. Base notes: vanilla, sandalwood and amber.
Nose: Jean Paul Guerlain
Although it wasn’t classified as such on sites like Fragrantica, After The Rain (Aran Aromatics 2005) seems ozonic to my nose. It’s also soapy and mellow. The florals blend together to the point that it’s hard to pick one out from the other, although the supposed citrus is somewhat more distinct. At any rate, it’s a refreshing fragrance and it reminds me a little of a Francis Kurkdjian creation. I’m glad I blind bought a bottle by this Scottish fragrance company.
(I’m afraid to list notes I found online because they didn’t match with my nose entirely. Ha! I’m going to have to do more research with this one.)
(Estee Lauder 2003)
Top note: mandarin orange. Middle notes: jasmine sambac, honeysuckle, lily, flower petals, Chinese jasmine and tuberose. Base notes: musk, Madagascar vanilla, woody notes, amber, patchouli leaf and patchouli.
Nose: Harry Fremont
Sycomore by Chanel (Chanel 2008) is like taking a breath of clean mountain air in late spring, early summer. The florals (violet in particular) are sweet and noteworthy but they don’t take center stage. Rather, it’s the cypress and sandalwood with their sincere, crisp beauty that shine. Also, of course, (almost cigarette tinged) vetiver. But I think the pink pepper and juniper and almost just as important as the vetiver… I see a comparison between Sycamore and Guerlain Vetiver though, especially vintage Vetiver. But Sycamore has that definite Chanel stamp and its utterly pristine, nearly transformative charm is unique. I can’t think of a better fragrance to wear or review on this snowy early spring day…
Notes: vetiver, spicy notes, pink pepper, juniper, cypress, sandalwood, aldehydes, tobacco and violet.
Nose: Jacque Polges
This Thierry Wasser gem must have been a staple in the fragrance wardrobes of many of my peers in the 2000’s because I remember smelling it whenever I went out for the night with friends. And like Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue or Viktor and Rolf Flower Bomb it evoked a sense of joy, youth and beauty back then. It was a little bold but in a nice way… The vanillic florals in Addict (Dior 2002) were ripe, juicy and sweet but not crass or pretentious. And it had a playful and festive amount of sillage. Thankfully I recently acquired this older bottle of the original formulation Addict… Every once and a while I’ll have to wear it and evoke memories of being 22 again…
Top notes: blackberry and mandarin leaf. Middle notes: night blooming cereus, orange blossom, rose and jasmine. Base notes: sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla.
Nose: Thierry Wasser
Easily one of my top three favorites from the Les Exclusifs de Chanel line, Bel Respiro (Chanel 2007) is a bright, glorious beauty. The note of grass perfectly flanks what seem to be a mix of watery flowers and a lily tinged, buttery soft rose. It’s as if Bois Des Îles is playing in sunshine with vintage Ivoire de Balmain. Absolutely, astonishingly pretty. And then, into the drydown, you smell a violet-like leather. Or is it hyacinth and leather? I don’t know… But it’s light, airy and yet has Chanel charm and lots of depth. I love Bel Respiro!
Notes: grass, green notes, flowers and leather.
Nose: Jacques Polge
Of course the iris in Infusion d’Iris (Prada 2007) is almost profound, but an honorable mention must go to the various notes of orange. The citrus in this scent is so welcome and pretty. And then you can’t describe Infusion d’Iris without appreciating the warm-incense, balsamic, and vanillic-smoky base notes. But, it’s necessary to say that despite the frothy richness of the base the sparking iris is buoyed by the citrus and floats sublime. Perfection and very spring-like.
Top notes: African orange flower, orange, mandarin orange, and neroli. Middle notes: galbanum, mastic and iris. Base notes: benzoin, Virginia cedar, incense, and vetiver.
Nose: Daniela (Roche) Andrier
Tea meets rose. (Teo Cabanel 2005) Spicy, woody tea in a cup and delicately honeyed rose petals on a saucer are Oha. Good grief this is an eerie and utterly beautiful fragrance though… I half expect a ghost to pop out of the closet of a Victorian country house. It’s shockingly antique in its vibe… And the musk?! Well, iris and musk are up to something but I’m not sure it’s polite or appropriate to discuss… Good golly. At any rate, it’s sunny, and pretty and in someone’s room next to cedar balls this ghost may linger… And I’ll have to consider buying a bottle.
Top notes: bergamot and tea. Middle notes: cardamom, jasmine and rose. Base notes: woodsy notes, iris, musks, tonka bean and vanilla.
Nose: Jean-François Latty
This flacon is perfectly matched to this fragrance. Pure Poison (Dior 2004), to my nose, truly is like a clear, effervescent version of the original Dior Poison. It’s as if all the mysterious, fruity warmth and subtle spice of the first has been washed out and what’s left is a shimmery substance with a remarkable resemblance.
Unfortunately, it’s not a fragrance that couples well with my skin chemistry due to something that reads as aquatic on my skin. However, it’s easy to see its beauty from the citrusy top notes to the cool floral heart with a unique gardenia to the equally chilled, woody base.
Top notes: bergamot, Sicilian mandarin, orange and jasmine. Middle notes: orange blossom and gardenia. Base notes: sandalwood, white amber and cedar.
Noses: Carlos Benaim, Dominique Ropion, and Olivier Polge.
At the start, bourbon vanilla adds saucy sugar to a very supple camelia (Krigler 2009). Matter of fact this pair is so vibrant, engaging and certain in their intentions that you can’t help but be carried away momentarily to a sunlit solarium or a perfect spring day outdoors. The noble flower is flanked by delicate musk, a particularly luxurious and well done note of pink pepper, and chilled, quiet cedar. Truly, you can almost smell each petal and it’s glorious. I love this fragrance, hope to acquire a bottle someday and heartily recommend it. It’s very well blended and it has a fresh, contemporary sensibility but the brilliant detail, quality and depth are from a different time.
Notes: camelia blossom, bourbon vanilla, musk, pink pepper, cardamom, cedar and Chinese tea.