Le Plus Beau Jour de Ma Vie by Guerlain comes to me in stages – possibly one of the more dramatic perfumes in term of progression from some of the later Guerlain repertoire.
Weddings are on Guerlain’s mind, and perhaps the brilliant purity of white too. This is a ‘white’ scent – pale, pure, and sweet, layered like an expensive bridal dress. The sugared almonds are pale in colour, and this is reflected in the scent of this fragrance. Soft additions, like the orange blossom surrounded in clean musk is like the soft pastel makeup-sculpted cheekbones of the picturesque bride. It is fleshy without being too much. It is sweet and tenderly, but not cloying in any way. Back to the idea of white, Guerlain’s annual Muguet this year (2015) is housed in stark white porcelain, and Guerlain’s flanker L’Homme Ideal Cologne is framed in a solid white square with its advertisement featuring a central groom running from a mass of other brides and grooms all wearing white. What’s on Guerlain’s mind?
© 2015 Liam Sardea
Find firstly this blinding sweetness, sweet and ethereal like lipstick and powders. This lipstick dances around being nude and fleshy pink, and eventually settles at a warmer hue of Rose and musks. This recedes into the back and makes way for a bitter green Angelica note, almost approaching a galbanum like bitterness warmed with pink peppercorn. More thematic however, find a sugared almond note unlike any other Guerlain. Sweet and driving, the almond pushes the composition into sweet territory but manages to never reveal its true gourmand reality. Again, on a thematic level, with appreciation for a yesteryear set of bridal values and traditions, orange blossom is eventually present as the main note here. The language of flowers dictate that orange blossom is for weddings and is tradition for it to be present during the ceremony. Queen Victoria wore a wreath of orange blossoms on her wedding day, symbolising fruitfulness and eternal love. This imparts a smoothness around the edges of the sugared almonds, tempered pleasantly with incense.
One will find that Le Plus Beau Jour de Ma Vie has an uncanny resemblance to many other Guerlain “niche-line” works. The Angelica of course found in Angelique Noire – with its real bitter opening and deeply aromatic green pungency. The base of Le Plus Beau Jour de Ma Vie by Guerlain too resembles strongly the musky, albeit musty characteristics of Cuir Beluga with that illusionary leather/suede note. All is needed now is a rich topping of the attractive orange blossom, counterbalanced with the saccharine hit of sugared almonds; Tonka Imperiale perhaps. Conclude with a dashing of rose, patchouli, and incense – generally strong notes found in oriental works – and Le Plus Beau Jour de Ma Vie is the result.
The great thing about this Eau de Parfum however is that it seems to heat up as it progresses. Whilst the Angelica note is a fixed component, as it opens with the sweet powders it inevitably fades into a more pleasant state. The almonds too, are constant, yet stretch themselves out to a sophisticated level gourmands seldom achieve or even find realisable. So for analytical purposes this is stage three of this fragrance’s progression, and it pushes out an awesome red rose elegantly dipped in sugar syrup to make it glisten some more. The patchouli and incense pair nicely and are dependable in this mix, alloying down any seemingly erratic sweet notes and cloying features. Treat this fragrance with less sternness, and a patisserie note can be found. Is this another thematic addition? Sugared almonds and orange blossom, the incense hinting at perhaps a church or the notion of purity, and now the sweet and very delicious note of frosted cake made from almond meal?
Alternatives: L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain; and Love By Kilian by Kilian.
In the end, this fragrance is more complex than one might expect. Freshness is delivered to what is otherwise a saccharine overload, weighed firmly with a transparent touch. Where is it at fault? It moves, delicately, but is otherwise a perfume build largely around a constant sweetness and a floral musk accord that is persistent. Nevertheless, a very good release from Guerlain with a nouveu appeal that may already appear familiar to Guerlainophiles that enjoy the L’art et la Matière line.
Also, how cool is the bottle?!
Subjective rating : 3.5/5
Objective rating: 3/5