Dream a Little Dream of Me – Guerlain Idylle Eau De Parfum Perfume Review

Idylle“I imagined for Idylle a bouquet of fresh and joyous flowers, a symbol of love” Thierry Wasser [1]

In 2009 the eyes of the perfume-world were firmly fixed on the doors of No 68 Champs-Élysées in Paris. The world awaited the brand new feminine fragrance from the world’s most important (and arguably the greatest) perfume house – Guerlain. In the previous year Guerlain (now owned by the fashion-gargantuan Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) had appointed Thierry Wasser as their in-house perfumer and he had already started to create exciting fragrances for the house (see Guerlain Homme), but he was yet to conquer the mammoth task of creating a Guerlain feminine.

A new feminine fragrance from Guerlain is always big news and it can’t be easy creating a fragrance for a house that brought Jicky, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko and Shalimar into the world, but with Idylle it felt like the pressure was REALLY on. Thierry Wasser had the huge tasking of creating a contemporary and modern fragrance that wouldn’t betray Guerlain’s age old heritage and for that reason Idylle is a relatively important fragrance, it signifies a shift within the house, and this shift is highlighted in the tag-line on the above advertising image, which presents Idylle as “The New Guerlain”.

Guerlain describes Idylle (‘Love Dream’) as “Like a mist of petals on the skin, a fresh floral bouquet warmed by the sensuality of chypre” [2] and if only to emphasise the ideal of ‘The New Guerlain’, Idylle marks a complete break from the house’s tradition of lavish chypres, big florals and Guerlainade-filled orientals.

The Notes

Top: Bulgarian Rose, Raspberry Note, Litchi Note and Freesia
Heart: Rose, Peony, Lilac, Jasmine and Lily of the Valley
Base: White Musk and Patchouli [3]

How Does it Smell?

Idylle opens with a mist of florals that are light, diffusive, slightly indolic and impossibly pretty. The floral mist fills the air with flashes of rose, jasmine, muguet, freesia and peony, like an English garden on a summers day. Rose is the ‘Floral Queen’ in Idylle and there is a wine-like sourness to the rose within the top notes, it is rich, warm and not at all jarring amongst the other flowers. The welcome addition of raspberry brings out the tart fruitiness of the rose and litchi emphasises the dewy, lighter aspects of the white florals.

In the heart, Idylle becomes a dance between two of perfumery’s most classic notes; rose and patchouli. In this olfactory tango the rose is definitely taking the lead and the patchouli, which is very much of the clean variety – there are no hippies hanging around in this garden, is happy to be led. As Idylle progresses the wine-like quality of the rose intensifies and the patchouli adds a wonderfully dry and earthy woodiness that emphasises the darker parts of the rose.

As much as Idylle is billed as a chypre, and despite the inflection of something mossy within the base it really is nothing of the sort, I would categorise it as a ‘Musky Floral’. White musks dominate the base and the patchouli-mossyness almost feels like an after thought that never really reached the effect that was originally intended. Idylle is not an overly strong fragrance, but it does project an intimate silage from the skin, however it doesn’t last anywhere near as long as a lot of the other Guerlain fragrances, and some Guerlain fans may find that it’s just a touch too light for them, I know I did.

Others have said that Idylle is similar to Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely and Narciso Rodriguez For Her, and I would be lying if I said that the similarities weren’t there, but Idylle feels fresher and prettier and it is clear that Guerlain were aiming for a younger audience with Idylle, it is definitely girly, not womanly.

Idylle is a very pretty fragrance, but it is far from being my favourite Guerlain. I own a bottle but I don’t ever wear it and despite the fact that I wouldn’t say that it is typically ‘Guerlain’ in any way, it is very well done and I would, and have recommended it to people on many occasions as a pretty, yet contemporary floral. My sister, who obviously has impeccable fragrance taste if her brother is anything to go by, wears and loves it.

It may not be a triumph of modern perfumery but Idylle is a worthy addition to the Guerlain lineup, it offers something different from the house and if you’re looking for a pretty floral then you could do a heck of a lot worse than Idylle.

The BottleIdylle Flacon

“The bot­tle, curvy, gild­ed and futuristic, shines like a gol­d­en tear­drop. Idylle, of course, is a wo­m­an, the essence of a wo­m­an; a drop of gold” [4]

In true Guerlain style the bottle for Idylle is not only a vessel for the fragrance it contains, but is also a wonderful piece of art.

Designed by artist Ora Ïto, the bottle represents a golden raindrop and it really is as beautiful in real life (if not more so) than the photograph.


Idylle is available in 35ml, 50ml and 100ml Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette (which is a slightly different fragrance), with prices ranging from £39.90-£81.20 for the EDP and £34-£70.50 for the EDT. Matching body products and a series of flankers are also available.

This year Guerlain also released an Extrait (Pure Parfum) version of Idylle, the Extrait is available in an 11ml bottle for £80.50.


This review is based on a bottle of Idylle Eau de Parfum from my own personal collection.

Image 1 pub-de-luxe.com
Image 2 maisqueperfume.blogspot.com 

[1] & [2] guerlain.com
[3] osmoz.com
[4] ora-ito.com