GUERLAIN’S La Petite Robe Noire has quickly become a part of the fabric of the brand, taking its place next to the likes of icons such as Shalimar, Mitsouko and Samsara, and deservedly so. With LPRN, GUERLAIN took the fruity floral genre and showed everybody else just how it should be done, specifically with fizz, flair and a shedload of fun. The fragrance has been a huge hit, and whilst marketing may have played a big part in this, one cannot deny that La Petite Robe Noire is; a) an excellent fragrance (that fizzy cherry juxtaposed against that smoky black tea is just gorgeous); and b) a GUERLAIN fragrance through and through.
So with success come flankers and GUERLAIN have served us a number of delectable noire treats since LPRN’s launch in 2012 (well it’s mainstream launch, that is, the scent was a boutique exclusive launched in 2009 that was subsequently remixed for the wider market). The latest of which is La Petite Robe Noire Intense, a fragrance that evokes the idea of a breeze billowing though the pleats of a dress as it is transported around the world. That’s right, Miss La Petite Robe Noire is globetrotting and she has packed a brand new dress for her journey. But what does this particular garment smell like? Well, the answer is simple: it smells like fun!
Candyfloss Accord, Vanilla, Bulgarian Rose Essence, Bergamot, Blueberry, White Musk, Sandalwood and Patchouli Accord
How Does it Smell?
La Petite Robe Noire Intense opens in much the same way as the other LBDs in GUERLAIN’s wardrobe: sweet. But this one in particular is incredibly liberal with the sugar. The first thing one sniffs is a great big dollop of blueberry compote, a sort of jam-like fruitiness that is cool with a slightly dew-like feel to it. Quickly the cotton candy dives in and starts whizzing around in a ditzy daze of pastel-shaded sweetness. The breezy element is definitely noticeable and it surprisingly gives Intense a weightless effervescence that does bring to mind the image of a dress blowing in the wind. This is by no means, a sickly sweet gourmand to make one’s teeth rot. No, no, GUERLAIN are much better than that!
The rest of Intense’s development relies on musk, patchouli and rose. It lacks much of the rich, darker notes that, in the original, weight the sugar and fruit down. Here, the sugar is encouraged to fly off into the sky in great big flares of colour and it’s utterly joyful. The patchouli tempers things slightly, adding a sharpness that smoothes the edges of the sugar crystals, but for the most part, La Petite Robe Noire Intense is an unabashed celebration of something utterly delicious: blueberry candy floss.
Intense is definitely the most divergent of the La Petite Robe Noire lineup and I feel that it may be the most divisive too. This little black dress is sweet, there’s no two ways about it, and much of those dark, contrasting notes (the tea and liquorice etc.) of the original have been removed allowing for an overdose of blueberry compote and candy floss. What stops the whole thing from becoming La Vie est Belle on acid, is a wonderful, blousy transparency that billows throughout the whole thing, giving the impression of a summer’s breeze blowing through the pleats of a little black dress. La Petite Robe Noire Intense may be the sweetest of the dresses in the GUERLAIN closest, but its far from trashy or cheap and by gosh, it’s a whole heap of fun
La Petite Robe Noire Intense is available in 50ml Eau de Parfum Intense for £71.
Sample, notes and quotes via GUERLAIN. Images are my own.