It can’t be easy being one of the most famous and well respected fragrance houses in the world, trying to find your place in a noisy market place populated by rapid-fire designer releases, countless ‘niche’ offerings and a constant stream of thoughtless celebuscents. It is a challenge to stand out amongst all of that white noise.

Guerlain is one of the most venerable fragrances in the world and they have the difficult task of striking the balance between being modern and staying relevant whilst protecting their heritage. It can’t be an easy balance to achieve, and I admire Guerlain for their modern take on classic themes.

On many occasions Guerlain has been referred to as the pâtissier of the fragrance world, and they have on numerous occasions reinvented the sweet pastry vibe of L’Heure Bleue (see Insolence) and La Petite Robe Noire feels like it may be the latest reinterpretation of the 1912 classic.

The first La Petitie Robe Noire (The Little Black Dress) was released in 2009 and the word on the street is that it has been a big success for Guerlain. This year Guerlain released a flanker called La Petite Robe Noire 2 (obviously Guerlains creative team were off on the day the fragrance was named), and it is rumoured that Guerlain will be a total of 5 fragrances in the La Petite Robe Noire Collection.

Loverdose

Diesel fragrances have always rated as ‘Not bad but Not Great’ on my scale of perfume awesomeness (which runs from Viktor & Rolf Antidote to Guerlain Shalimar BTW). They’ve always been competently put together, pleasant enough fragrances that smell utterly mainstream. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, after all there is nothing wrong with decent smelling mainstream fragrances, but as perfumistas we expect more, don’t we?

Loverdose is the latest feminine release for the Italian brand and it follows Fuel For Life as the second feminine launch since the Diesel fragrance line was completely revamped.

Loverdose is described as follows:

“Loverdose is the sexy & addictive new fragrance from Diesel. It represents a woman who is sexy, playful and irresistible. She receives an overdose of love from those around her, but she wants more. She desires pleasure, adrenaline & passion.” [1]

Firecracker Cupcake

We all have them, those things that we know we shouldn’t love but we secretly do. I have lots of guilty pleasures, whether they be food, fragrance, music, movies or TV shows, there are lots of things that I know are a bit naff but I love them regardless.

There are so many fragrances on the market and us perfumistas are constantly on the search for the great fragrances, the ones that smell so good we just cannot live without them. It’s a long ongoing journey and along the way we find the bad, the dull, the weird, the downright hideous and of course the guilty pleasures.

So what exactly is a guilty pleasure perfume? Well to me they are those fragrances that you know are bad because they are a dreadful celebuscent or the quality of the composition (or both) or because they are painfully mainstream, but you still like them anyway.

When putting this post together there was one fragrance that instantly came to mind….

OK, I may not be ‘woman’ but Womanity most certainly is, she is all woman and she definitely knows how to roar.

Womanity was released in 2010 and is the latest feminine fragrance by renegade fashion house Thierry Mugler. It is the house’s first major feminine release (i.e. not a flanker) since Alien in 2005. The fragrances is described as a woody oriental and is based around a juxtaposition of sweet and savoury notes

To coincide with the release of Womanity, Mugler also created a social network site womanity.com which, just like the fragrance, celebrates ‘the invisible bond between women’. I have to admit that I find the concept more than a little bit tedious…

Archives 69 is the latest fragrance release from those fun-loving perfume rebels at Etat Libre d’Orange and is supposed to represent ‘The Illusion of Sex’. The blurb that came with my sample (including a rather obscene image that I dare not post here, but let’s just say that it makes a play on the number 69) states that Archives 69 is ‘The End of Innocence’.

As mentioned in my review of Tom of Finland, I am somewhat of an Etat Libre d’Orange fanboy, so you can imagine that the news of the release of Archives 69 (named after the location of the ELD’O boutique in Paris) was very exciting to me indeed.

Archives 69 is the first scent by Etat Libre d’Orange that I have found difficulty in linking the scent to the concept, to me it smells strikingly cosy and fuzzy and I certainly don’t detect any of the juxtapositions between light and dark mentioned in the ad copy. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like it, far from it, It’s just that there seems to be a good degree of discord between the scent, the name and the concept.