The house of Guerlain is held in high esteem by perfume lovers all over the globe, including this fan. I’ve written about my love for Shalimar, one of the best perfumes of all time and I’m rather partial to the entire family that has sprouted up alongside this icon. Shalimar Parfum Initial is one of my favourite flankers (sadly discontinued) and Shalimar Souffle de Parfum, is a recent addition to the family.
Guerlain‘s modern releases can be wildly popular, although usually not with hardcore niche lovers. La Petite Robe Noire (LPRN) is one of Guerlain’s biggest successes in recent years and the name translates to ‘the little black dress’. There is a great animated campaign for the perfume by French artists Olivier Kunzel and Florence Degas with a soundtrack courtesy of Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made For Walking”. LPRN had the honour of being the third best selling perfume in France last year and the flankers are trotting down the runway as we speak. I have the 2012 current formulation in the Eau De Parfum concentration developed by Thierry Wasser, Guerlain‘s in house perfumer. LPRN is also available in an Eau De Toilette and Extrait format and in 2014, LPRN Couture was released, a more glamorous and grown up version. This year LPRN Eau Fraiche was welcomed to the fold.
Guerlain are currently promoting the perfume on billboards all around my seaside French town. It’s a sign that Christmas is on its way, as it pushes for a slice of the gift market. The Guerlain website has gone all out LPRN crazy, featuring a whole range of branded products for Christmas including cell phone covers, scarves, gloves, a designer handbag, and a tea, in addition to the usual scented products.
La Petite Robe Noire – EDP : Nose : Thierry Wasser : Year : 2012 : Notes : Top : Bergamot, Almond, Sour cherry, Red berries : Middle : Rose, Tea, Ta’if rose, Licorice : Base : Anise, Tonka, Vanilla, Patchouli, Iris (according to Fragrantica).
LPRN is a fruity floral perfume with a gourmand twist. This style of fragrance often gets a bad rap, accused of being too sugary and youthful. Initially I found it overly sweet and cloying and my interest in it was sorely lacking. Yet having smelt many sweetie pie niche perfumes in the past few months, I have found that on returning to this scent it’s not as saccharine as I remembered. My nose has recalibrated its tolerance for sweetness. I believe I’m now quite the gourmand lover.
There’s a strobe light showcasing the gooey sweetness right off the bat. Almond swirls and struts after the lemony top note has dissipated. If you like cherry and fruity syrup, you’ll go gaga over the opening of this perfume. It feels smooth, sumptuous and decadently gorgeous. The perfume slowly warms with rose taking centre stage while tea and licorice lend a quirkiness that flap around the edges. LPRN finishes on a high note with lashings of tonka, vanilla and iris encrusted at the base. There’s also a slither of patchouli that adds another pinch of deliciousness. All in all LPRN feels like a well crafted macaron that you can’t resist taking a bite of, at first tentatively and then more hungrily.
LPRN has a quirky, fun loving personality and works well as a casual everyday fragrance that adds a little spark to one’s step. This is one of those guilty secret perfumes for me. It’s proudly feminine and is marketed to much younger women than myself. Not that I let that bother me. If LPRN danced a little more on the dark side à la Tim Burton then it would be a big love. However as it stands this is a perfume that I can have fun with, not take too seriously and just enjoy. In terms of longevity I can smell it for about 4 hours, but those around me for much longer.
The Low Down : A fun loving fruity floral with a gourmand twist that satisfies my macaron cravings.
For where to purchase : This is very widely distributed, so locating it shouldn’t be a problem. Take a look at the LPRN store on the Guerlain website. LPRN is available in 30, 50, 75 and 100ml bottles for 63, 88, 101 and 125 Euros respectively. This season’s Christmas coffret includes a 50ml perfume and a mascara.
Notes : Images : Megan In Sainte Maxime.
Disclosure : This review is based on my own bottle of La Petite Robe Noire.