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Ideal Word — Guerlain Idylle Eau de Parfum


When I smell a fragrance and detect the individual notes therein, I sometimes like to deconstruct the scent and look at each of its aromatic components individually, pondering about the symbolism, virtues and historical context associated with each substance. Doing so helps me understand how a particular fragrance can evoke such a strong sensation, how it can create a specific mood and feel. In the case of Guerlain‘s new floral fragrance, Idylle, the mood is one of romance — not just an intense fling based on carnal desires, but a charmed love that transcends the physical realm.There’s a sensuality to the fragrance but it’s muted in favor of a much more romantic, pure, ethereal quality.

Created by Guerlain perfumer Thierry Wasser, Idylle features: top notes of lily of the valley, peony, freesia, lilac and rose; a middle harmony of Bulgarian roses, with each bloom selected individually by Thierry Wasser and Jean-Peaul Guerlain, and complemented with a touch of raspberry and litchi; and base notes of patchouli and white musk. It’s a feminine, fresh floral scent — imagine walking into a secret garden after an early morning shower, and smelling the refreshing, dew-covered blooms.

Now, let’s start the deconstruction process. Lily of the valley is said to signify purity (which explains its use in bridal bouquets) and happy returns (since, according to the age-old legend, the lily of the valley would bloom in May so as to entice the nightingale’s return to the woods). Next, we have peony, which is often associated with bashfulness since, in Greek mythology, nymphs were said to hide in the flower’s petals. It’s also associated with healing since it was named after Paeon, the pupil of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. Extremely fragrant, the freesia is associated with friendship. Some of the top notes in Idylle, then, symbolize friendship, purity, innocence, and healing — all necessities for fostering true love.

At the heart of the fragrance, we have Bulgarian rose, one of the most complex, nuanced blooms, with a scent that transforms from morning to night, just like love itself, which goes through different stages, each beautiful in its own right.

Considering the symbolism and characteristics of each bloom only helps to crystallize how this gorgeous scent manages to capture the desired mood, honoring the magic of romantic love.

Guerlain Idylle Eau de Parfum, $75 for 35ml, $90 for 50ml, and $130 for 100ml. Available exclusively at select Saks Fifth Avenue locations.

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