Perfumed Letters

Reading the scent trail of fragrance and words

Shelter from the Storm: Après l’ondée by Guerlain

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There is something uncanny about this breathtaking masterpiece. Uncanny (unheimlich) in the Freudian sense: familiar but foreign; paradoxical; seductively troubling.

What I find most disarming about Après l’Ondée, is its balance of sweetness and solemnity. The name signals a degree of separation between the fragrance and the rain. But for me the distance feels spatial rather than temporal, like watching the rain from the warmth of a sumptuous room. Subtle lemon and heliotrope keep it joyful. A gentle dose of violet and the predominant iris root add a sense of longing and nostalgia. Vetiver and benzoin balance bitter and sweet. The overall composition is rich but lilting, grounded but uplifting, distant but welcoming. Like a pastel painting displayed on a stone gray wall.

I mourn the parfum version which is no longer produced, but I am confident its ghost haunts the exquisite EDT.

High quality, long-lasting, and remarkably different from the Guerlains built on a vanilla base.


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