dimanche 22 mars 2009

Guerlain Mon Précieux Nectar: Smell Rich! (A Review and a Draw)


The one-liter Baccarat crystal fountain is up at the Guerlain flagship store for the launch of Mon Précieux Nectar, the new ultra-expensive, ultra-exclusive fragrance – only 62 fountains will be sold, at 6 000 euros a shot…

At that price point, I’m rather glad that the actual fragrance is another example of the beyond-gourmand aesthetics that Guerlain has been indulging in – a little rich for my taste, both in calories and price. I guess even the super-rich need olfactory comfort food these days (and the women who can afford this probably aren’t getting their fill of real, calorie-laden sweets, if they’re to fit into their Diors).

That said, as far as superlatively gourmand fragrances go, Mon Précieux Nectar is very pretty (I admit I sometimes wear Hypnotic Poison, so I shouldn’t be getting so high and mighty). I wore it for a couple of days without going into diabetic shock, though it has a drop of what may be one of my least favorite raw materials, Veltol – aka ethyl maltol, the food additive that gives the candy floss note to Angel

Mon Précieux Nectar was composed, under the direction of Sylvaine Delacourte, by Ramda Hammami of Symrise, also the author of Cruel Gardénia, L’Instant Magic and of the two short-lived fragrant oils (inspired by Sylvaine Delacourte’s trip to the Middle-East, they were withdrawn after falling wide of the target – Western customers weren’t too sure what to make of them). And it is clearly in keeping with the style they have developed in the course of their collaboration. As Ms. Delacourte freely admits, she really, truly loves her almond, and Mon Précieux Nectar reprises the almond-musk accord of L’Instant Magic, along with the fluffy base of Cruel Gardénia. The honey, heliotropin and hyacinth notes of L’Heure Bleue which, again by Ms. Delacourte own admission, is her favorite fragrance, are also quoted. The almond is paired off with orange blossom – a classic accord of Middle-Eastern pastry – and anchored with the signature Guerlain vanilla, grounded in a strong sandalwood and amber base. Guaiac and incense are also listed among the notes, but don’t appear to my nose.

All in all, Mon Précieux Nectar smells like a richer, more luxurious take on L’Instant Magic: it has quite a powerful sillage while managing to give off a comforting skin scent vibe. Is it worth the price? I shouldn’t know: I’m most definitely not the target… Mind you, I’m not the target for the Habit Rouge extrait either, and that’ll soon join my collection, I hope.

A little while ago, Patty of the Perfumed Court (not affiliated) discussed the possibility of buying a vat of Mon Précieux Nectar – notice how I haven’t made a joke yet about the… um… lurid connotations of a female Sécrétions Magnifiques? To be fair, “précieux nectar” is a term more commonly used to describe wines or honey… Anyway, unless Patty goes through with the transaction and you can buy a couple of milliliters from her, or you come to Paris soon, you may not have much of a chance to sample this…

As Sylvaine Delacourte has very sweetly gifted me with a decent-sized sample of Mon Précieux Nectar – yes, we did meet, and things are all patched up between us after the flare-up we had earlier this month – I am happy to offer you the opportunity of smelling like a millionaire for a couple of days: just drop a comment stating you’re interested, and I will draw the name of the happy perfumista who receives a 2 ml spray of the potion…


73 commentaires:

  1. Well, I have to admit that I made a number of jokes about the name on another blog. But, I am still interested in the fragrance, if nothing else, but to smell decadent for a couple of days. And I do love a well-constructed gourmand on certain days, so please enter me in the draw. If you can wear it without needing a dose of insulin, then I would probably do just fine!

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  2. They might turn down my food stamps if I smell too rich, but I'd love the chance to at least pretend to be a millionaire! Please enter me in the draw, and thank you (to you and to Mme. Delacourte).

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  3. C,

    I am very curious to find out if this is as sweet and powdery as L'Instant Magic. L'IM smells very nice at the top notes, but it turns too sweet.
    I would love to be included in the drawing. Thanks for all your articles about Guerlain. They have been very informative and it is nice to have a window to the business side of perfumes.
    Best regards,

    Arwen

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  4. Habit Rouge Extrait?

    *visibly brightens*

    I keep reading about such a thing and yet never actually see it anywhere. How nice to hear that it honestly does exist (even if not in the United States).

    I'll have to live vicariously through you . . .

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  5. D: I will admit to being curious about Mon Précieux Nectar, so please enter me in the drawing.

    Nathan: I have seen Habit Rouge extrait in the US. It is available at Bergdorf's in NYC, and also at Saks in Boston (presumably Saks in NYC as well, and NM in San Francisco). It's very nice, I think.

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  6. May I entered for the draw, Denyse? I would love to be able to sniff this rare juice, any rare Guerlain juice, really.

    Ever so slightly unrelated, but love your blog—I may have said it before—the perfumes you choose to write about and the images you assign to them, always a thoughtful and delightful read.

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  7. I would love to be in the draw, please.

    Thank you for the interesting Guerlain articles also.

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  8. Melisand, well, I made jokes too, possibly because of the contiguity with the Elixirs Charnels, but there is a strong word partnership in French between "précieux" and "nectar"... You're in.

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  9. Natalie, they'd probably think you'd just had a piece of Middle-Eastern pastry (yum). You're in.

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  10. Arwen, it's not quite as powdery, more full-bodied and honeyed. But very sweet.
    You're in.

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  11. Nathan, there is too an Habit Rouge extrait, which I plan to review shortly... It's great and properly old-school.

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  12. Jarvis, after our experience with the Guerlain sweets, you're very brave... You're in.

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  13. Dain, thanks for the compliments, I've been reading your blog too and you've got terrific talent. (oops, forgot to put you in the blogroll, will do so!).
    You're in.

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  14. Rebella, you're welcome, and you're in!

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  15. I do wonder what's it like to smell rich. :) So, please enter me in the draw.

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  16. I love gourmand fragrances and almond, so can I enter the draw? Thank you.

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  17. Malina, then you're in for a treat if you win!

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  18. Ines, in this case, rich-smelling is to take in both senses (calories and $$$). You're in!

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  19. Please include me in the draw :-).

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  20. Thanks for including me, D. In spite of the sugar overdose, I'm still very curious about this one. Perhaps it's just to see why this might warrant the insane price tag. And I will say that, even if achingly sweet is not my cup of tea (or rather, I would need said cup of tea to be able to wash it down), even these new sweet Guerlains are very well made. La Petite Robe Noire did not work for me, but I was still impressed by how all the parts fit together.

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  21. Jarvis, if Guerlain didn't know how to make nicely constructed fragrances any longer, it would be the end of the world as we know it. (better let's not speak of the devil...)

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  22. This sounds absolutley delicious. I would love to be included in the draw, please.

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  23. Please enter me in the draw--thanks.

    Suzanne

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  24. I do love almond (just the natural one!) , but , of course , I love tonka bean, iris , vanilla , orange blossom and plenty others ..., but I hate marines notes and some others like karanal (very machos notes!!) I like also work on spices , like what i did on cologne 68, and bois d'armenie and l'instant for men, there is not only veltol in my live
    thanks to grain de musc and for all your comments

    sylvaine delacourte

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  25. voire commentaire "anonyme" précedent du a une erreur de manipulation

    merci bonne soirée

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  26. please look at my last comment "anonyme"
    I made a mitstake

    have a good afternoon !

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  27. Kathleen and Suzanne, you're both in!

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  28. Sylvaine, I know you don't just like almond! ;-) Though I understand your love for it, it is a lovely smell... And I share your aversion for marine notes (thank God they never showed up in a Guerlain!). Karanal I've liked in Frédéric Malle Une Rose -- but then, you know better than me the great talent of Edouard Fléchier...
    And I do know you don't do just sweet: I love the scents you quote (Bois d'Arménie especially).

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  29. And Sylvaine, P.S.: thank you for giving me enough Précieux Nectar to share with my readers!

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  30. Ooooh! What a wonderful offer! Being a Guerlain neophyte, I'd love to try this...thanks!

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  31. This is likely my one shot at ever smelling this, so please do enter me in the draw!

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  32. Thanks for commenting, Sylvaine, and for sharing some of this Précieux Nectar.

    Denyse: I love Une Rose as well, although Karanal is tricky for me. The woody-amber of it can be rather strident!

    For me, the issue with some of the recent releases is not so much the almond, or even the "gourmand" vibe in general, but rather the intense sugariness, which i do associate with ethyl maltol. Almost like having crystallized sugar up one's nose!

    Interestingly, I was noticing that Ellena's Vanille Galante also gives an intriguing impression of crystallization (here, I'm sure I was influenced by reading Octavian's review), although I'm sure he is able to render this impression in a very different way.

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  33. Hoo boy, it's like I walked into a party in full swing. I know a few faces (waves to Nathan; oh, wait; he's probably off at Bergdorf's or Saks, or on the horn to a pal in NYC...), don't know but recognize others...fun!

    I'd love an opportunity to spritz my calories rather than consume them. Thanks for sharing with us, D.

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  34. Jarvis, I suppose that this intense sweetness does please quite a few people... Vanille Galante feels like it has a dusting of vanilla sugar on it but the effect is quite different -- no idea how it's achieved, but I suspect salicylates...

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  35. ScentScelf, it is nice to see so many known... pseudos/names. You're in the draw too.

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  36. I appreciate your views and analysis and I suspect that Mon Precieux Nectar would not be me. However, the intense, spicy unctuousness that is Nahema made this gourmand-hating, rose-challenged sensibility believe in magic. Sometimes, intensifying a scent almost to "unbearable" enables us to discover what is wonderful in it.

    I would like to give this nectar a try if fortune favors me in your draw.....Many thanks.

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  37. 5spice6, no you're not, and you're in!

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  38. Anita, though Nahema has something jammy about it, I wouldn't class into the gourmand family, but I understand exactly what you mean: I'm not a rose person either (I only love it in blends), but I love the two most extreme versions of it: the glorious Nahema and the man-eating Une Rose.
    You're in the draw too!

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  39. I would love to smell rich! Lovely post, please sign me up for the draw!

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  40. Having never smelled L' Instant Magic, I am now intrigued to. Thanks!

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  41. Oh, my goodness, I would LOVE to be included. Thank you!

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  42. Mike, off you go to smell L'Instant Magic in all its Frenglish glory... Shall I include you in the draw?

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  43. would very much love to be in the draw. I like l'Instant Magic mostly (perhaps) because of its orange / almond combination, and would wery like to try its more sophisticated sister!

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  44. This is too a generous offer to pass, please put my name in the hat. Many thanks !

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  45. OOOh ow ooohhh zow...

    Can I get in on the drawing? Pretty-please, with Nectar Précieux on top?

    :-) Sounds Delish...

    Thanks for your blog, It is new for me, and enjoyable...

    Paul Kiler

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  46. Stella, I resmelled L'Instant Magic today and it is fresher on top, but, yes, this could be her sophisticated sister -- you're in.

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  47. Paul, welcome to Grain de Musc! You're in the draw, you just had to ask to be part of it...

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  48. Please enter me in the draw. Thanks!
    Chris G

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  49. Chris, are you hoping to get lucky twice? ;-) You're in!

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  50. Oh that sounds amazing, please put me in for the draw!

    Fountaingirl

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  51. Hi D, I just wanted to weigh in, so to speak, but I'm much more of a Habit Rouge Extrait kind of girl, I'm eager to hear about it. And I'm so curious about the flare up of last month. The middle-east inspired fragrance oils sound very intriguing too, sorry they've disappeared! So don't enter me in the draw, XOXO W

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  52. Wendy, hey, hi! I'll be reviewing the Habit Rouge extrait next week. You can check up the "affaire Guerlain" by clicking on the 2 first links in the right-hand column, on top of the "essays".
    The oils were nice, but I only got to smell them once. They weren't well displayed and they were withdrawn quite quickly.

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  53. I would so love to smell rich! Please pick me for a sample of Mon Précieux Nectar.

    Regards,
    Nattygold

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  54. Nattygold: wouldn't we all? You're in the draw.

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  55. Mmmmm, sounds precious indeed. May I?

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  56. Please include me in the draw! I do love an almond fragrance...
    Thanks!
    Molly

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  57. Molly, you're just in time, the draw is tomorrow!

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  58. That's it, the entries for the draw are closed. I'll be picking out the winner tonight (April 1st).

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  59. A gourmand for the ultra-rich? The notion intrigues me. Please enter me in the drawing/

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  60. oh...just for the idolatry of sweets not ingested, just to the effect of becoming the sweet...I pray to be counted in.

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  61. Eleven European Mystics... Too late, alas, the draw's been drawn, the prize has been won... Three weeks ago! But thanks for commenting, hope we'll see you again.

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  63. Ce commentaire a été supprimé par un administrateur du blog.

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  64. Just to let you know: the crystal fountain for this perfume is not manufactured by Baccarat, but by the Belgian crystal factory of Val Saint Lambert. Admirable how a French perfume house has looked across the border to find a fitting amphora...

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