Product Type: Guerlain fragrances
Newest Review: ... to other Guerlain perfumes I've worn and tried. This one is very much a young perfume, and would probably particularly appeal to women in t... more
A Bizarre Concoction
Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum
Member Name: dahlin
Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum
Advantages: Great staying power, nice bottle
Disadvantages: Doesn't give off a nice scent
=== The Product ===
La Petite Robe Noire (or Little Black Dress for those who don't speak French) is the latest fragrance offering from Guerlain. Available in all the usual places; department stores, perfume stores and perfume counters, it's current prices in Boots are £42 for 30ml and £60 for 50ml.
=== How I Came to Own It ===
I am lucky enough to be a member of the Boots.com product testing panel, which allows me to try out new products, often before they go on general sale, in return for leaving a review on their website. This was just one of a few fragrances I've recently received and as perfume isn't something I tend to buy often I was looking forward to trying it out.
=== What Guerlain Say ===
"I am absolutely essential and utterly irresistible. I have met with the greatest actresses and charmed the most glamorous of men. I am the chic, elegant and very seductive, perfumed creation by Guerlain. I am La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum. My scent is Fresh, enchanting and delicious....Cheeky and captivating....I am the warm spark beneath the sweetness."
=== The Bottle ===
As you should be able to see from the picture the bottle is made of glass which starts off black at the bottom and fades through to completely clear at the top, passing through a lovely blackberry shade and powder pink in between. On the back of the bottle is a printed picture of a little black dress and on the front 'La petite Robe noire' in white. The lid is made of plastic but is made to look like glass, which it does, and has a little piece of ribbon around the base with 'Guerlain' printed on it. The lid and the top of the bottle have a kind of scrollwork design that reminds me of decorative wrought iron or stone-work.
If I'm honest this is not a bottle that I would have taken a second look at had I seen it displayed. It's not particularly eye-catching or overly interesting, but at the same time it is very different to any I remember seeing before, so rather unique I believe. Although it's not one that would have caught my eye in a shop I actually do really like the bottle. It's classy without being boring and the glass is lovely and heavy making it feel as high quality as it looks. It's a shame the lid isn't also made of glass as this does detract slightly from the quality feel, but overall I do think it reflects the designer price tag.
=== The Scent ===
La Petite Robe Noire combines top notes of black cherry and bergamot, heart notes of black rose and almond, and base notes of black tea, Tonka beans and patchouli.
Reading black cherry in the top notes I was expecting to be hit by quite a rich fruity fragrance so the first time I used this I was extremely surprised to find that the initial scent I got was a smoky one. It was an extremely familiar scent which I couldn't quite place for a long time, but I eventually realised it was exactly like the very unique burning smell that comes from burning joss sticks, which is somewhat bizarre. I could also tell straight away that this was going to be one of those perfumes that would give me a headache after a while, as it's strong and heady with a very chemical feel to it.
This scent is a bit of an anomaly for me as the smokiness quite overwhelms the rest of the scent and I struggle to pick out any of the specific notes within it unless I sniff the actual area of skin I applied it to. However, doing this I am able to detect the deep fruity tang of the black cherry, which I find truly delectable. This wears off within a few minutes, giving way to the deeply floral heart of black rose, with only a slight hint of almond lurking underneath.
Again it's only a few minutes before the heart notes fade and the base notes begin to come through. Strangely though, I find the black cherry seems to make a reappearance along with the base notes, but on a much more subtle level, so perhaps it had actually only been masked by the floral heart rather than having faded. It is here that the scent becomes again more musky and smoky, the black tea being very apparent. I have no idea what part of this scent Guerlain were smelling when they decided to describe it as fresh, as there's nothing fresh about it.
The problem I have with this scent is that although I can detect the different notes when sniffing the fragrance on my arm where I have applied it, the scent that surrounds me, the one that lasts, and the one that lingers all day in my bedroom, is still the initial smoky one. So, unless I spend my whole time sniffing my arm, I'm not getting the true fragrance, and this is not an issue I've ever had before.
=== My Opinion ===
Although the scent I can pick up when sniffing this on my arm is actually quite a nice one, the overall scent is very smoky and musky, and to be perfectly honest reminds me of old ladies. I would not recommend it to young women at all as it simply doesn't suit. It's the type of scent that I expect to find wafting from middle-aged women who don't seem to realise that their perfume is, far from being pleasant or sophisticated, choking everyone in the vicinity. I have actually received several compliments on this scent on the few times I've worn it, all from women who looked at least 50, confirming my thoughts exactly. Similarly the consensus among my friends who are around the same age as me confirmed my thoughts, that it's far too mature a scent for me, as well as agreeing that the scent it gives off to those around me is very different to the one on my skin. It's also worth noting that every male I asked hated it.
It is a strong scent. I only ever use 2 sprays of any perfume; either 2 sprays into the air in front of me before walking through it, or one on each wrist, and even so I find this one is quite overpowering. I was right in thinking it would give me a headache as it does within only about half an hour. Because of it's potency I wouldn't recommend it as a daytime perfume, certainly it should be kept for evening wear, where it would feel less out of place.
The quality of the fragrance does show through in it's staying power. As I mentioned previously the scent lingers in my bedroom after I've used it, and actually the room still stinks of it over 10 hours later. On my skin it lasts around 8 hours, and the scent that surrounds me can last well until the next day after applying it, so it's certainly worth the money in that respect.
=== The Conclusion ===
I've been left a bit confused by this perfume if I'm honest. Never before have I come across a scent that smells completely different in the air to on the skin, and unfortunately it is the scent in the air that people notice and in this case is not a pleasant one. I would definitely not recommend it to anyone under the age of 40 as it is simply too mature and smells out of place on the younger woman. As you've most likely guessed by now I will not continue to use it, and wouldn't recommend it unless the scent you go for is that of 'old woman with no sense of smell'.
Summary: A long lasting scent that reminds me of old ladies