An hour in blue, Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

The blue hour is the period of twilight each morning and evening when there’s neither full daylight nor complete darkness. The quality of light make it a special time. L’Heure Bleue (the blue hour) also happens to be a name of Guerlain perfume inspired by this magic moment. My appreciation for Guerlain perfumes came with time and it’s about time I stopped hiding my feelings for them.

L’Heure Bleue is a historical perfume created in 1912 by Jacques Guerlain. It’s a romantic fragrance of a velvety quality. It’s smell is like an invitation to the night when the starts are about to appear in the sky darkening. L’Heure Bleue is a scent of mystery and sensuality translated into the language of perfume. The fragrance starts with the exquisite floral tones of delicate heliotrope shortly followed by one of the most beautiful powdery irises ever – it’s very refined and of the best quality. Excellent vanilla adds a lot cosy character to L’Heure Bleue.

A while later oriental aspect of the scent comes forth when carnations blends with benzoin, neroli and ylang-ylang. Somewhere around minute 30 of wearing it I noticed that L’Heure Bleue evolves into light woody scent with an extreme depth. Gentle touch of sandalwood and a lovely portion of sexual musks smell very classy. A little bit of spicyness is added by cloves. As the time passed I smelled a waft of citrusy accords of bergamot and lemon, mixed with rose, orchid and violet – rose being the easiest to notice here. I also noticed tonka bean that effused some light spicyness again.

Comparing vintage eau de toilette version of L’Heure Bleue with its more recent eau de parfum interpretation I concluded that I like the recent version more but I appreciate the older juice better. In the older version it’s easier to notice separated notes (especially carnation or neroli for me) while in the younger juice everything is more blended, a little bit more sweet and powdery. Vintage L’Heure Bleue also seems to smell darker, closer to the night theme; EdP is more like stars in the sky. Both are unique and beautiful. L’Heure Bleue is available in few different concentrations and different bottle designs. I only tried vintage EdT and more recent EdP. Hope I’ll be able to try the others one day.

The question is – who can wear Guerlain L’Heure Bleue? From its smell it really easy to notice that it’s a feminine perfume BUT that doesn’t mean male perfumista can’t wear it! L’Heure Bleue is a scent of elegance, style and manners. To me it suits best on elegant lady. If L’Heure Bleue is to be worn by man don’t you  dare wearing it with jeans and t-shirt! Shirt, tie and a good suite are necessary if you want L’Heure Bleue to be your friend. This scent has a power to make you shine!


20 thoughts on “An hour in blue, Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

  1. shellyw says:

    A shirt and tie! That is great.
    When I bought the Edp this summer everyone in my family said old lady. I say very classy lady who still dresses for dinner.

    • lucasai says:

      Well, the perfume celebrates 100th anniversary this year and yes, many people associate that it’s an old perfume for old ladies. But to me it’s quintessence of elegance. Gentlemen in suits smell awesome in it.

  2. RobWales says:

    I’ve enjoyed wearing L’Heure Bleue occasionally, but Mitsouko more so.

  3. Undina says:

    This is one of those Guerlains that still escape me. I tried to like it – and it just doesn’t work. But I keep my samples and re-try L’Heure Bleue from time to time (together with Shalimar and Mitsouko – so it’s in a good company 😉 ).

  4. laniersmith says:

    Just having received Mitsouko for my birthday this one is on my wish list for Christmas. (along with about 250 other fragrances!)

  5. hajusuuri says:

    This is a beautifully-written review, Lucas! You’ve inspired me to try my vintage L’Heure Bleue (acquired via Surrender to Chance). i will report back this weekend!

  6. Esperanza says:

    Beautiful, Lucas. My favorite is Mitsouko and shalimar vintage or ode edition but I have not tried LHB that much to really appreciate it. I can’t imagine a gentleman wearingit but I would have to scent it on the skin of a man to see how it works. Strange idea LHB is already 100 years andwas launched before world war I.

    • lucasai says:

      This fragrance has a long history, really. As mentioned earlier I still need to try Mitsuoko more.
      Interesting that you can’t imagine L’Heure Bleue being worn by a man

  7. I have my late mother’s collection of perfumes, including L’Heure Bleue. I sometimes wear a dab behind my ears (and yes, even when I’m wearing jeans and t-shirt!). At first, it really is too forceful, but after that half-hour of drydown it mellows and becomes delightful company. For me, L’Heure Bleue and Vol de Nuit work in the same way, even though they are quite different from each other. Men should lose their inhibitions and give these strong Guerlain fragrances a chance to win them over.

    • lucasai says:

      Hi Martyn! Wow, that’s so great that you have L’Heure Bleue after your mother. That was just a joke with jeans & t-shirt. I just think it suits official clothes better.
      All those classinc Guerlains are powerful in the beginning but they settle down after a while. I love Vol ne Nuit as well.

  8. […] Reading l’Heure de Bleue at Olfactoria’s Travels l’Heure de Bleue at The Chemist in The Bottle l’Heure de Nuit at The […]

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