Myrrhacle, Guerlain Myrrhe et Delires

As you probably managed to notice, there are some perfume notes that are challenging to me. I tend to dislike them, avoid them because in most cases they smell on my skin in the same, rather not pleasant way. But once in a while I go out of my comfort zone and give a try to the perfume that I would normally neglect just because the notes suggest the perfume isn’t for me. Even more seldom a situation occurs when taking a risk is rewarded by discovering a pretty fragrance that is an exception from the rule. Guerlain Myrrhe et Delires is such an exception for me.

Myrrh is the note that marks the opening of Myrrhe et Delires. It brings the balsamic tones right from the very beginning, but at the same time the scent that it gives is very gentle, soft and elegant. It doesn’t hit you in the face but rather wants to wrap its hands around you and give a big hug. In envelops the wearer in a very sympathetic way. After 15 minutes the myrrh becomes a bit more spicy and warm but on the other hand some dry and restrained sweetness starts to appear in the background and soon it comes closer to the front. It’s the licorice accord that brings this kind of specific sweet vibe which is a little bit earthy and dusty. Luckily it doesn’t give the aroma of black gummy sweets, I never liked the smell of those. After a while Myrrhe et Delires start to change.

After around 45 minutes the first impressions of burning start to dissipate from the surface of my skin. The smoky feeling arises, having the aroma of fire eating the myrrh lumps, the licorice roots and turning the earthy-smelling patchouli leaves into ashes. The smoky, burning sensation is present for around 30 minutes. After that time it becomes weaker and it subsides at some point. Guerlain Myrrhe et Delires is still smoky and balsamic but now it also gains some different elements.

Funny how abstract it smells when you combine the scent of balmy myrrh and warm spices with the juicier aroma of bergamot and grapefruit. In result you get a weird concoction that smells warm and acidic and dusty. The first association that I get with this particular phase of the fragrance development is the old attic – it hides some secrets and mysteries under a thick layer of dirt and dust. Later on Myrrhe et Delires reveals its floral side. There’s some rose but it’s not oriental in style. It smells more fresh and light. Because of the osmanthus accord which appears shortly after the rose, you get the feeling like you were smelling a cup of rose tea.

The way this perfume progresses makes a little loop when we’re taken back to the patchouli accord. It smells dirty and dusty, earthy but dry and it has that leafy vibe that I’m not really fond of. The incense note brings more contemplative and spiritual elements to this composition. The fragrance becomes a bit colder and reserved in character. It’s kind of alluring and repelling at the same time.

Violet leaf smell which appears later is responsible for the feeling like Myrrhe et Delires was being watered down, as it brings the crispiness with watery facets and ozonic touch. Soon enough the feeling disappears and tonka bean, accompanied by the Guerlinade bring together the impression of both warm and spicy tones. Somehow the sweetness appears again on my skin, but this time it’s not like the licorice from before, more like some caramel or lollipop. I know, that’s the weird feeling. At some point I was able to realize that I’m smelling vanilla, but it was weirdly dusted and powdery. In the drydown a bit of jasmine was present as well.

What can I say about Myrrhe et Delires by Guerlain. As I explained in the introduction to this post, for a long time I was avoiding this perfume because there was “myrrhe” in the name. As often as myrrh becomes a burning plastic on my skin, this particular perfume (and few others) didn’t have that effect on my skin. Instead I smelled the balsamic tones and smoke. And some honeyed facets too. What is really great about this fragrance composition is the fact that it’s not very strong and it stays rather close to the skin, yet through the course of your day you can occasionally smell this perfume on yourself. Isn’t that something nice.

Myrrhe et Delires is a perfume created in 2012 by Guerlain’s in-house perfumer Thierry Wasser. This fragrance is a part of L’Art et la Matiere (eng. The Art and Material) collection which is exclusive to the house boutiques and high-end perfume stores. The glass flacon has the capacity of 75ml, in the box you will find a bulb spray atomizer and classic atomizer with trigger, you can exchange them easily as the bottle has a screw-on top. On my skin the perfume had moderate sillage and 8-hours-long lasting power. I’m positively surprised by this fragrance.

PS. In case you didn’t realize, this funny word “myrrhacle” should be read as “miracle”.

[note] graphics sources: picture 2, picture 4

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22 thoughts on “Myrrhacle, Guerlain Myrrhe et Delires

  1. poodle says:

    Lovely stuff. If this had a bit more sillage and lasting power I would consider a bottle.

  2. rickyrebarco says:

    Another great review, Lucas. I had been wanting to try this one, but the myrrh element put me off as well. Generally myrrh and I do not get along It smells very bitter and unpleasant on my skin as used in most perfumes. But Myrrhe et Delires definitely sounds worth a try.

    • lucasai says:

      I see that we’re riding in the same bandwagon! On my skin myrrh usually smells like burnt plastic.

      Myrrhe et Delires is worth a try. In worst scenario you won’t like it, that’s all.

  3. jillie says:

    Lyrical review, Lucas, and I loved your myrrhical pun! Do you know the Christmas carol, We Three Kings? This is what the wise man sings about his gift to baby Jesus:

    Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
    Breathes of life of gathering gloom
    Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
    Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

    So. A hard note to love unless treated especially well.

    • lucasai says:

      Lyrical you say? Glad to hear that! And happy you liked my myrrhacle word.

      I don’t know the English version of that Christmas carol but that part you just quited sounds very apt to myrrh.

      • jillie says:

        I wonder how this compares with Caron’s Parfum Sacre? I never thought I would truly like an incense perfume till I smelt the Caron; the main player in that is myrrh, with the Caron trademark rose and spices softening it so that it is very wearable.

        • lucasai says:

          I suppose they are different. Haven’t given Caron Parfum Sacre much attention so far but Guerlain has their own aesthetics, right?

          • jillie says:

            Certainly. Caron was once a well respected house, but really let themselves go over the last few years, although I understand that they are now trying very hard to redeem their reputation. My all-time Caron favourite was Infini, but they destroyed it with reformulation and I think they have probably now discontinued it altogether.

            • jillie says:

              My poor (hot) brain is desperately trying to remember a quote which went along the lines of men buying Caron for their wives, but Guerlain for their mistresses. I think that says a lot!

            • lucasai says:

              Caron was more family friendly and Guerlain more oomph 🙂 😛

            • lucasai says:

              You have a lot of feelings for Caron, don’t you. You used to use them in the past.

              The reformulation is a plague for perfume lovers. Even if some perfume will return (as limited editions most likely) they won’t smell exactly the same…

              Tomorrow I will be talking about such case for Guerlain.

  4. Undina says:

    Myrrhe et Delires was one of the Guerlain’s perfumes that surprised me: I didn’t expect much and I really liked it when I tried. I’m not sure I like it enough to go beyond the small decant that I’ve got but it’s really nice. Well… I might go for another decant : -)

    • lucasai says:

      That’s great that our reaction to that perfume was similar. I thought I wouldn’t like it but I do. I certainly don’t need a fb, but I might try to get a decant in a swap.
      Another decant sounds like a plan

  5. I’m not a big myrrh fan myself, but this is really lovely. Glad you found something you like out of your comfort zone.

  6. hajusuuri says:

    I have a sample of this lurking somewhere and will have to wear it to share my impressions. Or actually, if I don’t have a sample, the Guerlain counter at Bergdorf is nice about providing them. I’ll have my own vials just in case they give the excuse of we ran out of vials.

    • lucasai says:

      Hi sweetie, how is your vacation going? I see you found some wi-fi again.
      I will be looking forward to read your impressions of this guerlain

  7. I’m a little bit wary of myrrh fragrances too. I know what you mean about burning plastic, although mostly myrrh can come across as too resinous on me. It’s not nice to smell like burning sap! That being said, I love Myrrhe et Delires, not enough for a full bottle, but a little decant to wear around Christmas time would be nice.

    • lucasai says:

      I know exactly what you mean about myrrh. Glad this guerlain perfume works for you. I agree, wearing it around christmas could be especially nice

  8. I adore Myrrhe et Délires and am happy to hear that it was the fragrance that got you out of your comfort zone!

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