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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Perfume Review: Guerlain Cherry Blossom and Lovely Cherry Blossom


There comes a point every winter, when, tired of dreariness and cold, I start longing for spring and craving fragile, ethereal, gently floral scents that evoke the first tender blossoms. Yesterday was one of those bleak and chilly winter days and I finally cracked open my sample vials of Cherry Blossom and Lovely Cherry Blossom. I have been aware of the fact that Guerlain produces Cherry Blossom fragrances for Japanese market (apparently a new fragrance is released very year to celebrate the blooming of sakuras) and knew in advance that these will be delicate, understated, light scents, still, both Cherry Blossom’s and Lovely Cherry Blossom’s complete lack of body, tenacity, and any sort of presence were quite unlike anything I have experienced.

Cherry Blossom starts as a pale and yet quite sparkling (if you can imagine these two qualities together), citrusy scent. Ever so gently and daintily, it develops into a pleasant, soft jasmine-like fragrance and finally dries down as a light green tea scent. Lovely begins in a more floral, softer way and actually does manage for a while to bring to mind frail, delicate cherry blossoms; unfortunately, as the fragrance develops, it veers off in a direction of, what I call, Pink Scents or your typical “department store” girly fruity-florals. For such a light fragrance, it actually manages to annoy me, almost to give me a headache with its pink sweetness.

Neither of these has enough (or even a little) oomph and evocativeness to dispel my winter blues; they are not full bottle worthy for me, but if I had to choose one of these as, for example, a gift for myself, I would have opted for Cherry Blossom the regular. Pale and characterless as it is, it is more pleasant and fresher then its Lovely sister, and might be quite nice and cooling in summer.

Both can be found at Strawberrynet.com, for about $46.00. I must add that, since Cherry Blossom scents are released annually, there is already a staggering number of these; apart from the regular and Lovely, you can choose among Crazy, Glittering, Shiny and the most recent, Gold Sparkle. I must say I doubt that I will have enough motivation to sample another Guerlain Cherry Blossom.

20 Comments:

Blogger Christina H. said...

These do sound so lovely but I thought they would have a little more presence that what you described.As of lately,Guerlain has been more disappointment than pleasure to me.Let's hope that they have some good things to offer at the Bergdorf boutique when that opens.

9:34 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

They are indeed very light in every sense of the word.

I just want the new boutique to have Attrape-Coeur, that is all I want! :-)

9:45 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I've tried a number of the cheap and cheerful duty-free Nouveau Guerlains -- Precious Heart, Meteorites, that other one... (Tender Heart? Precious Love? 100% Heart? maybe there are TWO others) I think they're putting the same juice in all the bottles. FWIW I actually like and wear Meteorites, which is a very girly violet (it's supposed to be based on the smell of their makeup? Ew. I wouldn't know.) The one I'm hankering for now is the Purple Passion b/c the bottle's so ugly.

9:58 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I am hankering that one too, but because I actually like the bottle :-) I've heard the juice is nothing to write home about. And yet Purple fantasy is now included in Guerlain's Les Parisiennes collection along with Attrape-Coeur...go figure!

10:01 AM EST  
Anonymous Cait said...

I want to know what distinguishes "Crazy" Cherry Blossom from the others. I agree about the lameness of this scent. Also, I have thought, like March, that most of the duty free scents were the same stuff in different bottles. Except I liked Guerlain's Con Amor. With Love. Avec Amour. I _did_ give it away, though.

12:01 PM EST  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

You point out the very quality that I dislike about these Cherry Blossoms sequels. The bottles are adorable though, especially the parfum flacons decorated with hot pink tassles.

BTW, I take back what I said about Secret Intentions--it is not as bad as I made it sound like. In fact, it is quite pretty.

1:55 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Whoops, I meant Purple Fantasy... at least I didn't type Purple Dinosaur. Les Parisiennes -- no way! At least from the description it sounds different than the others.

2:16 PM EST  
Blogger Bela said...

Is there any point in trying to woo the Japanese market? The Japanese don't like scented products, do they? Do we know how well those Guerlain fragrances fare?

12:11 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Cait,
I am somewhat curious to know what makes it "crazy", but I am not curious enough after trying these two scents to actually go out of my way to find out :-)

1:07 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

V,
I just got a bottle of Secret Intention and thought it was a very decent, very enjoyable tea scent.

1:08 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Bela,
From what little information I could find (in English) on Cherry Blossom scents, they seem to sell pretty well in Japan. And judging by how prolific Shiseido is in their Japan-only perfume production (non-Lutens scents), I guess, there is a demand for fragrances.

1:10 PM EST  
Blogger risa said...

while the Cherry Blossom parfum is much better, it still doesn't last all that long. it is one of my top 20s, though ;>

11:59 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Risa,
They certainly do lack the staying power. But I would imagine that it is perhaps exactly what's needed in the heat of summer (when I would wear Cherry Blossom)- a light, unobtrusive scent without any tenacity.

8:56 AM EST  
Blogger Victoria said...

I've been really tempted to get the parfum form, it's getting more and more rare. I wonder if it's worth the price?

3:39 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Victoria,
I have not tried the parfum. It does seem to be harder and harder to find. I am tempted to buy Cherry Blossom (in any concentration) just for those beautiful bottles and packaging. :-)

4:42 PM EST  
Blogger ExpatJane said...

Isn't it a matter of taste? Ephemeral and light is nice in certain situations, and I think, Guerlain realizes that northeast Asia is one of those situations.

I live in Asia and bought a bottle of Cherry Blossom glittering when going through the duty free section from Japan to Korea. After a brutally cold winter, spring is finally arriving. I think I've chosen a nice and light fragrance - something more fruity than floral - which is my preference. Also, I'm African-American and the glitter looks nice against my skin. I'm a firm supporter of "less is more".

In the summer, the heat is oppressive and it's very, very humid. A heavier perfume would have you reeking and offending the noses of those around you. I don't wear heavy fragrances and they don't go over well here. I think Guerlain is considering its market and this fragrance isn't even on their English website, but it is on their Japanese website.

6:57 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Jane,
You are absolutely right. Keeping in mind the preferences and the climate of the region to which these scents are marketed, this collection is lovely indeed.
It is getting warmer here and I have been eyeing bottles of Cherry Blossom on ebay myself :-)

7:08 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone know where I can buy purple passion by guerlain? I stumbled across it a couple of years ago at Marshalls of all places, fell in love, found it again at a department store in tiguana and now can't seem to find it anywhere in the US. Please help! Thanks!

2:33 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Hi,
Sorry I don't know Purple Passion. There was, however, Purple Fantasy. It was discontinued and is now only available in Guerlain boutique in Paris. I do sometimes see bottles sold on eBay.

8:20 AM EST  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Why these sad faces? I just bought a bottle of Lovely Cherry Blossom and I simply adore it. As I was told, it has more of the cherry fruit note to it than the original Cherry Blossom. What is the difference between all the scents? Which one would you say is the best one?

7:26 PM EDT  

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