Perfume Review: Guerlain L'Instant D'Un Ete and L'Instant D'Un Ete Pour Homme
L’Instant D’Un Été is a new limited edition of Guerlain’s “star fragrance”, L’Instant. It is a “lighter and luminous version”, which adds “un soupçon d’agrumes” (grapefruit and bitter orange) and not much more to the composition of the original scent. It is no secret to anyone that I am a big fan of Maurice Roucel, the creator of L’Instant The First, so it pains me to say that I do not like L’Instant as much as I would have liked too. I think the magnolia note is lovely in there, but I find the scent to be too sweet and somehow indistinct. I was unable to find information regarding the nose responsible for L’Instant D’Un Été and I hope that it was not Roucel, because I liked the summer version even less than the original. I understand the reason behind making the fragrance more citrus-heavy for summer, I for one always crave citrus scents during that season…But something just does not work in L’Instant D’Un Été…I would have loved it if the grapefruit and the magnolia co-existed here in a perfect balance, but they do not. The sharp, awkward grapefruit note keeps sticking out and I find it rather bothersome. The scent is also quite sweet, the citrus and the florals are accompanied by a large helping of ubiquitous vanilla… L’Instant D’Un Été smells to me like a pink, bright, vanillic, girly offspring of L’Instant and Yves Saint Laurent’s Baby Doll (or Anna Sui’s Dolly Girl or any other “luminous”, pink grapefruit scent). In other words it smells like every other fragrance on the market. In a blind sniffing test, I dare anyone to be able to tell L’Instant D’Un Été apart from other scents just like it. As an aside note, if I had to choose a (feminine) L’Instant to wear, I would have opted for L’Instant Eau de Noel with its delightful iris note and a candied, but a little less sweet, feel. However, Eau de Noel too suffers from an overabundance of vanilla, which to me smells a little caramel-like and even a little burnt in the drydown.
I liked L’Instant D’Un Été Pour Homme much more than its feminine counterpart. Again, the summery effect here is achieved by adding more citrus (in this case, lime) to the blend. Apart from that, L’Instant D’Un Été Pour Homme stays pretty true to the original composition and is immediately recognizable as a close, albeit less intense relation of L’Instant Pour Homme. The lime note makes the perfume fresher and lighter yet it does not rob it from the lovely sweet anise note. I am decidedly not a lover of anise, but I enjoy it in the masculine L’Instants. The original version has always reminded me of pizzella, Italian anise cookies, and some of that vague, softly-gourmand quality remains in the summer version. The only part of L’Instant D’Un Été Pour Homme I did not like was the drydown, which on me consisted of patchouli and nothing but patchouli. It was as if the subtle and pleasant development of the fragrance came to a sudden stop, and for the next five-six hours all that remained from L’Instant D’Un Été Pour Homme was patchouli. I did not find the note off-putting per se, but I though the drydown was quite simplistic and boring and therefore a letdown. The regular L’Instant Pour Homme remains my favorite L’Instant and I am very curious to try its Extrême version.
I do not know when the summer editions will be available in the States. The only online place where I was actually able to find L’Instant D’Un Été and L’Instant D’Un Été Pour Homme was Marionnaud.ch, where 80ml of the women’s version and 125ml of the men’s retailed for CHF 68.90.
Tomorrow, Derby by Guerlain.