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Friday, January 12, 2007

Perfume Review: Guerlain Plus Que Jamais


Plus Que Jamais is one of the Guerlain scents I Don’t Quite Get. I think it is a gorgeous perfume and I would love to own a bottle…what I don’t quite get is why, given the fact that there is nothing especially unique and unusual about it, it is kept hidden from the masses among the fantastic exclusives like Attrape-Coeur, Derby and Liu. Plus Que Jamais is the kind of scent, which, were Guerlain to release it for wide distribution alongside L’Instant and Insolence, could have become their biggest modern bestseller. There is nothing about it that “an average customer” would not understand or like. In fact, this beautiful, luscious confection of a scent is not altogether unlike such hits as Flowerbomb or its elusive Extreme version and has a potential to do just as well or even better. Get a lovely spokesmodel for it, make a slightly obscure but attractive commercial, put an ad in every glossy magazine on the planet, and -voilà!-, a new perfume blockbuster is born. And in the case of Plus Que Jamais, the success would have been well-deserved, not all due to the hype, because the scent, although not earth-shatteringly original, is sumptuous, masterfully blended and incredibly attractive.

The perfect ad for Plus Que Jamais would look something like this:

Plus Que Jamais is lavish; it is Perfume at its best, an affordable luxury, an aspirational product. One spritz, and you feel beautiful, forever-young, elegantly attired, coddled, pampered and spoiled rotten. …It is magic! As to how it smells…with notes of bergamot, ylang-ylang, neroli, iris, jasmine and vanilla, it is a floral-oriental blend with an appealing, candied fruitiness and the rich, vanillic sweetness, which is almost, but not quite, gourmand. The citrus is apparent but not harsh in the beginning, the heart is overflowing with honeyed, sugared flowers, the base is softly woody and sweet…the notes are blended so very smoothly, the fragrance has a polished, supremely luxurious feel of the most expensive of silks and of the skin used to wearing only such silks and such expensive, opulent fragrances. It is altogether almost too perfect, like an impeccably dressed society woman of indefinite age (forever-young, remember?), shimmering with tasteful but noticeable jewels, with not a blond hair out of place. It is a little too glossy, a little too conventionally beautiful. It doesn’t have a twist, a slight imperfection that would make it more interesting…On my skin, although certainly as opulent as any of the classic Guerlains, it lacks the dark depth of the best fragrances to come from this House. Still…Plus Que Jamais is a stunning scent and I do wish it was more easily available.

Plus Que Jamais is a part of Les Parisiennes collection and is available at the Champs-Elysées in Paris, € 170.00 for 4.2oz of Eau de Parfum. To order, call 00 33 1 45 62 52 57 or email champs-elysees@guerlain.fr. According to Isabel Rousseau, the head of Customer Relationships Department at Guerlain, to obtain Plus Que Jamais, one can also get in touch with Neiman Marcus in San Francisco or with the Toronto Boutique.

Image sources, operagloves.com, guerlain.com.

Please visit Aromascope, to read Ina's wonderful review of Plus Que Jamais.

47 Comments:

Blogger tmp00 said...

Can someone let me in on why the San Francisco Neimans apparently has everything? This one, all of the Serge Lutens, and the Beverly Hills store does nuttin?

Grrrrrrrrrr!

1:07 AM EST  
Anonymous Kayliana said...

Wow, aguerlain I might end up loving, the only one I have ever been able to pull of is Shalimar Light. Which I do love. Colombina, forgive me for asking but does it smell old-fashioned? (Old Ladyish)

5:00 AM EST  
Anonymous newproducts said...

Oh, this sounds like exactly the thing to satisfy my craving for an opulent floral-oriental with a vanillic base that is not too sweet. I've been having this craving for a week or so now, and nothing in my collection *quite* fits. I will seek out decants on ebay when my no buy ends. Thank you, Marina, for another wonderful review. I wouldn't mind feeling like a *too* perfect society lady for a day!

7:29 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

This is one of my favorite curl up w/ a book scents. Love it! You're right, it doesn't have any interesting twists, but I can forgive it that since it gets such high marks on the comfort scale.

7:52 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Tom,
I was surprised too. But the wording was a little obscure. Does it mean that NM has PQJ? Does it mean they would order it for you? Hmmm

7:59 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Kayliana,
I have no doubt that you would find this totally wearable. If the classic Guerlains have that heavy, broody something on your skin, as you said, that old-fashioned feeling...then this one lack that quality entirely. I find it to be very modern.

8:01 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

M,
Well, the way you described your craving...I think you should look no further. PQJ is it :-) It is not *too* sweet, and when I said gorumand, I meant in the most abstarct way possible.

8:03 AM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

Totally agree. This one would fly off the shelves. Totally nonoffensive, totally gettable for the average nonobsessed perfumista. Why they don't mainline it a little bit is a mystery, roll out a big promotion, they would kill doing that.

8:03 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

L,
It does not turn too sweet on your skin? It is a comfort scent, isn't it. But also so glam, can totally be taken out to some posh soiree :-)

8:04 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Patty,
Right? And as for the price...well, for a wider market they wouldn't have to sell it in big bottles just so that the price looks "exclusive", and for a 1oz, 1.7oz, 3.3oz, the price would be comparable to other luxe scents out there.

8:07 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

No, it doesn't turn too sweet...anxiously reaches for wood to knock on and salt to toss over shoulder. Oh, yes...definitely could go glam, but for me it just requires a silk robe and a book, given my lack of charity soirees to attend. :-) I *love* the pic you chose for the ad - perfect!

8:22 AM EST  
Blogger chaya ruchama said...

Sounds like a keeper to me- but I've got #68, and Guet-Apens, so I probably don't need it ...lol.

Do I need it?

You know what I like !

8:23 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

L,
SILK rob, definitely silk. Nothing else could do where PQJ is concerned :-)

8:27 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Chaya,
I think you too would think that it is gorgeous but a little safe. Besides, if you have Guet-Apens, you don't need anything else :-D

8:28 AM EST  
Blogger Christina H. said...

I totally agree with you Marina. I don't know why this isn't made more readily and easily available. I can only come up with one explanation, and that is , that it's made by the last remaining guy with Guerlain as his last name. You see how little research I do for my perfumes,lol! I know that the remaining Guerlain guy that still works there, makes one "special" scent each each that he actually constructed himself.So, maybe because of the fact that it is a scent produced by Guerlain hands, they now have an opportunity to create a unique item with an even more unique price. In the end, it's all just about marketing. I love the scent myself very much, but don't find it heads and shoulders above some of their other creations.

9:05 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Christina,
I agree. But wouldn't it have been an even bigger tribute to Jean-Paul Guerlain's perfume if it was sold everywhere and was available for more people to admire? Their logic is strange, isn't it?

9:09 AM EST  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

You know, I do like this, but I never wear it. It somehow doesn't feel like "me." Maybe it's the sweetness--it's not unpleasantly "too sweet," but it's sweeter than I usually feel.:) But I am sure it would be a big winner if generally released.

9:37 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

J,
Somehow I don't think of it as "you" either. :-) I am not even sure it is quite me, and I am more inclined to like "this kind" if scents than you do, I think. :-)

9:39 AM EST  
Blogger donanicola said...

Hello! a lurker tempted out of hiding here. I love Guerlain - my favourites being Mitsouko and Vol de Nuit (parfum) and I am planning a couple of days in Paris visiting the perfume houses - of course Guerlain is on my list. What made me smile is the bemusement over the limited availability of PQJ - Guerlain is so FRENCH! And the French are the most perverse nation. I am english and apparently we have an "entente cordiale" - lol! I have so enjoyed reading this blog and NST and the Posse - thank you all very much!

10:23 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Donanicola,
Thank you very much for your kind words. I hope you have wonderful time in Paris (of course you will) :-)

10:27 AM EST  
Blogger donanicola said...

Thank you Colombina1 I think I will time my visit for after the new Chanels are released though I hope I don't fall too much in love - 200 mls is an awful lot to lug about with the SL bell jar I might also spring for!

11:10 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Columbina-

From what I can gather (and if there's any body from The City out there that can confirm this, please do), the San Francisco Neimans has some special deal going on that they sell all these wonderful things that no other in the chain does: I've heard they have all the Serge Lutens that aren't sold on the site and are exclusive to Barneys in Beverly Hills. So it's not out of the realms of the unreal that they might actually have this one.

11:29 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Donanicola,
Ah, great idea! When you get to try them please report!!

11:37 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Tom,
Ah, so it is a very special NM then...good to know!

11:37 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I didn't love this one -- like you, found it too conventionally beautiful -- but agree entirely that it is very approachable & would no doubt sell well if they did more to market it & distribute it.

12:45 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
I also think that the fantastically overpriced Nuit d'Amour would probably sell just as well if not better.

12:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Genia said...

Thank you, Marina. I love, adore, desire Plus Que Jamais. May be it`s not a "Historical event" but it has all that I wait and need from fragrance: Comfort and Pleasure.
I hope one day "Guerlain" will think again and we can find PQJ everywhere for the reasonable price.

1:03 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Genia,
Comfort and pleasure is what perfumes are eally for, isn't it? Twists and turns and couture-like weirdness isn't something one wants all the time. I do hope Guerlain releases this one mroe widely.

1:05 PM EST  
Anonymous Genia said...

Yes,yes! It is the truth.
"Twists and turns and couture-like weirdness isn't something one wants all the time." - I love it and sometimes I thirst it but PQJ definitely about other "things".
Could you tell me your "twists and turns"? I am very curious.

1:18 PM EST  
Anonymous Genia said...

Marina, sorry. Two times...
Please, erase one.

1:21 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Genia,
Most scents by Lutens are "twisty" (or twisted, LOL). Tubereuse Criminelle immediately comes to mind. Guerlain Djedi. L'Artisan Dzing. Malle Une Fleur de Cassie.
What are yours?

1:21 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

No problem! I am sorry; the blogger does it to me all the time.

1:24 PM EST  
Anonymous Genia said...

Caron(s), Messe de Minuit, "bright" leather...
Hmmmm... It`s en interesting theme. Write about it.

1:36 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Genia,
You are so right! Definitely Carons. Messe is very much "gothic couture" :-)

1:37 PM EST  
Anonymous Maria B. said...

I was tickled to see someone mention Shalimar on a perfume blog--even though it's the Light version. :-) It was my first fragrance love. My fifteen-years-older cousin wore it when I was little, and I emulated her by wearing it in my early and mid-twenties. I've always gone for that Guerlain mystery-of-the-Orient thing.

I wish Bois d'Armenie were easier to get. It's a soothing, spicy whisper of smoke. Thank you, Marina. I'm going to wear out my sample.

And thanks also for Parfum d'Empire's Cuir Ottoman. It's fun. It starts out with a strong leathery blast and then settles down into smoothness and softness, a lot like Tabac Blond in that dynamic--but different.

That was a great drawing. Thank you! And is the House of Guerlain great, or what?

5:39 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Maria,
I envy you for being able to wear Shalimar so beautifully. I am sure it is amazingly gorgeous on you.
So glad you liked Bois d'Armenie!!

5:46 PM EST  
Anonymous Ina said...

I totally agree - this one would fly off the shelves! I'm glad you love it more than Metallica. ;D

10:22 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Ina,
I love it like 100 times more than Metallica. :-)

10:25 PM EST  
Anonymous Heather said...

When I was at the SF Neimans back in September they did have Plus Que Jamais. The Guerlain SA is lovely and knowledgeable, a delightful excursion!

12:33 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Heather,
That is wonderful to know!

12:34 PM EST  
Blogger risa said...

hurrah another PQJ lover! it's definitely on my tops list, and is one of those few perfumes i can see most of my female relatives wearing. there's nothing snatdoffish or inaccessible about it at all, i agree!

10:21 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Yay for PQJ! :-)

10:26 PM EST  
Anonymous evilpeony said...

Marina, I just got this from one of the Paris Guerlain stores last week! This scent is heavenly...it was love and intoxication at first, second, third, fourth, last sniff...such that i forgot to tell the SA to give me the parfum extrait instead of the EDT (wonder if i can talk the people at NM-SF to swap mine for the parfum extrait.....) But i must say... it was tough deciding between Derby, Liu, Attrape-Coeur, Rose Barbare, Angelina Noir..... (sniff) I want to go back to Paris now!

8:43 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Oh, how wonderful!! Congratulations!

8:55 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That one is Guerlain best!

11:39 AM EST  
Blogger Marbled Nails said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marbled Nails said...

Plus Que Jamais is available in the France Pavillion in Epcot at Walt Disney World, and according to the salesgirl there, also at the counter at Saks 5th Avenue in New York.

It is a wonderful fragrance, and I love it. I own many perfumes, and this is my go to fragrance.

My last comment had typos that made my info incorrect, sorry.

9:57 AM EDT  

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