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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Perfume Review: Guerlain Apres L'Ondee

The ten thousand things would come together
And gentle rain fall.
Tao Te Ching.



They say, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again (They also say that if at first you don't succeed, you must erase all evidence that you tried and/or that sky-diving is not for you...but I digress). Heaven knows that I tried to love Apres L'Ondee for many, many years. I understood the appeal, I admired the notes, but the fragrance left me stone-cold. Instead of delicate wistfulness I got overly understated blandness. I recently excavated my sample from the box labeled Most Probably Hopeless, thinking that if I don't fall in love with Apres L'Ondee this spring then it will never happen. Paraphrasing the name of a famous scent, ce printemps ou jamais. I suppose one has to be in a certain state of soul to fall in love. For the first time in over a decade I got it!

I got the melancholy of it all. The hesitant smile on tear-stricken face. The fearful calm after the storm. I got the poignant fragility of violets and irises, of ethereal petals weighed down by rain drops... the softer than soft spiciness of anise and carnation, the spiciness that is like a pang in the heart... the gentle caress of vanilla... the tender warmth of the base notes that lingers on my skin for hours like a memory of happiness... the graceful gauzy-ness of the sillage... I got the hope that fills Apres L'Ondee. The hope against all odds that after the gentle rain falls, the ten thousand things will finally come together...

Available at Bergdorf Goodman. And I must have a bottle.

Image by Greg Kadel.

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31 Comments:

Blogger Erin said...

Oh, welcome, we all knew you would one day succumb! :) Apres L'Ondee is the scent that first made me "get" violets, and I am forever grateful. Probably in my top spot. Now let's see, what else can I convince you to re-try?

9:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Erin,
It's like Apres L'Ondee secret cult welcomes me into its fold. Aah, at long last, I am home! :-)

9:56 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Я перечитываю Дао дэ Цзин как поэзию. Иногда призыв оставить желания и освободится от страстей кажется очень привлекательным. ) С другой стороны, без них из жизни уйдут остатки смысла. Но дао или не дао, всё будет хорошо.

10:28 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Обещаешь? :-)

10:33 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Не обещаю, а гарантирую. )

10:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

:-D

10:38 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what changed for you? I am one who doesn't get Apres L'Ondee, despite being an avid Guerlain fan and can't understand what I am missing.

11:48 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry - above anon from Kim

11:49 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Am I going to need this?

1:22 AM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

I know how Kim feels - I like it, but to me it's just another Guerlain that's not Shalimar, not distinctive enough to stand out in my mind. Am I going to be kicked out of the perfume club now? ;-)

2:11 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Hmmmm. . . I have always liked this, but am not a member of the adoration society. This Spring, perhaps. . .

6:58 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Kim,
I have no idea! The stars aligned in just the right way? :-) I absolutely understand what you say when you say you don't know what you are missing. Before it was just dull now it is exquisitely melancholy. Next thing I know, I am in throws of mad love for L'Eau d'Hiver :-)

8:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Tom,
Are you saying you have not tried The Great Classic That Is Apres L'Ondee? :-D

8:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Donna,
Well, no, you won't be, because I was just like that so I can relate :-) To me, however, it is a good thing that it is not Shalimar. Shalimar and moi are not friendly. Yet? :-)

8:30 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Judith,
Definitely this spring. But I am surprised, I thought there will be more avid fans of AlO. When I did not like it seemed like everyone was adoring it :-)

8:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

You are totally allowed to not "get" L'Eau D'Hiver. *cough, cough* That's just fine.

9:10 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you, Erin :-) Because I really did not want to try it again. It has a bizarrely depressing effect on me.

10:07 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful poem and photograph to accentuate your celebration! i'm still working on this one. we are at that point where we respectfully bow to one another but then move across the room to engage other people.

i think maybe the anise is what i find challenging - it's one of my least favorite notes in food and drink.

but i toast your success! when one finds love with a guerlain, it's powerful! i hope your affair with apres l'ondee is a lasting one!

- minette, http://www.scentsignals.com

12:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Gehring said...

OOOHHHHH...this sounds beautiful, I just loved the mood. Sort of a rainy day in Paris mood.Being such a violet lover I can't believe that I haven't tried it!.
Thanks for the amazing review M.

12:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Minette,
I hope so too!
At least you are already on bowing terms, not completely hostile.
Anise is a very challenging note for me too.
PS. I added your wonderful blog to my blogroll, I hope you don't mind?

1:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Beth,
I can't believe you haven't! I think you will love it.

1:01 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Now, most unfortunately, you have to *really* break your heart by trying the vintage parfum, LOL...

1:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

R,
*sigh* Oh well, it will break then.

1:58 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay yay yay!!!! I am happy for you because I remember it being one of the few times I have literally wept at the beauty of something.

I mean, I'm happy Idole finally decided to like me, but that's not even in the same league.

3:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you, March! That was a moving moment for me too when Apres finally opened up to me in all its glory :-)

3:37 PM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

Oh..I desparately need to try this (yes, I haven't tried this yet..*hangs head*)- your review is soo beautiful (as was Patty's)

4:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Lavanya,
Let me know what you think when you do try it!

4:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Monkey said...

I think Apres l'Ondee works great on a man, also. If I weren't wearing black Cashmere in mourning, today (why, Donn, why?), I would be wearing Apres. It is a cool spring day (for Miami) and so the perfect time for the melancholy of the cruelest month.

10:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Monkey,
I absolutely agree and would love to smell this on a man.

8:37 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

So exquisite !
In the edt, it's a fleet-footed delight, a melancholy-maker, for me.
I do love it-
But won't wear it when I'm feeling vulnerable...

I'm a professed violet lover, iris too.
Can't help myself.

9:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Ida,
Melancholy-maker, I love that phrase :-)

9:11 PM EDT  

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