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Monday, December 12, 2005

Perfume Review: Guerlain Vega

Vega (Alpha Lyrae). One of the most famed stars of the sky, Vega is the luminary of the constellation Lyra. Its name derives from an Arabic phrase that means "the swooping eagle." Vega is one of three brilliant stars that divide the northern heavens into thirds; it is the sky's fifth brightest star; it is also one of the stars closest to the Earth, lying just 25 light years away. Though its proximity helps make it bright in our skies, it is also inherently luminous, 54 times brighter than our Sun. (From

To celebrate the renovation of its 68 Champs Elysées boutique, Guerlain launched The Legacy Collection. Each year one classic, discontinued fragrance will be reissued as a part of the collection; Véga was the first to be “revived”; eventually the list will also include Cachet Juane, Kadine, Ode, and Sous Le Vent. Created by Jacques Guerlain in 1936, Véga is a Floral Aldehydic with notes of ylang ylang, jasmine, iris and sandalwood.

Véga is a bright, intense, elegant scent of classic proportions, perfect like a marble statue of a Greek goddess. It starts with a dazzling accord of ylang ylang and jasmine, the intense exotic sweetness of ylang ylang combined with the indolic jasmine is quite gorgeous, vivid and jazzy. Iris tones down the composition bringing a little cooling earthiness to the scent and sandalwood adds its trademark sweet woodiness to the drydown. Patty (thanks to whose generosity I was able to sample this stunner) said that Véga reminded her a little of Bois des Iles. I must say that I do smell a similarity there, but only briefly, in the very beginning, when Véga is like a much more floral version of Bois des Iles.

To me Véga is much more reminiscent, in spirit more than in notes, to Guerlain’s Chamade and Edmund Roudnitska’s Le Parfum de Thérèse. All three are very bright, rather heady, sumptuous and feminine scents, gleaming like liquid gold. But while I always see Chamade and especially Le Parfum de Thérèse as warm scents, golden shimmer of Véga strikes me as a cold, distant brightness of a star, bringing to mind the words of Pablo Neruda: “You are like the night, with its stillness and constellations, yours silence is that of a star, as remote and candid.” I admire Véga, I think it is a gorgeous scent, but somehow it leaves me a little dissatisfied, as if I am missing something in it, perhaps a little more warmth.

Like Attrape-Coeur, Véga is a Paris exclusive and can be ordered via email. It retails for EUR 180 for 125ml.

*The photo of Vega the star is from


Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

I can't wait to try this after this and bois de jasmin's review.

1:10 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

you will very soon :-)

8:49 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Oh, I want that perfume ad as much as the perfume!

12:18 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

R, I've seen both on eBay. It seems to be flooded with rare Guerlains at the moment.

12:21 PM EST  

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