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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Perfume Review: Guerlain Secret Intention

Secret Intention was created in 2000 by Jean-Paul Guerlain as a limited edition fragrance. With notes of bergamot, lemon, Ceylon tea, cardamom, coriander, jasmine, peony, neroli, sandalwood, Tonka bean, and vanilla, this is primarily a scent of black tea infused with tangy berries, fruits and subtle flowers. Being inclined to dismiss Guerlain’s limited editions as very “un-Guerlain” scents lacking substance and depth, I discovered, to my surprise, that, even though indeed completely without the renowned “Guerlain accord”, Secret Intention is a very injoyable, quite rich and refined fragrance, now one of my favorite scents featuring a tea note.

Despite the fact that bergamot and lemon are among the notes, Secret Intention is not a citrus scent at all, to my nose. It starts with an unexpected and very welcome cranberry note, which is bracing, astringent and tart. The opening of Secret Intention reminds me a little of the beginning of another fragrance with a cranberry note, 100% Love. In a little while the black tea note comes into play; it is not smoky, but it has pungency of the tea that has been brewed for quite a long time, the quality that I appreciate. I do smell a faint coriander accord, but cardamom and flowers are practically non-existent here, apart from neroli, which I can smell very vaguely, somewhere in the distance. I love the fact that the tea note, once it appears, does not leave the scent; it is still quite prominent in the drydown, which also consists of sandalwood. Vanilla and Tonka bean are very subdued here, in general Secret Intention is not a sweet scent. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it dry, but it is leanbing in that direction. It is a scent of well-brewed black tea blended mainly with cranberry and with some flowers, and with only a tiny bit of sugar added. All that makes it the kind of tea I enjoy.

Secret Intention is available at, $46.00 for 30ml.


Blogger lilybp said...

I am trying this right now, thanks to SOMEONE'S generosity, and I'm liking it very much. At first I thought it was merely enjoyable but not distinctive, but the tea note is winning me over as it develops; very nice, indeed!
On other fronts: I swooned over Philtre d'Amour (they would reformulate!!! *gnashes teeth*), and I want to join the chorus of praise for Coty WW. This has completely destroyed my snobbery! What a scent!!!!
And thanks again for all your bounty:)

7:57 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That's what the chubby winged creatures of Greek-Roman mythology are for :-) You are so welcome, and I am very glad you like these scents, they are my favorites too. I'd advise to look for Philtre d'Amour on eBay, the Limited Edition bottles pop up there all the time, sometimes reasonably priced. :-)

9:09 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That is definitely the best part! I think I got mine from eBay for no more that $7.

11:17 AM EST  
Blogger Victoria said...

Wow you have managed to pique my interest again! Sounds great, I love a black tea scent.

11:31 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I spent, like, 45 minutes looking for my sample. Arrgh!

You're right. Once the initial excitement is over, it reminds me of ... something ... Bulgari Green Tea, maybe? Whoops, sorry, Bvulgari. This wovld be deliciovs in the svmmer -- not too sweet, not too heavy.

12:27 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

If you like tea scents, that I think you might enjoy this one. It is very pleasant, very wearable. amd very cheap! :-)

12:39 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I also think it is a great scent for summer! And it reminds me of a Bvlgari scent too, only to me it is their new Red Tea (Au The Rouge). But Secret Intention is actually better.

12:40 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I had a decant of this ages ago, decided it wasn't interesting enough, swapped it away, then missed it...finally got another, and still couldn't make up my mind! Will have to see if I still have it.

1:11 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

If you need some Secret Intention, let me know :-)

4:02 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

So I've nothing to say on this scent, since I've not tried it ever, and I hope you don't mind me changing the subject. But speaking of cranberry notes...

The first time I ever wore Nanettte Lepore, the first thing one of my boys said when he smelled it was that it smelled like roses and breakfast juice. Roses, sure, that was obvious, but breakfast juice?? So I looked up the notes at Sephora, and sure enough, there's a cranberry note in it. (Our usual juice we buy is a cranberry-raspberry blend, since its my boys' favorite and they don't get sick of it like they do with orange juice.) It killed me - his little nose is much more precise than mine!

5:28 PM EST  
Blogger marlen said...

I was disappointed in this one. It just never really went anywhere on my V said, nice but "not distinctive". Philtre was slightly more interesting, but ultimately, it just didn't do it for me. Now Metalle (or however it's spelled)...that worked magic.

6:37 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You have your own little nez at home, you own little Dr. Turin :-)

I love cranberry in perfume, so if you say there is some in Lepore, I am going to revisit it.

7:46 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Did you try the "old" (1999) or the new Phitlre d'Amour?
Do you mean Metallica aka Metalys? Strangely, I was somehow indifferent to that one, don't know why :-(

7:47 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorites. It manages to keep the Guerlain identity but adds a nice, comforting, if slightly tame variation to the mix.

1:13 PM EST  

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