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Monday, May 15, 2006

Perfume Review: Guerlain Colours of Love and La Prairie Silver Rain

I love the work of Jason Brooks, the British fashion illustrator, whose images I have used in various posts (see Amouage Ciel and Rich Hippie). If ever a cartoon is made out of my life (ha ha), I want Jason Brooks to draw the super-glamorous, ultra-chic, uber-gorgeous version of me. Apparently The House of Guerlain are big fans too, since it was Jason Brooks who designed the packaging for their Love is All and the recent release, Colours of Love. Call me humorless, grumpy and wary of change, but I think that those images and those colors are just plain wrong to be used by Guerlain. I understand that Guerlain is trying to keep up with the trends and to appeal to a more youthful audience…But I wish with all my heart that they did not have to do that.

Now that I have taken that off my chest, on to the scent itself…The juice is sadly much less attractive than the packaging. It is a Pink Fruity Floral, in which the bright, tart and sparkling notes of grapefruit and kiwi clash in a disagreeable manner with the powdery and sweet notes of violet and mimosa. I kept hoping that the bothersome fruity notes would subside leaving behind the lovely flowers, but the grapefruit and the kiwi stuck around till the end, messing up and watering down the composition. Because of that watery, almost-aquatic quality, I found Colours of Love to be not just an unremarkable clone of Escada’s Limited Edition summer scents, but actually quite unpleasant.

As far as I know, Jason Brooks was not involved in designing of the packaging of Silver Rain by La Prairie, but in this case, he really should have been asked to draw an ad for the scent. If he had, it would have looked like this:

Much has been said about the discrepancy between the name, the packaging and the scent of Silver Rain, and I agree that this sparkly, fruity compote does not evoke rain or color silver. This incredibly overpriced concoction smells to me like a cross between Angel, with its heavy, sweet, gourmand accords, and Baby Doll, with its bright overload of grapefruit and berries. Silver Rain is not bad smelling at all, in fact I find it a little more agreeable than, say, Colours of Love. It is a sparkly little disco scent that might be fun to wear in a night-club in Ibiza. However, given the fact that Silver Rain smells like a legion of other Angel/Baby Doll smellalikes, I find the price of this scent to be almost offensive.

Colours of Love used to be available at Sephora, $51.00 for 50ml, but seems to have been already discontinued there. I believe it should still be available at Duty Free stores. Silver Rain can be found at Nordstrom, $135.00 (!) for 50ml.

The ad for Colours of Love is from The second image, called Warhol, is from, where you can also view his other works.


And the winner of the prize draw (drawn by my little daughter from her pink panama hat) is Mark (from Australia). Dear Mark, please send me your address using the Contact Me link on the left side or on the bottom of this page. Thank you very much, everybody, for being the part of our Mother's Day fundraising event and for reading my blog!


Blogger tmp00 said...

Grapefruit and Kiwi? Oy. Maybe in a salad with bitter greens and balsamic dressing, but a perfume? No thanks. And I like some gourmand scents- even the wierd Sasparilla opening of Santal Blanc.

Guerlain should not resort to cartoons. Even if they call it "Anime"

12:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

He he.
I am not against grapefruit, kiwi, or, say, mango (Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil). When they are done in an elegant, "mature" manner (like in Un Jardin Sur Le Nil). When the scents are cartoonish, however, no thanks from me too :-)

9:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I actually do like Jason Brooks's work, a lot. BUT - in the right context, you know? For Guerlain, it's just wrong. The packaging is wrong and the scent inside is more wrong still.
*grumble grumble grumble* :-)

9:23 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the very unhappy owner of a bottle of Colours. My daughter gave it to me last week, purchased without testing from an airport store, and I do not dare to give it to anybody!

11:12 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Aww! But it was bought with love...of course you can't give it away :-)

11:30 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Thought I had smelled this, then realized I was thinking of "With Love". From the sound of it, With Love was much better than Love is All (?)

11:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Haven't tried that one. I think. To complicate matters further, there is also Precious Love...:-)

12:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I totally agree that even L'Instant is out of Colours of Love's league, and Mitsouko is galaxies away :-)

1:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That's very wise. do not bother yourself with allthose Loves. I sampled it so that you won't have to :-) *waits for her matryrdom to be awarded any second now* :-)

1:21 PM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

Hee hee hee - I can't really give awards for martyrdom I'm afraid. The Silver Rain was so spot on. I am afraid I could not even bother with the specifics of it: it's too boring. I can't believe you tried that and the one of the Guerlain loves... you have a very open mind obviously :)

benventura: Paris Hilton in a Guerlain ad: you've just sent a shudder down my spine.

8:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Yes, tried Silver Rain and Colours of Love. Waiting for the news from the Vatican about my impending sainthood any minute now :-)

8:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Heather said...

My view has always been that everything La Prairie sell is over priced and mediocre!

No issues there then!!


6:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I absolutely agree! :-)

11:18 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I was looking through my cache of samples from my last N-M beauty event, wondering what I could send for your review, sadly you'd reviewed all of them. Even more sadly, I spritzed my palm with Silver Rain without first reading your review.

Ew. Ick. Loathsome. You were kind. Luckily, it seems to have the longevity of a fruit fly. Which may be the only creature I can think of who would consider this worth the price.

The other one was Marc Jacobs Blush Intense. I don't find it particularly intense. As a matter of fact, I can get more intense jasmine from the hedge growing next to my garage. I can see it as a nice summer fragrance for someone who is very self-effacing and wants that slight walk on the wild side. Like wearing a skirt above the knees, or saying "darn". I like Jasmine to be a bit more {ahem} definite, like Joy, or even Fragonard. But this one is very nice. Maybe for a guy who wanted to come out of the jasmine closet...

10:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I loved what you said about Blush Intense so much, I actualy quoted you today to someone in the comments on Fleur d'Iris! :-)

10:07 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mind you I'm a totally inexperienced perfume user but I love Colours of Love...obviously not a popular opinion given what I've read. It is quite innocent and delicate, which works for me since my nose cannot handle strong perfumes which make me nauseous...but again, I'm not a perfume connoisseur :-) As for the packaging, WHO CARES :-)

9:31 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have just been told im getting this perfum....and decided to google it. Thanks you guys, for making me dread smelling the darnthing...THANKS ALOT!! (:

3:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually love this perfume. Colours of Love is a sweet and delicate perfume, perfect for everyday and every season. I always get comments when I wear it, and it has for the last 2 years stood firm as my favorite. OK, the packaging isn't my taste either.

9:33 PM EDT  

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