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Friday, May 16, 2014

Coup de Foudre - Guerlains L'Heure Bleue

By Beth Schreibman Gehring

“I picked up the bottle of L’Heure Bleue and poured a generous puddle into the palm of my hand. Rubbing my hands briskly together before the scent could evaporate, I smoothed them rapidly through my hair. I poured another dollop onto my hairbrush and swept the curls back behind my ears with it.

Well. That was rather better, I thought, turning my head from side to side to examine the results in the speckled looking glass. The moisture had dissipated the static electricity in my hair, so that it floated in heavy, shining waves about my face. And the evaporating alcohol had left behind a very pleasant scent. Frank would like that, I thought. L’Heure Bleu was his favorite.”

Excerpt From: Diana Gabaldon. “Outlander.” 

Everyone who knows me at all , knows that I’ve had an obsession with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander  Series for at least the last 20 years.   There are 8 books in all beginning with the first one, entitled Outlander, which is set simultaneously in Inverness Scotland in 1945  and 1745!  This is a series that has something for everyone,  history, England , Scotland, the most outstanding love affair ever written , amazing leading men and women and yes, plenty of captivating, knee crossing , heaving bosom , heavy breathing, sweating, panting , begging sexuality.

Warning. Anyone who thought that 50 Shades of Gray was provocative is not sexually mature enough for this delicious story!

To make a long story very short (and so as to not ruin it for anyone who is interested enough to read them, a lovely young nurse in her twenties, Claire Beauchamp Randall is on a second honeymoon with her husband Frank. They’ve been separated by the war and have seen each other only 3 times in 6 years. Frank is a historian who is absolutely obsessed with his British ancestor, the monstrously awful Captain Jack (That’s Black Jack to you”) Randall.  One day, while Frank is busy researching his family tree, Claire who's an amateur botanist,  decides to goes  back to Craigh na Dun, a megalithic Scottish standing  stone circle, to pick a bit of gentian violet for her plant press.  She wanders around the circle and hears a strong buzzing noise, much like a swarm of angry bees and is quickly drawn to the cleft between two stones.  The rest is herstory!  Claire finds herself tumbling through time and into the arms of her husbands notorious relative and is rescued by a band of Scots Highlanders, and especially one,  James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, a young and exceeding wonderful although outlawed Scottish laird. 

I’m not telling you the rest. The best news is that a TV show is being made of the first book (the trailer is above so get ready to feast your eyes!) by Starz and will begin in August.  There’s also an 8th book due out in June entitled “Written in my own hearts Blood. “ Each book takes Ms. Gabaldon at least 4 years to write and they are so worth the wait!

  Claire’s signature perfume  is Guerlains magnificent L’ Heure Bleue, which is also her husband Franks favorite. It also happens to be a favorite of mine, which makes it very easy for me to channel my inner Claire Randall  at anytime. L’Heure Bleue  translates into “The Blue Hour”  or perhaps  even more appropriately , The Gloaming which is Middle English for that heady blue sky space that occurs between dusk and eve where the sun has set, but nightfall has not yet appeared.

L’Heure Bleue is what might be called a Floral/Oriental, but to me it is simply one of the most gracefully seductive perfumes that I’ve ever smelled. To begin there is exotic aniseed and bergamot and not just a little bit of Neroli , the tango of which makes  the beginnings of this perfume deceptively ephemeral but quickly L’Heure Bleue’s , becomes very exotic as the Tonka bean, Iris and Benzoin blend with its sexy vanilla heart. L’ Heure Bleue   dries down on my skin leaving a residue of boozy vanilla and musk.  When brushed through the hair as Claire does in the passage above, the chemistry created is almost unbearably sensual.

If you haven’t smelled LHB in a while I encourage you to give it a twirl again.  It requires a heart open to adventure  , romance and passion. It is not a young woman’s perfume, but then again Claire Randall  was/has never been a young woman. My only sadness is that this glorious fragrance was wasted on her absolutely useless husband Frank. 

Jamie Fraser would have been utterly spellbound by it and that’s all that I’m going to say. I'm afraid that you'll have to discover him for yourself........


Blogger Flora said...

Great review! Now I really want to read those books too.

I never totally "got" L'Heure Bleue until I smelled the vintage parfum on a friend. It blew my mind!

11:34 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

You need to read these.....they are amazing.

11:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I don't have Starzz. Oh dear! I love those books!

3:12 AM EDT  
Blogger Lainie said...

L'Heure Bleue is my favorite too, completely intoxicating and lets me imagine I'm in Paris. I want to read these books! Thanks for an inspiring post.

9:30 AM EDT  
Blogger Annina said...

I am just finishing the first book of the series right now! I love it! And L'Heure Bleue is one of my top 5 scents. That part in the book stuck with me, too.

10:06 AM EDT  
Blogger JoAnne Bassett said...

How romantic! I have not read this series of books...they sound like they are right up my alley. Vintage L'Heure Bleue is something to behold. Thank you for sharing this with us!

10:59 AM EDT  
Blogger basia77 said...

Will have to read these books. Have read other rave reviews about the series. Now that you have quoted that passage I'm hooked!

12:33 PM EDT  

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