The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective

Vintage Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

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WHAT I SMELL:  This particular vintage L’Heure Bleue (why do I say it that way?  you’ll see below) eau de toilette opens with a bright and sweet bergamot and spicy anise which first goes on cool to the touch, but then warms considerably and quickly.  It smells mysterious and serious and rather mature and slightly medicinal.  This is not your Britney Spears of perfumes, but is a perfume that instead dazzles and sings with wisdom and grace.  There’s not a great deal of development as the perfume settles in to reside in a floral meld with a spicy carnation and tuberose center that is dusted with a violet powder that wraps the perfume in mysterious wisdom.

The top notes are opening with spicy-sweet aniseed and fresh bergamot that gently lead to the heart of rose, carnation, tuberose, violet, and neroli. The soft and powdery floral notes are resting on a base of vanilla, Tonka bean, iris and benzoin.

Blue silk floral applique gown by Valentino.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A romantic blue silk evening gown.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE L’HEURE BLEUE:  mild, measured, solemn

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT L’HEURE BLEUE: Kafkasesque, Bois de Jasmin, Monsieur Guerlain

BOTTOM LINE:  The review above it based on a 1980s sample received from the wonderful Undina.  It’s bright, yet serious and very powdery.. and I love it.  I recently found a 1980s unopened EdT bottle on eBay for next to nothing.  The bright top notes seemed to have faded away and unlike the version I’m writing about, it’s pretty, but much darker has much more rounded florals.  It’s nice, but it doesn’t carry the fresh feel like the sample I reviewed.  Then a couple of weeks ago I was in an antique store and found this massive Bacarrat bottle (200 ml?) of extrait from the 1930s/40s.  There was a sale at the store and I got the 1/2 filled perfume bottle for a great price.  The stopper was stuck and thanks to Mr. Freezer, I was able to dive into this treasure.  Again, after all these years, the top notes have faded, but the heart is glorious, deep, rich and very serious.  So three different versions and 3 very different perfumes.  I have to say that the light and pretty 1980s version is a dream and probably my favorite of the three.  But overall, none of the versions project on my skin.  Maybe it’s me that’s the problem?

IMG_0799This story just keeps getting longer…so about a week after I started writing the above, I felt compelled to purchase a bottle of the current version in the eau de parfum formula.  A great price added with a coupon I couldn’t refuse right?  Actually, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like it… but to my surprise I adore it.  It’s not quite as sunny as the vintage Undina sample, but it’s lighter and sweeter than my vintage EdT and parfum.  There’s a little incense in it and a little powder as it’s completely understated.  But what it defined for me, is that no matter what formula the perfume is in…my skin just eats it up and that means it has a pretty short lifespan on me.  That’s unusual for me, but I’m OK with it because I love to slather myself in any and all versions.   BTW, the new EdP layered with my old vintage EdT is divine!

  • Bone Rating:  4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Floral
  • Nose: Jacques Guerlain
  • Classification: Marketed as feminine but to me it’s very unisex
  • Expense: Prices vary for vintage versions, but the current EdP can be purchased for as low as $60 for 100 ml.

Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

17 thoughts on “Vintage Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

  1. Must smell amazing, vintage LHB layered with recent LHB!

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  2. I haven’t worn this in decades, but I do have a few samples of various formulations/vintages in The Sample Sea which I’m looking forward to trying. I think I used to be turned off by the benzoin which smells like some sort of old-timey cough syrup/skin ointment to me. Good to know you like the current EdP!

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  3. You reminded me that it’s been a while since I last wore l’HB. I own it in many different vintage versions too, and as you I’ve reached that same conclusion: all are gorgeous. I’m amazed though that it doesn’t last on you. Mostly my skin eats scent, but not so l’HB, it has a wonderful lasting sillage.
    I adore that dress! And well done you for that amazing find!

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    • I’m really surprised that this doesn’t last as well. But if I put on a shirt that I wore the day before, it’s clearly on my clothing. Fragrance usually projects really big on me. Go figure. Thankfully I have 3 bottles of this 🙂

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  4. My desert island perfume, my alpha AND omega, my head honcho, my precioussssss….. can you tell how much I love it?? I own so many different versions/iterations they have their own shelf. On me it lasts and lasts. My favorite is the vintage extrait, so deep and vibrant. 😍😍😍

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  5. That Baccarat bottle from the 1930s/1940s at a discount price… *faint* *swoon* I’m so happy for you!! Yayyyy. (And thank you for the link love.) xoxo

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    • I know how much you love your LHB. We were just getting a bite to eat in our town and I said “let’s stop in the antique store”…and there it was in perfect shape. It was meant to be 🙂 xoxoxo

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  6. I adore this one, though I’ve never smelled the vintage!

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  7. One day I might grow up enough to smell in LHB, Mitsouko or Shalimar what everybody who loves them smell. But for now I’ll enjoy your delight from the experiences. You make this perfume sound wonderful! (I wish though you would post a picture of your find) 🙂 With the number of perfumes you have now you can probably just pour out on yourself the volume that would be enough to both project and stay loner.

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    • LOL… the older I get the classics are really all that I crave. I have to admit that everything new starts to feel very “new” and uninteresting. And for you my dear, I added the picture of the extrait to the posting. Not sure why I didn’t do that before…but the bottle is gorgeous if I do say so myself!

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  8. I have always loved L’Heure Bleue but haven’t worn it in a very long time. I do have scent eating skin but I seem to remember it lasting for a while with great projection and it worked with my skin chemistry as I always received many compliments while wearing it. That Valentino dress, by the way, gorgeous!

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