L'Heure Bleue Vintage Extrait and Eau de Parfum (Guerlain)

I shall come back without fanfaronade
Of wailing wind and graveyard panoply;
But, trembling, slip from cool Eternity-
A mild and most bewildered little shade.
I shall not make sepulchral midnight raid,
But softly come where I had longed to be
In April twilight's unsung melody,
And I, not you, shall be the one afraid.

Strange, that from lovely dreamings of the dead
I shall come back to you, who hurt me most.
You may not feel my hand upon your head,
I'll be so new and inexpert a ghost.
Perhaps you will not know that I am near-
And that will break my ghostly heart, my dear.

--Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)
L'Heure Bleue -- that heart-breakingly beautiful dirge of a perfume -- has numbered amongst my favorites from the earliest days of my perfumistahood. But as time passes, what I find most astonishing about it is not its fabled tears and twilight. Like its sister scent Après L'Ondée, L'Heure Bleue makes a dramatic entrance with its shiver-inducing fanfare of anise, neroli, and heliotrope. For those who prefer tragedy to comedy, that's all very well. But what L'Heure has that L'Ondée does not is a sturdy base of pure animalic raunch-- an unmistakeable whiff of sex beneath those widow's weeds. One divines that her diaphanous shrouds are temporary; mentally, spiritually, and above all physically, she is too well-anchored to Mother Earth to lose herself in the incorporeal world of eternal bereavement.

Mourn she may, but not for long-- and not alone.

Scent Elements: Bergamot, aniseed, carnation, neroli, orange blossom, iris, violet, jasmine, heliotrope, ylang-ylang, Bulgarian rose, tuberose, vanilla, benzoin, tonka bean, incense, musk