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October 24, 2005

Fragrance review: Guerlain Attrape-Coeur / Guet-Apens

Guetapens

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

Star rating: 5 stars--outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars--very good, 3 stars--adequate, 2 stars--disappointing, 1 star--poor.

Iris petals caught in the frozen gold of amber lend a jewel-like aspect to Attrape-Coeur. First released as a limited edition in 1999 under the name of Guet-Apens, the fragrance was created by Mathilde Laurent. However, in 2005, it was added to the permanent line under the name of Attrape-Coeur.

A classical element of the composition is given by its combination of rose and violet, which conjure an association with old-fashioned lipstick. The smooth opaque current that runs through the composition seems to be illuminated by the interplay of woody notes. Layered with iris, woods take on a dark violet character, while attaining a creamy sandalwood tonality, when touched by a luscious plumy rose. ...

Transparent amber preserves the luminous beauty of floral notes, freezing them into a scintillating arrangement that never seems to be static, either highlighting a dark fruity aspect of rose or a metallic violet facet of iris. A gentle drizzle of vanilla liqueur is first noticeable in the heart of the composition where it lends a delicious sweetness, yet later it deepens to a soft smoky feel.

In characterizing the composition one cannot help noticing that it is a distillation of classical tradition, on the one hand, and of modern abstraction, on another. Over the course of development one is taken from the vintage romanticism of powdery florals and the elegant dry richness of woods to the restrained sensuality of amber. It is abstract by never managing to conjure with precision a particular note as found in nature, yet it is classical in presenting these abstractions in a traditional sequential form of a grand parfum.

Currently, the fragrance is exclusive to 68 Champs Elysées boutique, however it can be ordered by emailing Antoine-Olivier Metz, the store manager, at [email protected] Supposedly, some of the exclusive fragrance will be featured in the new Bergdorf Goodman Guerlain boutique in New York, and Attrape-Coeur might join their ranks.

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