Playing dress-up: Guerlain Insolence

Your host, front and center, at a ballet recital in 1985: Charming!

Ooohh gods. I wish I could say what this reminds me of… something from my past, from my childhood… a shampoo… Aussie shampoo! That’s what it is! A plasticky-pink-mess that is kind of fabulous.
When I was seven or eight, I had this pair of high-heels that were made of plastic. They were a grayish-brown color, and I loved to stomp around the house in them. I’d load myself up in makeup, style my hair, douse myself in a combination of Love’s Baby Soft and whatever I found on my mother’s bureau, and then pose. There are tons of pictures of me during this period, which is not surprising since I waltzed around demanding people take pictures of me. But that’s another story, for me and my therapist.

Insolence reminds me of that period. Fabulously trashy, yet innocent… a little girl’s idea of what a grown-up lady is. It probably belongs under “Things I Hate,” but I don’t have the heart. This perfume is terrible, but I think I love it.

Ad copy is fun. For your reading pleasure:


The radiance of a surprising, free, daring femininity. Everything about her is free, the world is her oyster. If the choices she makes are not the ones others would make, no matter. She moves forward, her fragrance trail in her wake.
This extreme freedom, indifference to commentary, spontaneity and even her excesses make her magnificent. She is who she is; she is irresistibly set against prejudice and convention and is unafraid to be unreasonable. Her motto: “Whoever loves me will follow!”.
—from the official Guerlain website

Actually, that sounds a lot like me at eight years old.

23 thoughts on “Playing dress-up: Guerlain Insolence

  1. Trashy yet innocent, Perfect.

    The other day in the hair salon, I was struck by the smell of the Kerastase shampoo. It took me a while but I realized it smelled like a perfume I wore in the 80s, Byblos. I bought a bottle just for that.

    1. Hahha, that’s awesome! Smells from the past can be so comforting—even when (as in my case) they’re kinda awful.

      I’m glad you went for the Kerastse—I hope it brings you happy memories every time you lather, rinse, or repeat 😉

  2. That’s the great thing about Insolence, it conveys a care-free attitude all in a cloud of berries and hairspray. For such a modern scent it’s suprisingly ‘Guerlain’ in it’s style.

  3. Now it is my turn to sing “Getting to know you…”. I was exactly like you at that age, in Ballet too and always playing dress up and posing and performing for my audience (consisting of my mom and the cat). In my mind I won many an Oscar and was the next bright star on broadway. 😉
    Now look at us! Thank you Insolence for bringing it all back! 🙂

  4. Love the pic Dee, what a smile! (Especially compated to that poor girl to your left).

    You really can’t take Insolence seriously – like that ad copy. Still pondering what “surprising feminity” might mean and as for the motto “Whoever loves me will follow” LOL! I do agree with your verdict on it though, it’s sort of harmless fun.

    Glad it brings back happy memories for you.

    1. LMAO! That “poor girl” to my left? Poor all of them! I was a force to be reckoned with—that was MY show, and everybody else better look out. 😉

      I was an advertising major for a few years (before I came to my senses) and even I can barely wade through the BS of that copy… but it captures a kind of incoherent fun that actually fits the fragrance pretty well!

  5. You’ve nailed the top note for me–cheap, almost incomprehensibly cheap red fruit accord. I do not get it how it was done this way and why. It really spoils the perfume for me, which after this stage is quite good.

    Your review made me laugh out loud on the train! I could not help it. Thank you! 🙂

  6. That is a truly terrible shade of purple, but you manage to look cute in it! Playing with our mother’s stuff is such fun – in my case, the memories are…er…a little older / harder to recall.

    : – )

    1. Vanessa, it amazes me when I look back through the years of photos at the outfits we were required to wear for dance class—what were those people thinking? 😉

  7. Two or three of those little girls look like they are eyeing you rather jealously. Can’t say as I blame them: you were quite shiny and pretty, and having seen the recent photo in your profile, you are even more beautiful now.

    I’ve come across your name at some of the blogs I visit, and though I always think, hmm — can I really add another blog to my reading list? — the answer, of course, is yes, I must. Will look forward to future visits here!

    1. Suzanne, thank you for your thoughtful compliment! Happiness brings a kind of beauty with it, and I always look for (and usually find) happiness where ever I happen to be 🙂

      I’m honored that you’ve found BoTO worth checking out! Us perfume bloggers are creating quite the cacophony, with so many voices: it’s the most lovely fracas!

  8. oh man! the smell of that stuff triggers memories of my father and (ex)step-mother’s guest bathroom and all the books i use to read while taking a bath there.

    as for the pic, you did not have to tell us which one you are. the girl on your left however, is making a distinct mr. howe face while the girl on the upper right is clearly summoning her inner rev. anderson.

    1. Laughing my ASS off! And so did Matt, when I told him which little girl was channeling him. I heartily agree that miss upper-right is channeling her inner reverend anderson 😉


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