Philtre d’Amour is unusual for a contemporary Guerlain: it smells like it belongs in their earlier catalogue, alongside Shalimar, L’Heure Bleue, Jicky, and Mitsouko, yet is just a little more than a decade old. Considering it alongside the L’Art et la Matière collection, it stands out in stark contrast. When I recently met with a fellow perfumista (Hello Alyssa!), I described Philtre as the smell of “coming home” to Perfume with a capital “P”.
I love the way Philtre bursts into a fizzy tete-a-tete on my skin when it hits it: it tingles the nose like a fresh can of ginger-ale before settling in to the floral heart, and those citrus notes last an astonishingly long time before the second and third act appear; but when they do, it gets even better— the vibe is cool and dry, a little austere, yet easy to wear. It’s a modern chypre, and I think, unusually, it does honor to the chypre tradition.
No small feat.