The Guerlain sample I pulled today was one that I tried and liked in the Las Vegas boutique, Frenchy Lavande. This version was launched under that name in 2021, but it is basically the same as Le Frenchy, which was launched in 2017. Like a few others, it was renamed and moved into the collection “L’Art et la Matière”. It is called an “aromatic fougère”, so classified largely because of the central role that lavender plays, but others have called it a citrusy aromatic. Fragrantica lists its notes as: Top notes, Lemon Verbena, Lemon and Bergamot; middle notes, Petitgrain, Lavender, Citron, Sage and Neroli; base notes, Ambergris, Vetiver and Tonka Bean. Eddie Bulliqi reviewed it and Herbes Troublantes recently for Fragrantica: “Herbs for Winter; Guerlain’s Frenchy Lavande and Herbes Troublantes.”
The opening is lovely, and even my nearby husband looked up and commented, “That’s really nice, what is it?”. While the opening notes are in fact very citrusy, I also smell lavender right away. The lemon and lemon verbena are more prominent than the bergamot, and the lemon verbena adds a distinctly herbal tint to the lemon and lavender. I can’t pinpoint the moment when lemon gives way to citron, but I can say that the partnership of citrus and lavender continues in the middle phase. I only get glimmers of sage, and the neroli is a latecomer to this stage, at least to my nose. It gradually replaces the lavender, as the fragrance moves toward its base notes. Vetiver continues the aromatic, herbal aspect of Frenchy Lavande. I can’t really distinguish the ambergris and tonka bean accords, just that the base slowly becomes warmer and less herbal.
Believe it or not, there is actually a blog called “The Traveling Frenchy” by a young woman named Alex, and in it she has posted a guide to visiting the lavender fields in Provence. I highly recommend it if you are thinking of seeking out French lavender fields; she gives very specific information on the locales she prefers, and even lists particular villages and roads.
Ultimately, though I like Frenchy Lavande very much, it is a bit like Herbes Troublantes in reminding one of a cologne, although it is in a eau de parfum format. I wouldn’t say that it is much nicer than my Jicky eau de toilette or even that it lasts longer; and it certainly costs a lot more. Bottom line: if you want a Guerlain lavender, I recommend Jicky. In fact, that may be my next Guerlain purchase, from its reissue of several Guerlain classics in the collection “Les Legendaires”.
Do you have a favorite lavender-centric fragrance?