Scented Advent, December 13

Scented Advent, December 13

In a total change of direction, today’s Guerlain sample is a 2021 addition to “L’Art et la Matière”, Herbes Troublantes, by Thierry Wasser. Apparently, it used to be a cologne called Un Dimanche À La Campagne. This new version, an eau de parfum, is categorized as a “citrus aromatic”, and is it ever! The first word that came to my mind when I dabbed it on my wrists was “zingy”. It has a very fresh, green, bergamot-dominant opening. Luckily, I quite like bergamot; in fact, I like it a lot.

Once the bergamot fades into the background, a neroli accord appears, with unspecified “green notes.” Like bergamot, it is fresh, green, slightly bitter, aromatic, and very much a citrus note, but it also has the floral aspect of orange blossom. At this stage, Herbes Troublantes becomes softer, though it is still very aromatic in a green citrus kind of way; and if pressed to name the green herbs, I would choose lemongrass or lemon basil. The only base note identified for it is white musk, which to my nose means that it just gets softer and more reminiscent of clean linen. The overall impression I get from Herbes Troublantes is that of a citrusy herb, perhaps like lemongrass or even citronella (the plant, not the oil). It’s very pleasant and I think I would like it on my husband.

Clumps of green lemongrass
Clumps of lemongrass; image from Rural Sprout.

The name of this fragrance is intriguing: it means “disturbing grasses (or herbs)”. Really, there’s nothing disturbing at all about Herbes Troublantes. It succeeds in its goal of capturing the spirit of a cologne, in eau de parfum concentration. It lasts longer than a cologne, of course, but I don’t think it lasts as long as other scents in the collection.

What do you think of the idea of evoking a cologne in an eau de parfum? Wasn’t that the whole concept behind Atelier Cologne? now sadly no longer distributed in North America although one can still find it to buy online.