Pierre Guillaume: La Collection Croisière (2015) - Part I

Among the boatloads of crap I've tested at the Esxence tradeshow a month ago or so, I wasn't able to give a proper sniff to this new line by the unnecessarily prolific French perfumer Pierre Guillaume. I've got the samples later from a friend. Here's my take on the first 4 scents of the line - other 4 will land in perfume shops around September, a "Part II" relating to this post will hopefully come by then (I briefly smelled them at Esxence and I only recall a hilariously bad leather-asphalt scent).


And here’s the only other decent scent from this half-baked new line by Pierre Guillaume (the other was Long Courrier – which I honestly prefer way over this, see below). Straight to the point, Jangala is decent at least for the first couple of hours, for two main and kind of obvious reasons: it smells nice until it can, and it is fairly creative. If making a “creative rewriting” of tropical-aquatic clichés was the aim of this new line, Jangala almost made it. Definition-wise this would be in my opinion a sort of green-fruity-woody scent with a mineral-watery texture, like pretty much any other of this line, but this and Long Courrier are basically the only ones able to add something to it - something I can’t honestly define. I think it simply “works” and succeeds in avoiding any “tropical shower gel/sun cream” effect. There is a bitter-sweet juxtaposition going on which makes Jangala really intriguing at first: something lightly sugary, plushy and pleasantly creamy (coconut, sandalwood) perfectly coexisting with a fresher, sharper, slightly pungent balsamic-citric sour top accord, both embracing a cozy and exotic “tropical” blend of ginger, herbs (that olive leaves thing), something floral, woods and fruity notes (I guess still coconut and the rest of the pyramid) with a decided ozonic-metallic and weightless “glassy” vibe that keeps it all on the fresh-watery and “grey-azure” side. Nothing overly exotic or weird, as it nearly reminds me of some ginger-woody masculine designers (from Envy to YSL L’Homme) with a brighter, coconut-balsamic-breezy twist. But still, fun and fascinating overall.

Besides working fine, I also like how Guillaume managed to keep the blend seemingly natural making a clever use of materials, at least for the initial phase (long enough to convince retailers and distributors at tradeshows to get some stocks, I guess). Sadly though, all of that you just read works for me for a couple of hours, before Jangala starts collapsing into a sort of cheaper, harshly pungent citronnel-infused woody-ozonic-herbal drydown now showing the actual quality of some components (in other words, smelling a bit more openly synthetic and flat). Still not completely bad, but well... Surely worse than it seemed at first for me. Despite this, personally I would still consider Jangala an interesting, decently creative and almost solid “watery balsamic coconut cocktail” with a disappointing – not hideous, just disappointing - drydown. Still surely among the best you can get in this genre – just keep reapplying it and avoid the crap drydown.



Paris Seychelles

To cut it short, Paris Seychelles lazily and mutely follows the endless, cheaper line of green-white floral scents with a “milky sun cream” vibe, starting from Jil Sander’s Sun, ending with any 0,99 pennies sun cream. That’s it, and it adds nothing to that: the floral notes smell boringly “white” with no particularly features of interest, the same for coconut and the green notes. Flat, cheaply glossy, annoyingly plastic. I’d rate this higher if it wasn’t for its hilariously pretentious price, but I can’t really judge fragrances “per se” without taking into account the cost. This costs 160 EUR while it’s rather something a tasteless Texan lady with a penchant for “Fràààànce” may actually buy at the Seychelles - for 10 EUR at the local airport’s duty free with a complimentary daisy chain.



Entre Ciel et Mer

The name fits the scent, in the least fascinating meaning possible. There is indeed a salty aquatic base, and there is a decided “airy” breezy-green feel well completed by pastel, slightly creamy notes of fruits and something musky similar to ambergris. I also get some floral notes which I don’t see in the composition, like ylang and lys, but maybe they’re just some side-nuances of some whatever aromachemicals have been used here. The problem for me is that, briefly put, anything here in my opinion smells flat, synthetic and uninspired. By this I mean – and I really mean that, no exaggeration – that I personally smell no big difference with any “sea-fruity-floral” shower gel or deodorant, to any extent; the notes, the concept, the composition, the quality on skin. This is precisely more or less what pretty much any “insert cheap sea-exotic name here” shower gel leaves on your skin. Up to you to decide if the 150 eur price gap is enough to justify a bit more sillage and longevity.



... and yes, after all, we've a winner:

Long Courrier

Easily the nicest scent for me among these four new offerings of “La Collection Croisière” by Guillaume, together with Jangala. For three main reasons: it smells nice, quality, and creative. Basically Long Courrier is a really peculiar sort of talc-powdery “fresh” gourmand with a salty-aquatic texture, which manages to blend brilliantly all the nicest features of all these diverse inspirations; the dusty, nutty and masterfully tamed down sweetness of a gourmand (mostly cacao here) which bears also a really light sort of boozy-almondy note, then an evocative and totally compelling watery-aquatic feel, and cozy talc-amber-floral powderiness which connects Long Courrier to the great tradition of Oriental powdery scents, from Villoresi’s Teint de Neige to Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant, with a subtle “guerlinade” underneath providing an elegant touch of classicism to the overall laid-back “sunny exoticism” of this scent. Now imagine this, with a truly remarkable watery texture that is basically limited to an aqueous-salty-musky note, subtle but more than enough to change the entire mood and bring in a “seaside” feel, pleasantly refreshing the musky-powdery-gourmand side. And giving it a truly unique look. The whole blend smells really classy, much distinctive and cleverly composed, and it also shows a really nice evolution which slowly brings Long Courrier to a woodier, drier territory. The sillage is quite discreet, which is good, but the persistence seems a bit too short for me. Still overpriced for me even taking into account it is a nice scent, but bottle-worthy in case of (massive) discounts.


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