L’ Instant de Guerlain: Reformulation of a Timeless Scent
Perfumes Hall of fame is a new series in which I will be discussing some remarkable, timeless and note-worthy fragrances throughout history. We want to shed light on the perfumes whose releases marked a milestone in their respective era. And what better perfume to start the series with if not L’instant de Guerlain Eau de Parfum and how it changed with time.
First of all, I am not spilling any beans when I say that Guerlain is the one designer most worthy of being called Niche. Guerlain’s releases are somewhat the most unique releases of all designer releases and their creations are second-to-none in terms of creativity and originality. They created some very special DNAs, like the L’homme Ideal line, the Les Absolus de Orient line, and of course the historically remarkable L’ Instant De Guerlain.
L’Instant De Guerlain EDP was released in 2005 by Béatrice Piquet as a flanker to the 2004 L’Instant de Guerlain Eau de Toilette. The fragrance starts off with a fresh, yet warm opening. It utilizes the freshness of lemon and bergamot along with the calmness and uniqueness of the star anise, which is the main essence of the perfume. The heart does not take long to jump in, introducing the delicious Cocoa note and some cheery Jasmin. The dry down is sort of powdery with the elegant sandalwood and the masculine Patchouli. The perfume smells very warm and cozy and is highly regarded as a very elegant fragrance.
Regarding reformulations, the bottle of this iconic scent has seen three different changes, and Reformulations were highly acclaimed in each case. The first bottle was 75 ml with dark edges with the word ‘eau extreme’. It is regarded as the rarest, the best, and the most gracious. It marks the initial releases from 2005 until the beginning of 2014. The character that distinguishes this first formula is the prominent Cocoa note rather than the Patchouli and the star anise. You will smell little-to-no citrus in the opening which might be due to the aging and the maceration of the perfume.
The next Reformulation arrived in a bottle with transparent edges, which ran in circulation for only a part of 2014. Some fans, including me, regard this release as the best possible formula since it favors the Patchouli and star anise over the Cocoa, but to the average consumers, they will find almost zero differences between the the dark edged bottle and the transparent one.
Then, we have the 100 ml bottle which was released in 2015. This formula is a little bit different as the citrus is clear in the opening and the Cocoa note is tuned down in comparison to the old formulas. The performance is also about 90% of the old bottles’ performance. In 2022, new bottles were introduced to the backlog, which looked somewhat like the L’homme Ideal line bottles. Sadly, I have not tried them yet.
Now, for the question of the hour; is it worth looking for the old formulations or should you settle for the new formula? My answer is that you should settle for the new release since it captures the essence of the perfume. If you have not tried the old formula, you are not missing out on much. However, if you can get your hands on the old formula for a reasonable price, do not hesitate and grab those old edged 75 ml bottles or at least show me where to get them!
The performance of L’instant De Guerlain EDP is very decent in terms of longevity. It has quite the reasonable sillage but does not project in a nuclear way, which deems the fragrance very suitable for office use and intimate situations. The trick to get the best performance is to use the perfume in cold weather as it does not suit hot climates at all. The perfume suits middle aged men and it has a lot of character to it. That’s why I think it is worthy of being considered as a signature scent, and it is regarded by many frag heads as one of the best perfumes ever created.
Have you tried L’instant de Guerlain Eau de Parfum? Do you think it is worth the hype or is it just old and outdated? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.