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Guerlain Insolence: History of the Perfume

Sunday, 13 December 2009

guerlain insolenceThe Insolence fragrance was created by Guerlain, a brand with a long history of legendary perfumes.  Though Insolence was launched recently, in 2006, it has gained phenomenal popularity almost immediately. Despite a very young age - only three years - Guerlain Insolence may well claim the title of one of the most famous fragrances in the world or at least one of the finest specimens of powdery perfumes.

The fragrance was created by Maurice Roucel, the «author» of a number of popular scents, including Gucci Envy, Donna Karan Be Delicious, Roberto Cavalli Oro, and Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist. Guerlain Insolence is a totally traditional fragrance, despite its rather original composition; In a break away from the traditional pyramid structure, Insolence is contructed around the first olfactive spiral. Rather than a slow progression from head to base, the notes spiral and continue to circulate so that your favourite notes remain prominent from flight to finish. However, this approach is not revolutionary - the famous Chanel Allure was built using the same «coil principle». However, there is a delicate and soft violet waiting for you in the top notes, followed by red-fruits cocktail with raspberry domination. The heart is floral-sweet, composed of violet, rose, and orange blossom. At the end, sweet raisins and balsams together have joined iris and Tonka bean to round the composition.

Although traditionally the fragrances featuring violet notes are considered to be «adult», Guerlain Insolence from the onset was marketed as new bold fragrance for young women. The face of perfume is the movie star Hilary Swank, the Oscar-winner for the main role in the 'Million Dollar Baby' film. This move was intended to attract young women and girls, and it worked! This perfume surprised the Guerlain perfumes fans, as it is rather unusual, modern and fruity sweet. But Guerlain was not afraid to surprise, and even provoke. The design of the half-sphere bottle for Guerlain Insolence, decorated with a large ornamental rose, was developed by the famous Serge Mansau who designed the exquisite bottles for the famous perfume and cosmetics brands including Kenzo, Rochas, Escada, and Faberlic to name a few.

However, the seeming novelty of Guerlain Insolence is quite misleading, as the fragrance subtly evokes a vintage Guerlain scent, L'Apres Ondee, created back in 1906. In Roucel's words, Insolence is his answer to Guerlain's own pearl, Apres l'Ondee, which the perfumer names to be among his absolute favourite fragrances. Once the berry fizz of Insolence begins to dissipate, the cold, transparent flower--half-iris, half-violet--of Apres l'Ondee begins to take form. Here, Roucel again adds his own special touch-a languid, indolic shimmer of orange blossom. Its melting warmth is underscored with a green note, which lends it a fresh touch.

Insolence is a curious study of contrasts. Upon the first inhale, the fragrance bursts into shades of Barbie doll pink, which would no doubt surprise a die-hard Guerlain lover. However, after a wild strawberry tinged 15 minutes, the composition pirouettes into an elegant heart dominated by violet, which rests on a creamy base of musk and woods. Overall, the top notes of Insolence are the least Guerlain aspect of the perfume. After all, the classical fragrances do not feature heavy fruit notes, which as Insolence's creator Maurice Roucel explained, is due to the fact that they were not considered sophisticated. A touch of peach in Mitsouko or a drizzle of plum liquor in Parure is the most one can expect from the classics. On the other hand, the hot strawberry of Insolence is vivid and persistent.

Insolence is plush and curvy, revealing the seductive themes that Roucel explored in his other fragrances, from Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur to Rochas Tocade. The parfum concentration especially heightens the seductive richness of musk and woods, while the Eau de Toilette remains more transparent. In either concentration, the fragrance is remarkably tenacious, with a strong and distinctive sillage.

In the three years that passed after its initial presentation, Guerlain Insolence has become one of the most popular Guerlain fragrances, and, traditionally, many flanking products exploiting the success of the original concept were launched, including My Insolence, Insolence Eau de Parfum and Insolence Eau Glacee released earlier this year.

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