Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Perfume History: Guerlain Jicky

Quoted from pages 184-185 of the book Perfume: Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin by Richard Stamelman:

Jicky, often called the first great modernist perfume, was created by Aime Guerlian (1834-1910) in 1889 and was as revolutionary a creation in the world of perfume as the Eiffel Tower constructed the same year was in the world of architecture ...

Because of its distinctive blend of synthetic and natural ingredients-head notes of lavender, bergamot, and rosewood wedded to soul notes of vanilla, coumarin, civet and opoponax-Jicky, a scent of the fougere (fern) class of perfumes, was a watershed fragrance in the history of perfumery. It symbolized "a change in attitude" toward fragrance and a radical transformation of the image system associated with scent. It was the first perfume, Philippe Guerlain, a descendant, remarks, "to combine natural and synthetic materials to create a perfume with many different facts: fresh, flowery, spicy, oriental, animalic." In the history of Guerlain perfumes it was also a bridge-scent, linking the nineteenth century to the twentieth ...

With such a fascinating and impactful year of discovery and the idea of being a "bridge scent", this fragrance has me utterly intrigued. The fact that it was created the same year as the Eiffel Tower was built seems reason enough to at least sniff. Unfortunately, it is not available where I live. I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Any regular wearers of Guerlain Jicky? Were you aware of the spectacular history surrounding it? Is that why you wear it? Or, did you love it without regard to its history?

Image source:


Divina said...

I'll send you a sample next time I am sending out packets! You have to smell Jicky!

TMH256 said...

That's very generous of you Divina! Please tell me what you think of it. And had a wonderful day!


TMH256 said...

It's too early. :-) I meant have a wonderful day, my friend.

edwardian said...

Last week I was in a Guerlain mood, so i tried, in the same day:
Jicky, Vol de Nuit, Nahema and L'Heure Blue, all in perfume concentration.
Jicky is VERY animalic on my skin, but it doesn't feel old or dated.
I don't konw if I could ever be able to wear it but if you're tired of scents aimed at teenage girls that smell like raspberry bubblegum Jicky is worth trying.

P.S. I ended up buying Vol de Nuit, which is awesome from start to finish and i fell in love with Nahema too.

Divina said...

Edwardian always has impecable taste! I love the dark Nahema! As for Jicky I adore it but sometimes it is very animalic (GOOD!) while sometimes it isn't. I haven't yet figured out what this has to do with (skin dryness, temperature or whatever) In order to describe it in just a few words I'd have to say that it is *very* close to Shalimar (true siblings) with lavender playing a prominent role. I know you are not very fond of Lavender, but Jicky is trully worth a sniff.

TMH256 said...


Thank you for your insight! From the sound of it, I probably will not like Jicky on my skin but will appreciate it either from afar or on someone else. Animalic doesn't play nice with me very often. I envy your ability to test all of those. Sounds divine and I'm glad for the Vol de Nuit recommendation!

TMH256 said...

Thanks once again, Divina! Oh, lavender. If only I LOVED it in fragrance, but alas you are right. Have a wonderful day, sweetie!

greeneyes said...

Jicky didn't do it for me. I really, really wanted it to, but like Edwardian, I ended up with Vol de Nuit as well. It's one of my favorite perfumes of all time.

chayaruchama said...

I'm not certain about either, for you- sweet girl;
Jicky is a picky, moody beauty-
[I love her, but she doesn't always play nicely].
VdN is glorious- but can be VERY dry and leathery- which I don't see you wearing happily.
L'Heure Bleue- yes; Apres L'Ondee, yes; Mahora- yes; Jardins de Bagatelle- yes; Chant d'Aromes- yes ! Guet-Apens- oh, yeah !

These two- not so much.
[ Want me to send you any of them ?]