Wednesday 21 October 2015

PURPLE FANTASY - Guerlain's 2001 Reality

Guerlain's love of the "limited edition" is nothing new, and actually some might say that the status of "limited edition" can act as a good testing ground for new fragrances. If you remember, Terracotta Le Parfum was only supposed to be available during Summer 2014, but its popularity meant that it quickly became part of the main range. Unfortunately sometimes fragrances fail to attract a following and disappear after only one outing. Jean-Paul Guerlain, as I've mentioned before, created some of the company's most popular fragrances. With an output that was so large, some of his loveliest perfumes got buried along the way. One of these was Purple Fantasy, a special release from 2001 which was another interpretation of his love for all things feminine. Always known for being ahead of his time, is Purple Fantasy a lost Jean-Paul classic that pushed too far on its first release? Let's see how it fares fourteen years later!

As a true ladies man it is fair to say that Jean-Paul loved EVERY female form. He created the most delicate interpretation in Cherry Blossom, right through to the downright sultry with Samsara, but he always returned to his ultimate challenge. He wanted to create a perfume that embodied every woman, and at the same time create his ultimate lady. Future attempts would take the route of combining fragrance families, as in Nuit d'Amour, but for Purple Fantasy he tried a more transparent interpretation of femininity.

Now, before we begin I need to say one thing regarding the information that is out there on the "world wide web" about this perfume. A lot of it is supposition and personal opinion, because very little was ever released about this fragrance. The most accurate appraisal is by Monsieur Guerlain, and he provides a wonderful description of femininity meeting sexuality. The opening impression of Purple Fantasy is one of violet enriched bergamot, but with a background of green tea. Whilst it was never mentioned at the time, you also get an expansive effect which is provided by a marine note. Very quickly a gently spiced floral comes through at the same time as the woody base. The wonderfully restrained apricot jasmine sits happily alongside Jean-Paul's cedar/sandalwood support, and both are given room to develop on top of a very secure iris foundation.

The fragrance was originally released as a 30ml EDT in a purple version of the famous Après l'Ondée bottle, and subsequently as an EDP for the launch of the Parisiennes collection in 2005. Neither version managed to gain support and each was discontinued. Described as a Citrus Fruity Floral, although the woodiness cannot be ignored, it does feel like it was out of place in 2001. However, if it was re-released in 2016? Unfortunately there are no plans to resurrect Purple Fantasy, so for now your only choice is eBay.

[Main photo courtesy of]

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