Tuesday 6 October 2015

Guerlain's Fond de Cuve

When Guerlain reopened the Champs-Élysées boutique in November 2013 there was an interesting addition to their range, and one which seems to have gone largely unnoticed. This in itself is quite apt, because the first version of this product was only available if you actually worked for Guerlain.

Part of the process of making perfume is that you have to leave the final mixture to “macerate”. Quite simply, the liquid is left for about two weeks to fully combine, so that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Once this has been allowed to take place then the perfume is drained off and filtered. However, inside the vat are the remains of the perfume and this needs to be cleaned out before the next maceration, because it might not be the same fragrance. 

The way that Guerlain do this is with alcohol, and as it runs through the system it takes up the scent of any perfume that is left. What you end up with is a light “cologne” version of the fragrance that is inside. Guerlain used to bottle this and sell it to employees as Véritable Eau de Cologne Pour le Bain, but you never knew what the scent would be. It was always a surprise. Its use was as a light fragrance which could be added to a bath, or rubbed onto the skin after showering.

So, for the boutique reopening Guerlain decided to release a commercial version by Thierry Wasser, and called it Le 68 Cologne Fond de Cuve. This one though is a permanent fragrance with the scent of Bergamot, Petitgrain and Lavender. Available as a large 490ml bottle for 101€, it is definitely great value, and a wonderful way to start the day for any fan of fragrance.

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