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 ...if I had used as much vanilla, I would have only obtained one English cream, while him, Jacques Guerlain, created SHALIMAR !...

                                                                            Ernest Beaux


In 1828, Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain opened his first shop on Rue de Rivoli in Paris, he created different perfumes for each client. In 1840, he moved into premises on the rue de la Paix, a very fashionable place and composed of custom fragrances for many personalities. Assisted by his two sons, Aimé and Gabriel, he acquired a great reputation and became the official supplier of the Queen of Belgium.
In 1853, l’EAU DE COLOGNE IMPERIALE, dedicated to the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, earned him the patent of "Royal Supplier". The bottle is decorated with the imperial bees ornamented with gold, it is still made today.

Eau Impériale
Below the family tree of the Guerlain family
Arbre généalogique de la famille Guerlain

Eau de Cologne du Coq

On the death of Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain, the functions of manager and creator were divided between his two sons Gabriel and Aimé. Aimé took control the creation of new fragrances. In 1884, FLEUR D’ITALIE, in 1885, SKINE and 1887, ROCOCO. In 1889, the creation of "JICKY" transported Guerlain perfume in a new era of modernity. Gabriel designed the bottle in honor of his father with a cap representing a champagne cork. After "JICKY" Aimé created EXCELLENCE in 1890, BELLE-FRANCE in 1892 and CIPRICIME, EAU DE COLOGNE DU COQ in 1894.

Aprés l'ondée
In 1895, Jacques Guerlain (son of Gabriel) created JARDIN DE MON CURE. In 1900, it was VOILA POURQUOI J’AIMAIS ROSINE and in 1904, CHAMPS ELYSEES with its Baccarat crystal bottle in the form of tortoise. APRES L’ONDEE always sold by Guerlain, was launched in 1906.

In 1912, Jacques Guerlain taken the succession of Aime and created the l’HEURE BLEUE. This perfume evoked the Jacques’ favorite time of day, when he said, "The sun has set, the night has not fallen yet. It's time suspended. The hour when man is at last in harmony with the world of light". The bottle was designed by Raymond Guerlain.

MITSOUKO ("Mystery" in Japanese) will be launched in 1919.

L'Heure Bleue


In 1925, at the time of the exhibition of decorative arts, SHALIMAR win a huge success. The creation of this fragrance is a great chance. It is said that Jacques Guerlain, would shed a few drops of synthetic vanilla in the bottle of perfume JICKY "just to see" and he created SHALIMAR. Shalimar the name of the beautiful garden in Srinagar that Shah Jahan created in honor of his late wife.


Shalimar (Version transparent cap)

In 1929, creation of "Liu", the bottle in black crystal will be inspired by a Chinese tea box.

In 1933, Jacques Guerlain designed a new fragrance: VOL DE NUIT, in honor of Antoine de Saint-Exupery and the company Air France.

Vol de Nuit

Victims of bombing during World War II, Guerlain’s factories remained silent in the years that followed. At the liberation, the American soldiers did line up at the shop on the Champs-Elysees to offer their fiancée a little air of Paris.

In 1955, Jacques Guerlain created his latest fragrance ODE with the assistance of his grandson, Jean Paul (18 years), heir to the "perfume tester".

photo des guerlains préparant un parfum
Jean Paul Guerlain and his grandfather

The Guerlain' Shop

Jean-Paul Guerlain created the Guerlain’s fragrances since 1956. In 1959, he composed VETIVER and in 1962, CHANT D’AROMES.

Jean-Paul Guerlain is an avid equestrian who has even horses. In 1965, it was to honor the red-coated horsemen he created HABIT ROUGE, his second men's fragrance.

Chant d'Arômes

In 1969, Raymond Guerlain composed CHAMADE, his latest creation a year before dying. Launch of L’EAU DE GUERLAIN in 1974, Jean-Paul Guerlain created PARURE in 1975 in honor of his mother, FIRST in 1976, SILENCES in 1978.



ITo create NAHEMA in 1979, Jean-Paul Guerlain was inspired by Catherine Deneuve. JARDINS DE BAGATELLE in 1983, DERBY in 1985, it was in homage to Dacia de Pauw, his muse for twenty years, he created in 1989 SAMSARA (Samsara in Sanskrit means "wheel life "), the red bottle, color of the sacred in the East, created by sculptor Robert Granai, takes the figure of a Khmer dancer in the Musee Guimet and the glass stopper is intended symbol of meditation. In 1996, launch of UN AIR DE SAMSARA and CHAMPS ELYSEES.
Robert Granai drew all the Guerlain bottles since 1959 including that of "CHAMPS ELYSÉES". "PETIT GUERLAIN" fragrance using mandarin, jasmine, bergamot, chamomile and mint born in 1994. In 1997, Guerlain launched a new version of "VEGA" (released for the first time in 1936) in a limited edition bottle manufactured by Baccarat. In 1998, to celebrate 170 years of the brand, Jean-Paul Guerlain created "GUERLINADE"! This eau de parfum is available in a limited edition bottle inspired by a bronze vase of Nepal.
Guerlain is the only brand that uses 80% natural raw materials. Jean-Paul Guerlain travels the world seeking the finest raw materials for the composition of its perfumes.

Guerlain likes perfumes marking an event : in 1999, the perfumer created ephemeral lines for a season such as the eau de toilette thrush for May 1st, TERRACOTA for the summer, BELLE EPOQUE for the 150th anniversary Harrod's in London and CHERRY BLOSSON for the national festival of cherry trees in Japan in 2000, PHILTRE D'AMOUR for Valentine's Day, and to attract a younger clientele, Guerlain opened in 1999 a first in the history of perfumery, five scented water AQUA ALLEGORIA, designed by Jean-Paul Guerlain. In 2000, the range is extended with a new flavor called FLORIA NEROLIA.

Belle Epoque

That same year, Guerlain initiate TOO MUCH a reinterpretation of CHAMPS-ELYSÉES and METEORITE, a fragrance inspired by the make-up line of the same name.

Météorites Perles

Today, if the parent company is controlled by LVMH, she strives to stay true to its roots and its history. Thierry WASSER is chosen as successor as “perfume tester”, he retains the role of advice but has no decision-making role.

Thierry Wasser and Jean-Paul Guerlain

In September 2003, launch of the perfume L'INSTANT DE GUERLAIN, created by Maurice Roucel and the following year, the men's version is developed by Beatrice Piquet and Sylvaine Delacourte.

L'Instant de Guerlain

In 2006 the collection "The Parisians" is placing on the market (re-release of eight fragrances that were no longer on sale).

In 2007, the perfume L'INSTANT MAGIC and MY INSOLENCE are created.

In 2008, 180th anniversary of the Guerlain company and launch of the perfume HOMME.

In 2009, launch of the fragrance IDYLLE CREATION. That same year Delphine Jelk composed LA PETITE ROBE NOIRE which will be distributed in boutiques Guerlain in a Limited Edition. In March 2012, LA PETITE ROBE NOIRE is launched commercially in the world. This new version is made by the official "perfume tester" of Guerlain, Thierry Wasser. The fragrance is based on fruity notes of black cherry and bergamot. The name of this fragrance was chosen in homage to the creation of Coco Chanel. Christian Dior said in speaking of this creation : "A little black dress is an essential part of the wardrobe of a woman !". The shape of the bottle is the same as that of perfumes L'HEURE BLEUE and MITSOUKO. Advertising spot perfume LA PETITE ROBE NOIRE, click here

Do you know ? :

Since the first shop in the Rue de Rivoli, in 1828, Guerlain has produced over 300 fragrances.

At its inception, Mr. Guerlain has been shunned by his first perfumes distributors in Paris? They intimated him that his perfumes were worthless. In spite, Mr. Guerlain had sworn not to be distributed by itself in the Capital. Guerlain family has followed this principle that was applied until 1999.
(thank you to Marie-Laure having provided me this story).

To explain the rules of his profession, Jean-Paul Guerlain, who just bow out, has written a book on his travels "Roads of my perfumes" by Editions du Cherche Midi.

The motto of the founder of Guerlain was : "Glory is fleeting, lasting only Fame".

Pyramide olfactive de Shalimar
Composition de "Shalimar"

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