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sexta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2016

Shop Your Fragrance Wardrobe: Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle

by: Jodi Battershell

Welcome to the first article in a new series on Fragrantica, Shop Your Fragrance Wardrobe, in which our writers will explore fragrances they've owned for some time but seldom wear. Will an old favorite will be "rediscovered" and fallen in love with all over again? Will the writers find their preferences have changed with time and experience? Join us for the journey and share your experiences of revisiting old favorites.
Marie Kondo's Spark Joyavailable on Amazon

The economic downturn of the last few years, along with a growing interest in sustainability, has prompted many fashionistas to begin "shopping their closets." If you follow any men's or women's fashion blogs, you've no doubt encountered a number of posts in which fashion lovers pull out garments they've had for awhile and perhaps forgotten about. The goal is to see if a fashion "want" or "need" can be met with a piece of clothing they already own, as well as to see if an older piece that's seldom worn ought to be kept. It's such a huge trend that there are now people who make their living as consultants and stylists, guiding people through the closet-shopping (and de-cluttering) process. In the words of organization expert and author Marie Kondo, items that no longer "spark joy" should be thanked for their service and passed on to a new home.
I was curious about applying this concept to fragrances. Like many of you, I have a fragrance wardrobe that has grown large and unwieldy over the years, plus the constant sniffing of "new and now" for Fragrantica editorial purposes means many older scents in my collection are no longer in rotation. Some scents haven't been worn in so long that I admit, I've largely forgotten how they smelled. Having had the opportunity to sniff so many fragrances the last few years, I have definitely found my tastes have changed and that some old favorites no longer "spark joy" when I finally manage to circle back and wear them again. This week, I'm exploring a Guerlain fragrance that I've owned for five years.

I seem to be in the minority as a perfumista who does not love Guerlain. Granted, I don't hate them, either, but many of their classic fragrances that make others swoon, such as JickyShalimar and Samsara, do not sit well with me. When both my husband AND my father took a shine to Habit Rouge, I thought I would choke to death on its vanilla chalk dust aroma. Somehow I fought through my initial aversion to the musty aroma of oakmoss (and it's now a treasured note for me) and fell in love withMitsouko. I also have a friendly relationship with L'Heure Bleue. In general, though, I've found the newer creations of Guerlain more to my liking: Champs-Elysées,InsolenceIdylleTerracotta Le Parfum
With 296 fragrances and counting, there are of course many scents from Guerlain that I have not yet had a chance to try. Back in Nebraska, and even here in Philadelphia, the department stores that carry Guerlain seem to carry just a handful of their most popular scents, many of which I already know are not for me. Thus, a visit to the flagship boutique was not a high priority when I visited Paris in 2010, but the Guerlain boutique at Galeries Lafayette presented an opportunity to try many of the fragrances in person. One of the scents that charmed me that day (after a long day already filled with too much perfume-sniffing) was Jardins de Bagatelle. No Guerlain fragrances came home with me on that trip, but in 2011, I did a swap to get a half-full bottle of Jardins de Bagatelle Eau de Parfum, in the old square bottle with the removable golden cage.
I loved the bottle and wore the fragrance a lot after the swap. It had (and still has!) massive sillage and lasts 12+ hours on me. Two tiny squirts are more than enough for a workday wearing, which makes it an economical purchase that a buyer can expect to last for years. It always brings compliments form my husband when I wear it. For these reasons, it survived the Great Fragrance Purge I did as I prepared to move from Nebraska to Philadelphia in 2012. Nonetheless, the fragrance hasn't been worn much in the last few years. I briefly contemplated getting rid of it a year ago, but as I polished up the beautiful bottle and spritzed a bit on my wrist, I couldn't bring myself to let it go. It languished again for nearly a year, until I brought it out last week and wore it to work.
If I have a sure-fire fragrance category, it's probably the florals. Even the ones that are not quite my taste generally smell pleasant to me. Having owned and loved Fracasand multiple bottles of Joy by the time I encountered Jardins de Bagatelle in 2010, the fragrance was easy to appreciate. First introduced in 1983 as an EDT, this big bold floral fit right into line with other floral fragrances I had known and/or worn in the 1980s: LaurenAnaïs AnaïsMax Factor's Le Jardin, my mother's Bill Blass, a friend'sCoty Sand and Sable, another friend's Lutèce (the pronunciation of which we butchered horribly as teens).
Jardins de Bagatelle also brings to mind the fabulous floral-scented shampoos of the 1980s, so very different from the fruity pineapple/coconutty concoctions today—which I find pleasant, too. But I sometimes miss the scents of Jhirmack, the original Pantene in the round bottle with a gold cap, the Hälsa line. (We had a fun discussion on the shampoos of the 1980s in our forums awhile back.) Even inexpensive mass-market shampoos had intense floral-musky aromas back then. I was unaware of fragrance categories and fragrance trends as a teen in the 1980s and didn't realize the extent to which popular fragrance sales influenced the fragrances of other commercial products. Sadly, I also didn't appreciate many of these aromas until they were gone. 
I'm not immune to nostalgia when it comes to fragrances, but sometimes it's not wise to look back. I had revisited Anaïs Anaïs in 2009 and found it was a stale-smelling non-starter for thirty-something me. I had my nostrils and my psyche scorched by a vintage bottle of Lauren (oh, bad memories of junior high school dances!). Not having worn Jardins de Bagatelle in the 1980s, I had no negative emotional associations with it. I found its loud floral notes familiar in tone, harkening back to my formative perfumista years, but it still seemed new and crisp and pleasant when I finally got a chance to sniff it in 2010.
Jardins de Bagatelle EDP in contemporary "bee" bottle
Wearing Jardins de Bagatelle in 2016, it's still pleasant, but when a younger female co-worker walked by and I caught a whiff of her very 21st-century floral/fruity scent, my own fragrance seemed less fresh than it once did. I realized Jardins de Bagatelle has moved into the "classic" category for me, along with Chanel No. 5, Joy, my signature Niki de Saint Phalle and my other Guerlain favorite, Mitsouko.
These are fragrances I still enjoy and wear, but they're no longer frequent choices. I save them for formal occasions, or when I need to be taken seriously or want to impress someone with an air of classic good taste. Such scents definitely have their place, just like the well-made, low-heeled classic black leather pumps that I save for things like job interviews. There is a certain joy to be found in already having the right thing to wear when an unexpected occasion for that piece pops up. Jardins de Bagatelle will continue to have a place in my wardrobe, perhaps meeting a different need now and sparking joy in a different way: knowing that when I need to wear a powerful feminine scent from an esteemed fragrance house, I have one at my disposal.
And now, dear readers, over to you. Does Jardins de Bagatelle spark joy in you? Have you shopped your fragrance wardrobe and rediscovered a forgotten treasure? Have you found old loves no longer spark joy like they used to? I'd love to continue the discussion in the Comments!

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