Guerlain is one of the most well-established perfume houses around.
They’ve released hundreds of fragrances since their original founding in 1828.
Guerlain perfumes are made with rare and luxurious ingredients such as French vanilla and ylang-ylang from Guerlain’s own plantations in the Comoro Islands.
In this article we’ll help you choosing the best Guerlain scent for you.
First, let’s talk about some of the current favorites: the best Guerlain pefume choices of this moment.
Guerlain Perfume Top Picks
- Best-Selling and Most Popular Guerlain Perfume: Shalimar
- Best Guerlain Perfume for Women: Samsara
- Best Guerlain Perfume for Men: Imperiale
- Newest Guerlain Perfume: Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose
As these top picks barely scratch the surface of the wonderful fragrances Guerlain offers, we are going to discuss them through an in-depth review of the top 10 best Guerlain perfumes.
Top List of 10 Best Guerlain Perfumes
We’ll tell you all about the 10 best perfumes in the Guerlain catalog, including the story behind each, fragrance notes, performance, and tips for optimal wear. Let’s start with one of their most popular Guerlain fragrances of all time: Shalimar.
1. Guerlain Shalimar
This rich and evocative scent was inspired by the love between Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Empress Mumtaz Mahal. After Mumtaz Mahal died in childbirth, the grief-stricken emperor built the Taj Mahal to honor her. This scent’s name comes from the gorgeous Shalimar Gardens that grow around it.
Shalimar opens with a fruity splash of bergamot, mandarin, and lemon. Earthy, floral middle notes of iris, patchouli, and jasmine give the fragrance more dimension. It ends in a base layer of leather accord, sandalwood, and opoponax.
Guerlain Shalimar has a heavy sillage, so you’re sure to snag attention when you wear it. The scent lasts on the skin all day. With its alluring notes and romantic backstory, Shalimar is a lovely choice for romantic evenings.
2. Guerlain Samsara
This classic Guerlain scent launched in 1989, and has been a staple in many women’s collections ever since. Samsara brings powdery florals and exotic woody notes together in one gorgeous ruby-colored bottle, creating a sophisticated fragrance fit for women of all backgrounds and ages.
Samsara’s top notes are ylang-ylang, peach, and bergamot, which blend beautifully with middle notes of iris, narcissus, and jasmine. These notes are all nestled on an alluring bed of sandalwood, vanilla, and tonka bean.
Guerlain Samsara is a powerhouse in terms of both sillage and longevity. The scent spreads far, so you’re nearly guaranteed to catch attention all day long. This sultry perfume is perfect for fall nights, and especially for romantic evenings.
3. Imperiale Guerlain by Guerlain for Men
Guerlain’s founder, Pierre-Francois-Pascale Guerlain, created this perfume in 1853 by special order for Emperor Napoleon III and his wife, Empress Eugenie. They loved it so much that they named Guerlain “His Majesty’s Official Perfumer.” This scent has been in production for nearly 200 years since, and continues to gain new fans all the time. It is one of the most enduring perfumes in the world.
Upon first spritz, Imperiale Guerlain unleashes bright and zesty notes of lemon, neroli, and bergamot. A single note of herbaceous lavender sits at the middle of the fragrance, blending into base notes of cedarwood and tonka bean.
Unlike most scents from Guerlain, Imperiale Guerlain is an Eau de cologne. This means it’s made with a smaller concentration of perfume oil, and therefore has a light sillage and shorter longevity.
The bright citrus notes make this scent perfect for summer. Get more than one bottle so you can top it off throughout the day.
4. Guerlain Mitsouko
Mitsouko is another long-runner in the Guerlain lineup. It first hit shelves in 1919, and has been capturing noses and hearts ever since. This fragrance borrows a little bit from every perfume scent family for an overall experience that’s oriental, fruity, fresh, and floral all in one.
Mitsouko begins with vibrant, exuberant top notes of bergamot, rose, and jasmine, which usher in middle notes of lilac, peach, and ylang-ylang. Base notes of oakmoss, vetiver, and sandalwood make the scent spicier and smokier.
A little goes a long way with Mitsuko. It leaves a very noticeable scent trail and lasts for a long time on the skin. Thanks to its strong peach note, we highly recommend Mitsuko for the summertime.
5. L’Instant de Guerlain for Men
This is a special scent in Guerlain’s history. It was the first fragrance in their lineup to include a magnolia note, and in a men’s cologne no less. L’Instant de Guerlain is also interesting because it’s built like a pyramid, meaning the base notes, rather than the top ones, are the strongest.
This cologne begins with crisp top notes of apple, mandarin, and bergamot. The middle layer is composed of musky and floral – yet masculine – notes of iris and magnolia. Base notes of honey, vanilla, and amber dominate the scent and bring the fruity and floral notes together.
L’Instant de Guerlain has a moderate sillage that allows you to be alluring and noticeable without overwhelming. Its strong longevity allows it to last all day. The crisp apple notes make L’Instant de Guerlain a perfect choice for brisk fall days.
6. Guerlain Homme
Guerlain Homme is a remarkably fresh, “green”-smelling cologne. Guerlain Homme is unique because it is not arranged into top notes, middle notes, and base notes. Instead, it unleashes the same tangle of citrusy, boozy, and clean-smelling notes from the first spritz to the last whiff.
This thoroughly green scent exudes consistent freshness with notes of mojito, lime, and mint. These are laced with woody notes of vetiver and cedar, as well as a splash of rum.
Guerlain Homme is a solid performer with moderate sillage and longevity. Wear this on sultry summer days to bring the spirit of the beach to an ordinary day.
7. Guerlain Insolence
The name “Insolence” hints about this perfume’s cheeky, mischievous nature. This heady women’s fragrance is delightfully floral and feminine, with an underlying candylike sweetness. It captures feelings of naughtiness, innocence, and flirtation into one gorgeous crystal bottle.
Like the Guerlain Homme cologne, Insolence is not arranged into top, middle, and base notes. Instead, it consistently issues purple-tinged notes of iris and violet. Juicy red berries and a kiss of soft powdery notes complete the scent.
Insolence is one of Guerlain’s strongest, longest-lasting perfumes. You can get over twelve hours of noticeable fragrance. Wear Guerlain Insolence on cool spring days when the weather is just beginning to turn. You’ll fit in well with the blooming flowers.
8. Guerlain Vetiver by Guerlain for Men
As its name suggests, Guerlain Vetiver surrounds, elevates, and worships vetiver, a very popular note in perfumery. Vetiver by itself has a very earthy and woody aroma, similar to well-worn leather. This makes Guerlain Vetiver very masculine and powerful. It’s guaranteed to increase confidence, boost self-esteem, and ensure you’re a powerful presence in any situation.
Guerlain Vetiver opens with complex top notes of tobacco, bergamot, lemon, and nutmeg. These descend into spicy and heady middle notes of vetiver, pepper, and carnation. Upon its exit, Guerlain Vetiver leaves the skin with base notes of more vetiver, oakmoss, and leather accord.
Guerlain Vetiver has a gentle sillage, intriguing others in an understated way. The scent lingers for up to eight hours. This cologne smells particularly good and strong in wet weather, so when you wear it on rainy days it’ll create maximum impact.
9. Guerlain L’Homme Ideal
Guerlain L’Homme Ideal was inspired by the concept of the “ideal man,” or more accurately, what that man would smell like. The result is a scent that makes you seem as though you just stepped off the pages of a romance novel. It is an amazingly sexy, oriental-inspired scent sure to draw attention.
L’Homme Ideal has sweet and slightly exotic top notes of almond and lavender undercut by various spices. Its middle layer unfolds with a unique twist of cherry, as well as smoky vanilla and incense. Eventually, these dry to base notes of tonka, leather accord, and sandalwood.
This is another excellent performer from Guerlain, with moderate sillage and exceptional longevity. Wear this on a date to really make a great first impression.
10. Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose
Created in 2019, Bloom of Rose is a recent addition to the Guerlain lineup. This scent is joyful, vibrant, and unapologetically feminine, and it freely worships the floral notes that inspired it.
This fragrance starts off fresh and clean with notes of lavender and citrus. These quickly give way to lush, dewy middle notes of jasmine and rose, which rest upon creamy and woody base notes of sandalwood and vanilla.
Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose is moderate in terms of both sillage and longevity. This isn’t a bad thing, though – in fact, it makes the scent is more versatile than most. To get the most out of this scent, wear it in the seasons that inspired it – namely, spring and summer.
How to Choose a Guerlain Perfume in 2 Steps
Now that you’ve learned about the top Guerlain perfumes, use these tips to find the right one.
Choose the scent group
Not all perfumes are created equal, especially in terms of their strength and longevity. Therefore, each perfume is given a label – eau de cologne, eau de toilette, or eau de parfum – to indicate the composition of the scent.
Guerlain Eau de Cologne
Eau de cologne has the smallest concentration of fragrance oil. They typically have between 2 and 4% fragrance oil, with the rest of the blend being diluting contents like alcohol. They can be great for a refreshing top-off of scent throughout the day.
Guerlain Eau de Colognes include:
- Imperiale Guerlain
Guerlain Eau de Toilette
Eau de toilette has a larger concentration of perfume essence than eau de colognes, but less than other composition types. They typically contain between 5 and 15% fragrance oil. This can be a good thing if you’re sensitive to scents or spend lots of time around people who are.
Guerlain Eau de Toilettes include:
- Guerlain Homme
- Guerlain L’Homme Ideal
- Guerlain Vetiver
- Guerlain Insolence
- L’Instant de Guerlain
- Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose
- Guerlain Samsara
Guerlain Eau de parfum
Eau de parfum has a high concentration of fragrance oil. They typically rest at between 15 and 20% perfume concentration, with the remaining 85 to 80% being other perfume ingredients. Choose them if you want to make a really dramatic impression.
Guerlain eau de parfums include:
- Guerlain Mitsouko
- Guerlain Shalimar
Frequently Asked Questions on Guerlain Perfumes
Who makes Guerlain perfume?
Guerlain perfumes are crafted by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in collaboration with famous and renowned perfumers from all over the world.
Where is Guerlain perfume made?
Guerlain perfume is made in Levallois-Perrett, France.
Which Guerlain perfume is the best?
Some of the most popular and time-tested Guerlain fragrances are Guerlain Imperiale, Mitsouko, Samsara and Shalimar.
How much does Guerlain perfume cost?
Guerlain perfume can cost anywhere from $45 to over $100, depending on the scent, the size of the bottle, and where you buy it.
How long does Guerlain perfume last?
Like most perfumes, Guerlain fragrances have a shelf life of between three and five years. For maximum longevity, store them in a cool, dry, and dark place out of direct sunlight.
How do I pronounce “Guerlain”?
“Guerlain” is pronounced like “gear” (rhymes with pear) – “lain.”
How do I spot a fake Guerlain perfume?
To avoid buying a fake Guerlain, make your purchases only through reputable sellers. If you come across a very low-cost perfume, or too good to be true, it probably is. Also, if the seller doesn’t have “Identifying information” which is the perfume’s control, batch, and serial numbers, then don’t buy from them.
Is Guerlain perfume cruelty-free?
Guerlain sells its perfume in countries where animal testing is required by law. Therefore, Guerlain fragrances are not entirely cruelty-free.
The Story of Guerlain
Guerlain began in the 1820s in France. Its founder, Pierre-Francois-Pascal Guerlain, was already a master perfumer long before he established his own brand, and his fame helped Guerlain grow almost immediately. In the nearly two centuries since it was originally established, Guerlain has worked with some of the best perfumers in the business, partnered with some of the most beautiful men and women to model their scents created fragrances for literal royalty.
A Timeline of Major Events in Guerlain’s History
1828: Master perfumer Pierre-Francois Pascal Guerlain brings Guerlain to life in Paris, France.
1840: Guerlain establishes a flagship store at 15 rue de la Paix in Paris.
1853: Guerlain creates a cologne for French emperor Napoleon III and his wife, empress Eugenie. The scent is named Eau de Cologne Imperiale.
1854: Pierre-Francois-Pascal Guerlain is crowned “His Majesty’s Official Perfumer.” He goes on to create fragrances for Queen Victoria in the United Kingdom and Queen Isabella II of Spain.
1864: Pierre-Francois-Pascal Guerlain passes away, leaving the Guerlain perfume house to his two sons Aime and Gabriel. Aime takes over the role of master perfumer while Gabriel becomes the new manager.
1904: Jacques Guerlain, son of Gabriel Guerlain, takes over as master perfumer. He goes on to create some of the most iconic fragrances in the Guerlain catalog, including Mitsouko and Shalimar.
1959: Jacques Guerlain passes away and the perfume house lands in the hands of his young grandson, Jean-Paul. Jean-Paul develops some more of the most famous and well-loved perfumes from Guerlain, including Guerlain Vetiver and Samsara.
1994: The Guerlain family sells the brand to multinational French company Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH).
2004: Renowned perfumer Maurica Roucel joins Guerlain. He becomes instrumental in developing some of its best fragrances, including Insolence and L’Instant de Guerlain.
2008: Guerlain names Swiss perfumer Thierry Wasser as the company’s new in-house perfumer.
The Faces of Guerlain
Delphine Jelk: A female perfumer from Germany, trained at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery, who helped develop the Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose fragrance.
Maurice Roucel: The genius behind some of Guerlain’s most beloved scents, including Insolence and L’Instant de Guerlain.
Jacques Guerlain: A member of the Guerlain family of master perfumers, who created the perennially popular fragrances Shalimar and Mitsouko.
Jean-Paul Guerlain: Another Guerlain family member turned masterful perfumer, he created fan-favorite scents like Guerlain Vetiver.
Thierry Wasser: A perfumer from Switzerland who has been Guerlain’s in-house perfumer since 2008, he has worked on fragrances such as Guerlain Homme, Guerlain L’Homme Ideal, and Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose.
Guerlain Commercials Models
- Aurelian Muller: A male model who promotes the L’Homme Ideal cologne.
- Angelina Jolie: A well-known actress and one of the most beautiful women in the world, who is the face of Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose.
- Hilary Swank: A celebrated actress and the face of the Insolence fragrance.
- Josh Holloway: An American actor and model for the Guerlain Homme cologne.
- Natalia Vodianova: A Russian model who has promoted products for Guerlain since 2008, most notably the Shalimar fragrance.