Here's What Angelina Jolie and Napoleon's Wife Have in Common
On the 190th anniversary of the house of Guerlain, the brand's perfumer Thierry Wasser was inspired to put a new twist on the Mon Guerlain perfume. And his inspiration was women.
“The idea of celebrating them was the aim of this fragrance,” he says. “What happened to those women in almost two centuries? They get the right to vote, [to] eventually have a bank account, without asking their father or husband. It’s the beginning of that fight—that fight was fought by your mom, your grandma, your great grandma–[and] we’re not equal yet. There’s still work to do," he said.
He spun that inspiration into Mon Guerlain Eau De Parfum Florale ($124; saks.com), a light, fresh scent that feels perfectly in season.
“Every year I go to the South of India and buy jasmine sambac,” Wasser says. “And every year I [see] these jasmine sambac necklaces. Ladies put them in their hair to look beautiful, to smell wonderful. They offer those necklaces to temples, to Gods. I saw that this flower has something to say.”
He added sandalwood to represent the idea of fighting for your rights. “Not only is it a strong wood, but it’s soft, not dry. It has a generosity and long-lastingness you cannot imagine.” And that hint of yummy sweetness? That would be vanilla. “It’s a staple of Guerlain,” he says. “You nuzzle in that scent. To me, it’s synonymous [with] maternal love.”
Today actress, director and humanitarian Angelina Jolie is the face (and fan!) of Mon Guerlain fragrances.
“But in 1853, our first sponsor, if you [will], was the empress of France, Eugénie de Montijo, the wife of Napoleon III,” says Wasser, who shared that the Empress received Guerlain’s Eau de Cologne Imperiale.
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With such a storied history of creating signatures for legendary ladies, celebrating women with this incarnation "was a no-brainer."