“Mon Guerlain” may not be “Votre Guerlain” (but it’s STILL Guerlain.)
Since the release of the new Mon Guerlain last month, the reviews have come fast and furious, and to my bewilderment many have been scathing bordering on sociopathic. Seriously. I’ve read statements along the lines of “Guerlain is finished” or “…a serious black-eye for Guerlain”, “….the end of Guerlain as we know it”, and my favorite which is just plain ignorant and insulting, “Mon Guerlain caters to the absolute lowest common denominator, people who buy perfumes from a chain drugstore” Hey! I happily buy from chain drugstores, especially when they offer perfumes like 2014’s “Love2Love” range for $7.00a bottle, created by such noses as Sophia Grojsman, Bruno Jovanovic, Calice Becker, and Maurice Roucel!
All this vitriol aimed at Guerlain seems irresponsible without stepping back to consider the whole picture, which is essentially a model for running a successful business. In my life I have created five different business companies in the past 35 years, two of those I successfully sold at the height of their popularity, two others I simply closed, and my current business which is going great guns and about to expand the brick and mortar plant for the third time. I know about business, I come from 5 generations of business owners, I was raised in my parent’s business environment.
So when it comes to Guerlain and the release of Mon Guerlain I have to ask, “Why all the hate”?
You don’t like it, I get that. Guerlain perfumes are a mere shadow of their former glory. I get that too. However Guerlain is simply doing what companies have done for generations, trying to expand their customer base by creating an entry-level product for a NEW generation. I say give them some slack, there will be other Guerlain releases in the future that will delight and excite. However without creating a whole new base set of customers, they likely WOULD close up shop. If Mon Guerlain is the scent that gets twenty-somethings interested in fine perfumes then I for one, am all for it. I and many others struggled with Shalimar when first introduced to it, but as I delved further into the perfume world, I came to understand and appreciate it’s complexity and beauty. It was an “Aha!” moment for me, that day I finally “got” what Shalimar is all about. Come to find out, it’s actually a fairly common experience. That ultimate love for Shalimar led me right to the edge of the Guerlain rabbit hole and pushed me in head first.
As for Mon Guerlain, I like it, but don’t love it enough to buy a full bottle, it just doesn’t register on my love-o-meter quite frankly, but there’s no disputing it is a simple and pretty scent, perfect for spring and summer, if that’s your wont. With 2000+ new perfume releases per annum, it’s ok to give a pass to the ones you don’t like, but to go out of your way to be spouting doom and gloom predictions for a venerated house, seems profoundly cynical and frankly quite a turn-off to potential readers. Why not discuss the perfume rationally, make it clear that the perfume is not to YOUR taste, and let people make up their own minds. Perfume reviews (mine included) are completely subjective after all. As my mother used to say “You’ll catch more flies with honey….”, and in the case of perfume I suspect that may be true. Dialing back on the venom will help readers take you more seriously and possibly ramp up the respect. Leave the smack-talking to the politicians, they’re better at it anyway and have had LOTS more practice.