Elixir Charnels is, hands down, my favorite fragrance collection from the house of Guerlain and I’m proud to say that I finally own all 6 bottles! Yay! 😀
I DO feel that they each deserve their own reviews, and I will absolutely write one for each once I’ve become acquainted enough with my newest additions, but until then I have a few things to note about the collection as a whole.
Except for Gourmand Coquin, I think they get a lot of flak from reviewers accusing the collection as being ‘bougie’, overpriced, too simple, and overrated but I couldn’t disagree more! Yes they are a bit simple but they are elegant, from the juice to the flacons, and I find there’s one that suits every occasion and season.
One complaint was about the cap, believe it or not. For a perfume to come with a $260 for 75ml price tag and have a plastic cap is rediculous. The truth is it DOESN’T have a plastic cap! It is in fact a glass cap, so I’m not sure if there are many imposters on the market, but whoever is buying Elixer Charnels (EC) with plastic caps are not buying them from an official retailer. I bought my first 2 from the Guerlain owned boutique in the Palazzo shops in Vegas and the other 4 were ordered from Neiman Marcus online.
Next point, these are MODERN perfumes, so anyone who compares them to the likes of Shalimar and Mitsouko are comparing apples to oranges. It just won’t work. The early creations from the House of Guerlain were created for the European, specifically French, markets. It is well known in the perfume world that French perfumes are known for layering the sweets over the skanky. For example, Shalimar layers Vanilla over Civet. Mitsy layers peach over oakmoss, etc.
ECs are cleaner, fruitier, soapier, gourmandish, and obviously created for the Americanized market, that demands the sweet and clean, but they still carry that ‘Guerlainade’ essence, so recognizable of the house. I own over 30 Guerlains as of yet, including Shalimar in all the concentrations and a few flankers, Mitsouko, L’Huere Bleue, Jicky, Attrape Couer, Chamade, Nahema, Vol de Nuit, Iris Ganache, Le Petit Robe Noir, Mon Precieux Nectar, Meteorites, the entire Ville collection, and even have a tester of Reve de Lune (Metallica) to name a few, so I have become pretty familiar with the house over the past few years. And the EC collection represents the highest quality the house is known for. These frags do not require a heavy hand and last a very long time.
I don’t find these to be typical ‘pink’ frags that smell just like half a dozen other pink frags on the market. True, there are only so many notes to begin with, and the combinations ARE becoming exhausted, BUT I have found ECs to be much more complex then they are given credit for. So many modern ‘fruity florals, are all about the top notes but once they dry down they tend to fall flat. Not ECs. This they do have in common with the classics in that the base notes are just as enjoyable, if not more so, than the top and heart. French Kiss, for example, opens very sweet and very ‘pink’, but once it dries and settles the most beautiful powdery violet rose then morphs into a sweetened vanilla iris that’s pure bliss!
They all develop very beautifully and maintain a very nice sillage over the course of the day, so while they may be a bit on the pricey side, they DO have the quality to show for it. The price also maintains their exclusivity, obviously, just like any other luxury brand aims to do. Red bottom shoes wouldn’t be so posh if they were only $100. Besides, any serious perfumista into niche is seeking out the unique and wants a signature scent that speaks to their heart and also wants something no one else around them is wearing, for the most part. I’m sure there are exceptions.
Bottom line, try them out for yourself. If I had gone off of reviews alone I would have avoided the entire collection completely. But as it stands, it’s one of the very few collections, from ANY house, that I feel comfortable purchasing blind, even with such a price tag, because I have been extremely pleased with each one. I hope Guerlain continues to add to this wonderful collection in the future. Elixer Charnels are the bottled epitome of a modern classy feminine woman! ❤
Elixer Charnel collection by Guerlain:
Featured photo credit:@ami_vissenjoux Instagram