I’ve written about my love for Guerlain Jicky before, but that was the eau de toilette. If you know Guerlain perfumes, you will know that each formulation- the parfum/extrait, the eau de parfum and the eau de toilette – of each fragrance is different. Different notes and ingredients shine in each formulation, and they smell different on the skin.
The impressive history of the perfume Jicky is in my previous review – it is the oldest perfume in continuous production, which is pretty impressive considering the beautiful perfumes that have come and gone over the past century. It was the signature perfume of Brigitte Bardot, & also worn by Jackie Kennedy (she also wore Patou Joy, the woman really did have impeccable taste….) but incredibly, it was worn by both Sean Connery and Roger Moore. It is a shape shifting perfume that really manages to take on the skin of the wearer. It warms on the skin and becomes part of you – so I would find it hard to call it a feminine or a masculine scent. I’d call it feminine in that I love it, and for myself I tend to favour softer less “butch” fragrances and on me, Jicky is anything but butch.
I described it the synaesthetic sense as “purple velvet”. It’s creamy, with the top notes of lavender and citrus woven together like an exotic desert. It then starts to get a bit darker and sensual, with the sensual aspect likely coming from the civet. The lavender sparkles in Jicky eau de toilette, and with the lemony notes, feels quite sunny and bright. In the Jicky eau de parfum the civet is the yang to the yin of the lavender, bringing it down to earth….waaaay down. The earthiness becomes a deep musk-y skin scent, that smells naughty and, well, sexual. Without offending anyone’s delicate sensibilities I’d say there is a “dirty knickers” note that you can pick up deep in the dry down. It’s not outwardly or in your face SEXY but more sensual. There is a deliciously sweet vanilla and woodsy dry down to the eau de parfum that is much warmer than the eau de toilette and just smells…voluptuous.
There is a fantastic literary reference to Jicky in Truman Capote’s Answered Prayers. in the first chapter, “Unspoiled Monsters”, in which Capote describes a visit to Colette’s apartment:
The room smelled of her perfume…at some point I asked what it was, and Colette said: “Jicky. The Empress Eugénie always wore it. I like it because it’s an old-fashioned scent with an elegant history, and because it’s witty without being coarse—like the better conversationalists. Proust wore it. Or so Cocteau tells me.”
It’s easy for me to say that Guerlain is my favourite perfume house with Jicky and Apres l’Ondee being my ultimate perfumes. Chanel comes a close second.
“What remains of a woman when she is in the dark? When she has undressed, when we can no longer see her make-up, her wonderful hair, her beautiful eyes, when she’s taken off her jewellery, what is left? Only her charming voice and her perfume.” Jean Paul Guerlain
Guerlain Jicky eau de parfum is available at select Guerlain counters and at Guerlain Boutiques. A 50 ml bottle with the gold cannister is around $160 with refill bottles around $90.