February 10, 2018
Guerlain Boutique Venetian Hotel Las Vegas. Photo by Robert Herrmann
On a recent business trip to Las Vegas, I spent a free morning in one of the city’s two Guerlain boutiques. Tucked away in a far corner of the Palazzo section of high-end retail shops in The Venetian Hotel, the small but vital Guerlain outpost sits like an enchanted jewel box of glittering gem-colored beauty and perfume products. This scented confection of a store is overseen by Guerlain Store Manager Juliette Franklin who is a veritable wealth of Guerlain information, experience and gossip. Needless to say we had a great time chatting and sniffing.
Robert & Guerlain Boutique Manager Juliette Franklin. Photo by Robert Herrmann
After trying many of the newer releases, the perfume that ultimately hooked me was the recently released Guerlain Baiser De Russie (Russian Kiss) by in-house perfumer Thierry Wasser, is a re-working of the much loved and much coveted 2012 discontinued “Moscow” from the “Une Ville, Une Parfum collection. Added to the Les Parisiennes Collection, Guerlain Baiser De Russie is the latest fragrance to reappear from the Guerlain vault, and this fruity-floral scent reminiscent of a Russian summer’s evening is sure to be a welcome addition to any collection.
Robert’s Grandmother Esther Roven-Tabachnikov (r.), her sister, and Mimsy their dog in the garden at their Dacha C.1877.
Guerlain Baiser De Russie is meant to convey a certain Muscovite feminine Boho-Chic, but to me it is is more akin to a hug from a beloved relative in the fading dusk of a warm summers evening. With its notes of pine, cranberry, plum, and tonka I see my Grandmother Esther Tabatchnikov as a young girl growing up in the countryside outside of Yekaterinoslav in the Ukraine. The sun sinks after a warm afternoon as Esther and her sister take their ease in the garden hammock at their Dacha. The woody resinous scent of pine sap and poplar, the cranberry or plum conserve used to sweeten the tea in the glasses held in silver “podstakannik”, the Russian tea-glass holders that I still have in my crystal cabinet. Slices of lemon float in the dark winey tea, and a plate of teacakes lays haphazardly on the grass beneath their feet as my Great Aunt tells my Grandmother about her classes at medical school, an unheard of honor for a young Russian girl of Jewish ancestry.
Robert's bottle of Guerlain Baiser De Russie is from the Les Parisiennes Collection
Arriving in the now-iconic bee bottle housed in a dark purple faux-leather presentation box, Guerlain Baiser De Russie is a soft buss, a quick set of “bisous bisous” on each cheek between friends on the street. Opening with a lip-smacking tart/sweet burst of citrus and stone fruit combined with a touch of heady jasmine, you’ll know right away that this is a perfume perfectly suited to the young and young-at-heart. It is flighty and flirty with a definite skew towards the feminine. The pine and sandalwood notes linger in the background giving an almost-but-not-quite fougére vibe, which makes the perfume immanently accessible for gentlemen as well. The drydown is all comfort and warmth, the classic cashmere blanket feeling of home provided by the musks, tonka and vanilla. All in all, an extremely satisfying (re)-release by Maison Guerlain. Is it groundbreaking? No. But it is delightful and beautiful and sometimes that’s enough, Da? Konechno!
Disclosure: The perfume and opinions are my own.
–Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor
All photos by Robert
Thanks to the kindness of Las Vegas Guerlain Store Manager Juliette Franklin we have two 3.8 ml official dab samples of Guerlain Baiser De Russie for two registered readers In the USA, so be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know what appeals to you about Robert’s review of Baiser De Russie, if you have ever have visited a Guerlain Boutique, and what discontinued Guerlain fragrance you would like to see back from their archives. Draw closes on 2/14/2018.