At a glance…
Scent: L’instant De Guerlain Pour Homme
Availability: In Production
L’instant De Guerlain Pour Homme EDT was first released in 2004. It was the first original masculine Guerlain release in six years after the unsuccessful Coriolan in 1998. The latter has since been discontinued. L’instant PH was an instant classic (please pardon the awful pun). It has since amassed a sizable following and it continues to win over the hearts of many new fragrance enthusiasts all around the world.
Of course, most of you are aware that it is this fragrance that spawned the legendary L’instant pour Homme Eau Extreme Eau De parfum (a bit of a mouthful eh?) which is far more popular and notorious. We’ll look at that one in the future, but L’instant is something special in its own right and we’ll soon find out why.
So today I’ll be reviewing this fragrance and answer most, if not all your questions on it. Let’s get started shall we?
L’instant Pour Homme is housed in a striking, tall glass bottle. The bottle has some suitably catching vertical engraving on the bottom half and the juice itself is a classical pale yellow. The spritzer is plastic and brown in color and this colour combination works well. It’s also a harbinger for what the fragrance is actually like.
It oozes quality and feels heavy to the touch. I’ve dropped it a few times and it hasn’t given way. I don’t recommend you try this though. I’ve been lucky and I’m pretty sure luck is not contagious.
L’instant de Guerlain pour homme is commonly found in 4.2Oz and 2.5Oz bottle sizes. It’s also possible to find a 6.8Oz bottle of this if you look hard enough. There are many ancillary products available if you want to immerse yourself in the L’instant experience. You can get aftershave balm, deodorant spray and aftershave lotion.
L’instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Review
Perfume Pyramid courtesy of fragantica
To say L’Instant de Guerlain is a classic would be an understatement. That word is thrown around far too loosely for my liking but here, it’s positively appropriate. L’instant opens with a sharp burst of citrus. This strong, fresh sourness quickly gives way to a subdued but sweet cacao note. Almost chocolaty – hence the brown accents on the bottle.
Also keeping the sweetness under control is a generous burst of earthy patchouli. The patchouli and cacao work well together. The cocoa adds sweetness while the patchouli makes the entire thing powdery. That word ‘powdery’ always manages to turn me off. It just isn’t an elegant way to describe a fragrance but here it fits. And it works well too.
As times goes on, the citrus fades, albeit very slowly and the cacao warms up while the patchouli becomes more dominant. I generally dislike patchouli because it smells too much like dry earth.
However, here, it’s more like cacao powder and that’s a pleasant smell to have lingering around you all day don’t you think? Also, among all the noise, you can definitely detect a hint of sandalwood but I have to admit that I find it very hard to detect easily. The patchouli and cacao are the real stars of the show.
Of course, the notes are half the story. The way these notes work together is the real story here. You see, the citrus keeps things fresh while the harmonious cacao-patchouli heart keeps it sensual, sweet and inviting. Then there’s the hand of restraint that the perfumers exercised. If I could describe this fragrance in one word, I’d say it was light. This is so significant. This could have easily turned sickly sweet, but it’s just sweet enough.
Most near-gourmands such as this i.e. Mugler’s angel or la nuit de l’homme tend to be rather loud in their sillage. L’instant is barely there but ever present if that makes sense. You could bathe in this stuff and fail to overpower. It’s very difficult to put in words but the perfumers managed to pull off the ultimate sleight of hand here.
Gourmands or near-gourmands aren’t supposed to be light and almost airy/fresh as they end up being viewed as weak. However, L’instant has just enough presence to earn your respect, yet it is light enough to be elusive.. seductive even. I kid you not; this stuff is spell binding and extraordinarily intriguing. I cannot stop sniffing myself right now. All I can think is ‘why does it work so damn well?’
L’instant Pour Homme Sillage and Longevity
For a light scent, L’instant is a fragrance that never ceases to please. It’s barely there but ever present. You’ll be smelt if someone comes up close but this isn’t a fragrance that shouts. I wouldn’t call it weak or muted but restrained.
This is a fragrance that’s capable of big sillage should your skin temperature rise a bit. However, for the most part, it gently wafts around you and you’ll catch regular whiffs of cocoa powder all day.
The longevity is really rather good. I get atleast 8 hours from it and considering it being a light eau de toilette, I find that pleasing and more than acceptable. It probably lasts longer but who’s counting after 8 hours? Furthermore, it stays on clothes for days.
Should you forget your shirt at a lady friends house after a romantic encounter, you can bet she’ll be wearing your shirt, totally immersing herself in the L’instant experience.. and of course, thinking of you.
L’instant is a fragrance with all the makings of a signature scent. It’s light, classy, refined and extremely versatile. The cacao and patchouli add warmth and depth making it a stellar cool weather scent.
On the other hand, the sharp citrus notes keep things fresh and airy making it excellent in warmer weather. How this was pulled off is beyond me. I’ve worn it in the baking sun and it is gloriously enjoyable. Never did it feel cloying or too strong. It was the same story in cooler weather. It never felt anemic or non-existent.
I must state that this works better in the cooler evenings as a romantic scent. I recommend it for first dates as it’s too light to offend (if your romantic interest is sensitive to fragrance.. yes people like that exist :-p) but sensual enough to draw people in.
In an age where every release is an aromatic fougere or fruity aquatic, L’instant pairs classic notes of patchouli, citrus and sandalwood with sensual, sweet notes of cacao and musk. The masterful hand of the perfumers created something special.
It’s a difficult one to appreciate, L’instant. It only hits you after a few wearings and only then do you begin to appreciate the balance, refinement, versatility and quality of this stuff.
There are certain little nuances that one simply cannot appreciate with a single wearing. The citrus opening may be typical of most fragrances and you’d be tempted to roll your eyes at it. Don’t. Just give it some time. It’ll win you over.
Longevity: 7/10 (~8 hours)
Sillage: 5/10 (barely there but ever present)
Scent: 9/10 (a masterpiece)
Uniqueness/Exclusivity: 8/10 (not very common)
Value for money: 6/10 (pricey but testers are affordable if you can find them).
All in all, L’instant scores a respectable 7/10. On paper, this is a good fragrance but the score says it’s nothing at all special. Above average. Ignore the score. This stuff is incredible! I m struggling to convey just how incredible this smells.
I don’t wear it enough and I feel terrible for overlooking L’instant. It just works so well! In my opinion, this is a MUST BUY. No question about it.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s Kokorico is similar. I’ve tried it and I was instantly reminded of L’instant. Kokorico lacks that sharp citrus opening that makes L’instant so unique and interesting.
I’m also aware that this citrusy aspect can irritate some so this may be a better buy for you. That being said, few fragrances are as classy, refined and well executed as this one. Many seeking a signature, everyday workhorse needn’t look any further.Google+