Guerlain: La Petite Robe Noire

Today, Guerlain launch their new fragrance La Petite Robe Noire into Selfridges. It’s a bit of a departure from the norm for Guerlain, because this is quite a fun and “young” little fragrance, whereas most people associate Guerlain with seriously good, but very grown-up, perfumes.

I don’t know what it is about a perfume that makes me feel that it’s “grown-up” – there must be a certain group of notes that trigger something in my brain, but so far I haven’t been able to identify what they are. Anyway, whatever they are, there’s one of them in La Petite Robe Noire! Not to say that the “grown-up” note is the most dominant – if you were to ask me to sum up this fragrance in one (two) word(s), I’d say Black Cherry. Fruity, shiny, plump-to-bursting black cherry. Very unusual and distinctive and definitely appealing to a younger market. But then there’s this musky, mysterious depth – there’s patchouli in there somewhere, and something a bit spicy – and that “grown-up” note that’s so powerful and intoxicating.

I’m still trying to decide whether this is something I’d wear – it’s so different to anything that I’d usually go for – but I can see it being a very popular fragrance. The styling and marketing is really clever – taking such a luxurious and serious brand as Guerlain and making it just accessible enough, but without compromising its integrity….  Developing a fragrance that’s complex and unusual but still relatively easy to wear… Wise.

Anyway, enough musing from me – has anybody managed to get to a counter and smell it? Please do let me know your thoughts. I’m interested. Do you have the same thing about “grown-up” notes in fragrances? What do you think they could be?

La Petite Robe Noire is £42 from

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  1. Sophiabencks
    June 1, 2012 / 7:28 pm

    Mmm, it’s funny how the packaging can make you decide on whether to even smell a perfume in the beauty hall or not – I would definitely pass on this as I really don’t like the packaging, it does indeed look ‘young’ – and I’m still (just about) in my 20s!
    My most ‘grown-up’ scent is Chanel Cristalle or Carvan’s Ma Griffe – I only tend to wear them if I’m going out out and Ma Griffe only ever at night… I think they feel heavy which makes them ‘grown-up’?
    I always think really sweet and fruity (but not citrus) scents are aimed at the younger market…?
    Interesting post!

  2. June 1, 2012 / 8:02 pm

    I haven’t seen this one yet. I am a big Guerlain fragrance fan, so I will be sure to check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Natasha
    June 1, 2012 / 8:56 pm

    Hello! This is wonderful news, my mum will be very pleased to hear about this.. She got a bottle of this limited edition in Harrods about 6 years ago and has been heartbroken about not being able to get a replacement bottle. I love this perfume, makes me think of liquorice allsorts :-) x

  4. June 1, 2012 / 10:18 pm

    I’ve always associated Guerlain fragrances with Shalimar so it’ll be interesting to see what this smells of! Love that they’re trying something different

  5. Laetitia
    June 2, 2012 / 3:23 am

    Hi Ruth!
    This is not related to the fragrance, but did you sent the questions to Dr. Murad ?
    Anyway, I’m not a big fan of this fragrance, in fact I’m looking for a perfume that smells like something clean, I don’t know if you see what I mean… ^^

    • Ruth
      June 2, 2012 / 11:04 am

      Yes, the questions have been sent! It won’t be long now… x

  6. Naomi
    June 2, 2012 / 10:17 am

    I bought La Petite Robe Noire in Saks in NY a couple of years ago and it’s my favourite evening fragrance. I love the ‘grown up’ scent which is sweet but not sickly. I’m gutted it’s now going to be so accessible!

    • Ruth
      June 2, 2012 / 11:05 am

      @Naomi I think that this one has been quite re-worked since the first edition – I’d be interested to know your thoughts on the new version! x

  7. Lorin
    June 2, 2012 / 3:54 pm

    I fell in love with the fragrance immediately.It is a combination of light and flirty while being warm and sensual. I purchased a bottle while in France a couple of weeks ago hope to find it in the states.

  8. Martina
    June 2, 2012 / 4:43 pm

    I think the grown-up scents are those we’re used to smell on grown-up people since when we were kids.
    And about the perfume, I LOVE it! In fact i’ve already bought it! Lol

  9. Ali
    June 2, 2012 / 10:03 pm

    I love the name and the bottle. I’m going by Selfridges tomorrow, so I’ll try to remember to stop in and try this.

  10. June 6, 2012 / 12:58 pm

    I got a sample of this at an airport which was on a beautiful piece of branded material rather than those awful fragrance strips!
    It fragranced my bag for days. I love the fruity notes.

  11. June 13, 2012 / 5:36 pm

    Hi! I received a tester of la petite robe noir yesterday and I loved the smell but it reminds me so much of my old perfume “Fuel for life” from Diesel it’s seems like they took a copy of the scent! but it’s very nice tho :-) Xx

    • Ruth
      June 13, 2012 / 7:04 pm

      @Roxy I think the Guerlain has been around longer – they just re-jigged it recently! I may be wrong… x

      • June 14, 2012 / 6:33 pm

        ahhhh that’s possible! I didn’t knew that sorry :-) I thought it was a new scent!

  12. Abigail
    August 14, 2012 / 9:31 am

    Ruth, I have a bottle of this and it is just lovely. It opens with notes that remind me of cherries and hairspray – yes really! Then as it dries down a bit, the cherries smell a little liqueur like, similar to sniffing a black forest gateau. There is also a very woody note lurking there that I find discordant ( might be the anise) but thankfully that goes and when the scent dries down, it is a delicious blend of cherries, musk, rose and vanilla, then you can really tell it is a Guerlain! I think I can smell a little chocolate in the drydown, it has a similar vibe to my very favourite Guerlain creation, Gourmand Coquin, so smooth. There are some rosy floral notes in the drydown but it is so exquisitely blended, nothing stands out. Thierry Wasser is a genius, this scent definitely lives up to it’s fantastic advert and I believe Guerlain will have a hit on its hands with this.

    Ruth, I can really see you loving this, get thee to a Guerlain counter ASAP!

  13. Adele
    September 3, 2012 / 5:18 pm


  14. September 7, 2012 / 8:02 am

    i got my sample on thursday 6th sept 2012 and it is wonderful my friends love it thank you for sending me my sample liked and shared again

  15. Rosemary de Jager
    October 11, 2012 / 9:38 am

    This is a lovely perfume – yes, it IS black cherry overtone and i can smell chocolate – its a beautiful blend that works well and lingers a long time…..

  16. February 24, 2013 / 12:16 pm

    Can you please take a picture with the back of the perfume box?

  17. Inderjeet singh
    October 19, 2013 / 8:03 am

    I hv just bought body lotion of it from new delhi,india.its nice

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