Ooh, Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire Couture is a tasty little fragrance for winter, I think. People seemed to be divided on their opinion of the original La Petite Robe Noire by Guerlain, either loving the “black-cherry-with-undertones-of-patisserie” wholeheartedly or hating it with a passion. My Mum thought that it reminded her of black forest gateau; one friend said that it was far too sweet for her tastes. But I have discovered the Couture version of the eau de parfum recently and I reckon to this being much more of a crowd-pleaser. It’s less fruity, I think, less sugary and vanilla-y – altogether less like a booze-rich, berry-moist slice of cream-topped cake.
There’s something a little more grown-up about Couture – it’s more floral than gourmand, it has a sophisticated sexiness that comes with the patchouli, vetiver and tonka bean base but not the sweet warmth of vanilla that you get with the original version. But – oddly – I actually find the newer Couture to be lighter, with its fresher raspberry rather than the dark black cherry, and so if it’s deep, rich intrigue that you’re looking for, the original might be your best bet! Longevity is ever so slightly better with Couture (I’ve spent a few days with one version on each wrist) but the original version is slightly more powdery and lovely on the skin, I think.
A flash opinion poll showed that Couture was more popular, overall, (we’re not talking a national census here, just a few friends and family!) but I actually still prefer the original for its cherry roundness and touches of naughtiness. It’s very interesting. Like standing on a Parisian street between a parfumerie and an expensive cake shop and not knowing which door to turn into.
You can find La Petite Robe Noire here and La Petite Robe Noire Couture here, with prices starting at £39.60 for 30ml. (Both those links go through to Escentual.com who retail the fragrances at a cheaper price than many other places, and have free delivery – the 30ml at House of Fraser is £44, for example.)