Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Guerlain Jicky and Brigitte Bardot

Jicky by Guerlain is known as the modern perfume industry's first great perfume. It was created in 1889 by Aimé Guerlain using new, technologically advanced ingredients. The composition is described as Fougère (Aromatic), originally worn by Men though it later crossed over as a scent for Women. Its fresh combination of lavender, rosemary, thyme, vanilla and musk give me the impression of Herbes de Provence except animalic and provocative in a cool, subtle way. If you've ever smelled Helmut Lang, the musky-lavender aspect is similar, although in Jicky you get to smell some real, fine ingredients.

The mainstream of its time wasn't exactly accepting of Jicky, this complex and avant garde scent which, having some deep, spicy, sweet Oriental elements (even though the overall scent is rather fresh), was deemed inappropriate for proper women to wear. Jicky came out in a time when ladies wore single floral notes. So, pretty soon the rebels of society were taking to Jicky like white on bread.

Jicky stood the test of time and gained a following; decades after its creation, it even became one of Brigitte Bardot's favorite perfumes. I'm not sure how well-known Jicky was back in the day but I have a feeling it was still considered an oddball fragrance. The riveting French actress had her own style, both in the way she dressed and in her scent.

Today, Jicky is about to become extinct as the Fragrance Industry has decided to reformulate it to suit the tastes of the mainstream. I don't understand this decision to destroy a unique classic but I haven't had high hopes for Guerlain ever since the company was acquired by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy). Does anyone else care about Jicky?