First Impressions, Perfume

I Guess Now Is a Good Time to Discuss This Ad for Guerlain’s Insolence Eau Glacée

So far, I’ve been living my best perfumed life like some sort of Pokemon master for powdery scents: I’ve gotta catch ’em all! I’m constitutionally incapable of passing up a powdery accord, and it’s even easier when the perfume’s a classic, has appealing notes, or comes from a well established house. I had read that Insolence was a Guerlain powderbomb with vibrant violet notes, so naturally I’d been eyeing it for some time, but then I came across samples of several of the variations as well, I was powerless to resist. A chance to sample more powdery perfumes and study the nuances of different versions of a scent? Oui, monsieur! Since the temperature in New York City dropped so precipitously, today called for fleece-lined pants and a cold-weather perfume, so my as-yet-untested vial of Insolence Eau Glacée demanded to be sampled.

While Insolence’s eau de parfum recalls lush, blossoming plumes of finely powdered Choward’s Violet mints, the Eau Glacée is–as the name would suggest–a more frigid affair. Powdery violets are still the star, but the opening is now tart and brisk, and as it dries down, the powderiness becomes cleaner, like freshly fallen snow in lieu of the EDP’s crushed candies. I was worried for a moment that it might be more appropriate for the summer, but Eau Glacée’s cool demeanor plays surprisingly well with wintery weather.

I’m curious as to how Eau Glacée compares to the other versions of Insolence I’ve still yet to try, and at some point soon I’m certain there will be a perfume comparison battle royale (for my love), but what I really want to talk to you about right now is ad:

Sacré bleu!

Look, I already have a lot of feelings about Hilary Swank being the celebrity face for a new fragrance by an internationally renowned perfume house (confusion, mostly, but so many others as well), and we will definitely parse those out at some point soon, but I need to make mention of this ad right now. It’s just so…distressing.

I know that “insolence” means “rude or disrespectful behavior,” but the only disrespectful thing I see is what’s been done to Hilary Swank’s hair! Somebody get this two-time Academy Award winning actress a hot oil treatment! Unless she’s wearing a wig, in which case you should get that wig a hot oil treatment! (And then set it on fire.)

Seriously, for a house as famed as Guerlain and a perfume with such a decidedly chilly temperament, this ad is decidedly…uncool. And if you don’t like that pun…


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