Lights of Champs Elysées (2006) is the second fragrance, after Vetiver Pour Elle (2004), created by Guerlain to be distributed exclusively in the French airport duty-free stores Aelia. It is available both in France and in the UK. Although the initial announcement regarding the fragrance seemed to point to a very simple, if not simplistic fragrance, it is significantly more complex in reality. The perfume has top notes of almond flowers and pink peppercorns. Heart notes further unfold with mimosa, iris wood, and then ylang ylang. Base notes are light vetiver, sweet vanilla, and Virginia cedar.....
While it might be intended for the tourist market, it clearly holds its ground as a Guerlain fragrance. Actually between the new versions of Mitsouko and this new perfume, I would choose the latter over the first anytime. The proof being in the pudding, this is just what I did snapping up a bottle of it just before boarding my plane.
The perfume is a slightly unusual-smelling woody and comforting perfume with gourmand accents. If you like Rahat Loukoum by Serge Lutens, you will probably want to try it. It also, interestingly enough, presents some of the vaporous, powdery, and heavy sweet undertones of L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain that seem to have disappeared from the original fragrance, only to unexpectedly reappear in Lights of Champs-Elysées. They do not however smell alike. But testing them side by side, the kinship becomes obvious as the general effect and texture are similar.
Lights of Champs Elysées starts with a fruity and woody impression with cherry overtones. It also smells both a bit pruney and savory. The iris wood accord together with the ylang ylang bring a distinctive unusual touch to it and give it the feel of a feminine woody fragrance. It then develops a warm sensual floral accord that is reminiscent of the over-the-top exotic floralcy of Black Orchid by Tom Ford which bordered on smelling of indolic cheese. The scent further mellows down and segues into a soft almondey and powdery impression still dominated by the slightly strange woods. The blend is also slightly peppery.
It is an enveloping distinctive warm scent with slightly sharper woody and fruity notes. The scent is casual and feminine and discreetly gourmand. Perfect to spray on before a leisurely stroll on the weekend as suggested by Guerlain who meant it to evoke an olfactory promenade on the Champs-Elysées.
The perfume retails 39.50 Euros for 50 ml.