Guess By Marciano (2008) + 5 Bottles as Giveaways {Perfume Review}




Guess by Marciano, as reported earlier, represents the brand's effort to offer a more sophisticated and upscale Guess perfume on the occasion of its 27th anniversary. Smelling the perfume having forgotten all promises, it is unexpected to discover the unfolding of a composition that should be going more firmly in the direction of one of those "pink" or "fruit-salad" fragrances for young women with their fruity-floral and milky tonalities, and see it in fact renew the genre by smelling deeply ambery.

Instead of the light white musks and usual pinkish touches like rose, peony, and litchi, we discover a rolling-out of a more substantial and satisfying ingredient, ambergris, treated almost in an old-fashioned way, that is in an animalistic way. Distant references like Weil Zibeline and Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles pop up, only as if they had fallen into a vat of fruits and dulce de leche, in a good way.

The fragrance was created by perfumer Barbara Zoebelein of Drom Fragrances and developed by Parlux Fragrances, Inc. It could be seen as a milky woody oriental with a powdery overtone. Something of the spirit of Le Feu d'Issey can be detected here in the intensity of a lactic and spicy (cardamom) impression that feels grown-up rather than babyish. The vintage allusion found in the scent is reinforced by the fishnet motif on the flacon which precisely aims to reflect the spirit of a bygone era. Jasmine is showcased both on the bottle and in the scent.......

The perfume opens on liquorishy and syrupy fruity floral notes which quickly take on marked ambery and milky-carameley characteristics. The tart notes of star fruit, grapefruit, curaçao orange and a dash of creamy caramel all mingle with candied notes. At this point it seems like another incarnation of a popular feminine genre of perfumes for young women. The scent is quite sweet but it is also nicely balanced out by woody notes (raw wood) and ambery ones.

Something in the texture and the mainstream references of the fragrance makes one think that this might be a form of socially acceptable "new musk" worn by young women who wish to seduce. The texture is deep, warm, dark, and behaves on the skin like the enveloping presence of musk except that it is also candied, milky, and fruity-floral. It is not overtly dirty. But like the aphrodisiac musk, it gives the impression of being a natural second skin, only better (there is musk, but the treatment here makes the whole composition feel as single-minded as a few grains of musk rubbed on the skin). Guess By Marciano although using all the stereotypes found in younger women perfume today, manages to transcend them by being much more interesting, more intense, very well to extremely well blended depending on the stage you are in, and bringing in a dark sensation; it is not "pink" at all. 

The suspicion that this composition is somehow in touch with fragrances of olden days while using a completely trendy language, that of the cell-phone-accessorized-with-lip-glosses generation comes through more as the scent develops and reveals more ostensibly musk and ambergris accents.

If Guess By Marciano a priori could be seen as one of those sticky-lollipop scents that abound in the market, it surprises. When the jasmine note peeks through, it feels once more like a modernized version of a classic idea. The dry-down is warm and woody and a bit boozy with the lingering on of the Curaçao Orange accord, which is very realistic. And it works, it smells good.

Surprisingly good. An inventive perfume. Recommended for lovers of milky, ambery, boozy, and jasmine perfumes, soft nostalgics of vintage fragrances and people ready to wear a candied, easier version of Le Feu d'Issey.

Details about prices and notes available here.

If you leave a comment below, you will be entered in a prize draw to win a bottle of Guess by Marciano. 5 bottles can be won. Winners will receive their prizes directly from the company after they have sent me their contact information.

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43 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. Hi! Please include me in the drawing.

    Christina H.
  2. Great review! I cant wait to buy this. ive smelled it before and i just have to have it! i happen to be a big fan of milky ambery perfumes!

    jonathan r.
  3. this sounds really nice! please include me in the drawing.

  4. I would love to win one of these beautiful bottles!

  5. Thanks to all for your comments -- Jonathan, I am wondering what your favorites are as far as milky ambers go?

  6. Peony, honeysuckle and jasmine...three of my favorites...with a boozy drydown. And affordable. Have to try this. Hope I win one!

  7. I'd love to be in the drawing as well. How many times would you say would one have to try a new fragrance in order to "understand" it?

  8. As far as milky ambers go the greatest and my long time fav is simply by clinique. im very very sad that its been discontinued but guess kinda reminds me of it. another fav is missoni and the new wrapped with love by hilary duff and baby phats fabulosity.

    jonathan r.
  9. oh and i also love ralph hot and ralph wild. so many scents so little time. i love them all though. thanks for asking.

    jonathan r.
  10. I would be happy to be included in drawing, thank you in advance.

  11. Wow, they're giving away 5 bottles?? That's wonderful!!! I have to practically "beg" for a sample vial of this recently ;) and although I wasn't a big fan of Guess perfume (I was always under the impression that they're too trendy or too hip or whatever) but I have to admit I am intrigue by this particular scent and still keeping the sample in my purse to use from time to time LOL I'm such a nerd! @_@ But the bottle itself is very gorgeous-looking, and the fragrant is lovely in that black-and-white, nostalgic way... and I'm a sucker for anything nostalgic, basically! ;)

    Paddington Bear
  12. I love the review - sounds like a wonderful fragrance!

    Ivy Wu
  13. Zeram1,

    This is a tricky question. It depends on the amount of work you have put in before since obviously if you smell a lot of scents, you'll be able to place the fragrance, intellectually at least, more quickly.

    Personally, I cherish my first impressions, which I try to get in a favorable environment, i.e., quiet and no olfactory disturbance.

    I think that smelling a perfume requires quite a bit of focus.

    It also depends if you want to understand it for yourself or for writing about or discussing it, say.

    I think you should reapply each time you are not sure you can answer a question about the perfume.

    Dismissing a perfume after having smelled it on a blotter only or in a department store after a few sniffages is probably not a good idea. Same thing for deciding it's great.

    For a perfume containing a number of natural ingredients, sensations can be more unstable as the materials are more multifaceted, so you'd probably need more tests.

    Otherwise, from an existentialist point of view, in as much as a perfume can bring meaning to your life, you might need to wear it for several years to understand what it can do for you and the people you know:)

    However, for deciding if a perfume is for you, a reasonable practical recommendation would be, I think, to wear a scent (alone) for a full day, sleep with it, see how you feel about it the next day. Let it live with you for 24 hours.

  14. Jonathan,

    Wonderful! Thanks for the recommendations.

  15. You're all in.

    Paddington Bear,

    Yes, it does have that nostalgic, retro touch. I see a trend of more authentic retro glamor being expressed in fragrances thanks to a rich treatment of ambergris in particular. Balmain Ambre Gris is like that and the Auguste fragrances sound like it too.

  16. Ivy Wu,

    Thank you for your kind words.

  17. Am now officially intrigued. Please include me in the draw!

    Also, I re-tested Ambre Gris. I am seriously reconsidering my opinion on that one! ;)

  18. Six'

    It's nice you gave Ambre Gris a second chance :)

  19. this guess fragrance sounds absolutely fabby and the bottle gorgeous please enter me for the giveaway

    sharon m
  20. Oooohh, so many people are in the drawings already! Fun! Marie-Helene, you gotta talk to "The Power That Be" at Guess to up their giveaways to, oh I don't know, perhaps 10? ;) 5 bottles might not be enough! Aaahh, but I'm only kidding, BUT if they is feelin' generous... ^_^

    Anyway, good luck to all you guys!! I hope I'll win one too ;) I've never won anything before.

    Paddington Bear
  21. Lol, I think their offer cannot be called stingy already

  22. Tried the sample of Marciano by Guess in my magazine and couldn't get enough. I love it!

  23. thank you for the review--I am going to have to try this one. The words Feu d'Issey sunk it. Please include me in the drawing, if possible.

  24. Would love to win a bottle.. sounds like I would really like it. :)

  25. Monkeytoe,

    It makes me think of the warm, intense spicy and ambery milk sensation in Le Feu d'Issey.

  26. Stacy,

    It is very nice

  27. Sounds like an interesting perfume!

  28. i wonder how the "flowery,milky,candied" notes will stand up against a humid summer

    michael john lee
  29. When I tried this wonderful pefume I immediately realized I had just found my new favorite. I would LOVE to win a bottle of this scent!!

  30. I am sorry Mary but the drawing is closed and everyone claimed their prizes!


  32. I have been married for 15 years and this new fragrance has made my husband's sexual desire with me much stronger. Looking forward for another bottle. Please make me a winner!! Enjoy it girls....

  33. Please include me in the drawing. I would love to own one of these perfume bottles. Marciano is just the best ever.

  34. I would love to win this perfume. It smells wonderful!

  35. My husband and both children loved this fragrance on me, saying it was warm and inviting. So it would be lovely to win a bottle and we can all enjoy this lovely scent together! :) (good luck to us all)

  36. I just picked up a sample...last nite, as the sales lady husband fell in love with me all over again! She said this is a magic potion for men....I think she is on the money! Picking up the line tonight after work! It is light enough that I am wearing it to work as today, as well......

    Christine Sepanek
    • I liked this perfume. It is more original than the packaging indicates.

      And may I add, here's to the health of your couple!

      Chant Wagner
  37. Best perfume ever. i love it

    Rebecca Weber
  38. Oh how I hate I missed this giveaway! I love Guess perfume!

  39. I will leave this in hopes of winning the five bottles. I do have to say though that Guess for men by GEORGES MARCIANO was pretty lame for discontinuing the original cologne. I'm tired of paying $125 for the original. Soon they will all be gone. PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!!!

    Sacramento, CA

    Dennis Johnson
  40. it actually sounds they made an effort to try something adventrous!

    i have to try this as i still have not gotten over the fact that le feu d issey is gone...

  41. Beautiful Scent/ Beautiful Design!

    Pamela Hill
  42. I have only smelled an insert in an ad for this but I thought, "Wow, I think I like this!" Enjoyed your description too!

    Gina Leverett

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