UN HOMME DE MYSTÈRE ~ L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme

Late evening in the Café Camille, Marais Pairs:

(Café Camille by Lanier Smith. Mixed Media)

The erudite waiters were all in blanched linen shirts, black wool pants and crisp spotless cotton aprons as they elegantly attended the thinning clientele. The noisy American tourists had left and only a few neighborhood regulars lingered over coffee or a dying bottle of wine. As I sat there drinking in the night from the sidewalk table I caught a whiff of something so utterly delicious, a euphoria of blending and slowly unfolding scents. It was chocolate, but not of this earth for it was richer and deeper than the darkest cocoa bean could ever produce. Then I realized that it was something more like a bouquet of jasmine dipped in warm dark chocolate and sprinkled over with anise and lavender….and a little slice of orange on the side. It was so impossibly rich and enticing and sensual. Then sadly it began to fade like a gypsy’s dream until it was finally gone. Only then did I realize that the man who just walked past my table toward the Place Des Vosges was the source of that incredible scent. If only I could know what it was that he was wearing?

Days later as I sauntered past 68 Avenue des Champs Élysées I picked up the silage of this siren like fragrance. I turned to see the man from a few nights before in the Marais. He slipped into the doors of the Guerlain Perfumery. Without hesitation I spun on my heel and followed him into the palace de scent. Nowhere to be seen, he had again eluded me. As I turned I caught in the smallest corner of my eye a glimpse of him. He stood at the counter talking to an impossibly chic sales girl. In his well manicured hand he was holding a golden bottle up to the light. It glimmered, it winked in deepest gold, and he turned and smiled at me as if he knew what I was after…. “L’Instant” he said in less than a whisper.


L’Instant by Guerlain is so incredibly wonderful. I was immediately enveloped in a vale of coco and jasmine on the opening notes. Not feminine at all as one might expect but so confidently masculine in the blending in of anise, cedar and Indian sandalwood that take over the bulk of the middle. It is never overpowering but still commanding and insinuates a certain confidence that is very Parisian. The dry down is incredible. Lapsang Tea and Hibiscus seed and musk it is almost oriental in feeling. But all the way through and what got the most comments from those who noticed is that scrumptious rich dark chocolate that never quite leaves. Very long lasting, great silage, an all around winner that drew praise from both women and men. Guerlain is the master of luxe and elegant fragrances of such depth and complexity that really makes them stand out as a top fragrance house of impeccable distinction.

Five Platinum Stars ****


  1. Sounds like dessert to me. Simply yummy as always and lovely imagery, including your very own Mixed Media. And now, to bed – sweet dreams Lanier.

  2. A perfect bedtime story, Lanier! But before I retire I must have a piece of chocolate 🙂

    • I think I will have a chocolate too! Sleep well Marie and thank you.

  3. This is a great scent, I think because of the woody tones that you describe in this passage. Guerlain have some wonderful fragrances, I agree.


    • Yes it is one of my favorites. So much fun to wear and inevitably I end up in the little French chocolate shop on my street when I have it on.

  4. Oooh! That sounds very nice! I will have to sniff it out. Thank you for the wonderful story!

    • You are so very welcome baconbiscuit… oh what a yummy name! Lovely to see you here.

  5. L’Instant de Guerlain pour Homme…thank you for making me appreciate this fragrance even more, I have been enjoying it ever since your YouTube review.

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