I mentioned last weekend that while in London I popped into the House of Fraser store in Victoria, found they were having a Father's Day special and bought a bottle of Habit Rouge (very nice by the way).
While paying for my purchase, I asked the lady behind the counter if she had any Guerlain samples she could throw in. She looked at me hesitantly and then said she could give me some Dior or Chanel samples instead if I liked. I replied by saying that I had tried a lot of Chanel and Dior in the past and was keen to try a few more Guerlains (very politely of course). Eventually she disappeared, rummaging through the drawers, only to re-emerge and state that they did not have any men's Guerlain samples. I replied by saying that I was perfectly happy to try some of the lady's samples. She disappeared again and at long last presented me with my package and said she had put some samples in the bag.
Once I was out the store I looked in the bag, to discover two samples. One of which was actually a night cream or moisturiser of sorts. So make that one perfume sample. Namely, La Petite Robe Noire. Before moving onto the perfume itself, I have to say I was disappointed with the attitude of the sales assistant. I know I only spent £40 in the store, but honestly, could she have not spared a couple more samples, particularly as I asked her nicely? One would think these stores would want loyal, returning customers and go out of their way to please. When I was in the department store, I could literally count ten customers. There was more staff than paying customers. Could it have hurt to perhaps give me a smile, a thank you for purchasing and perhaps even make an effort? I know I sound a bit cynical and grumpy, but still.
Moving back to La Petite Robe Noire (the little black dress), I can't help but feel hopelessly underwhelmed by the perfume. To me it smells like a candied fruitchouli - it could have been released by half a dozen far less venerable houses than Guerlain. Unoriginal, too sweet and frankly disappointing. I don't expect to always encounter the Guerlinade, and I can understand Guerlain's need to modernise and move with the trends (no easy task for a house with such history and pedigree) but a boring dumb fruity cocktail is not the way to go in my opinion.