Friday, 8 February 2013

Guerlain Derby

My scent of the day was Guerlain's elusive and renowned Derby. My sample is vintage and I really cannot compare it to later versions, simply because I have never come across a more modern version of the fragrance.

Of course, I use the term vintage somewhat loosely, considering Derby was only released in the mid-Eighties, but I suppose in this age of reformulation and tinkering, any perfume more than a decade old could be considered vintage.

Derby is one of those mens' fragrances I wanted to try for ages. I liken it to Dior's Jules, in terms of how much I wanted it. In a way, Jules and Derby are not a million miles apart in smell and 'feel'. Both are Eighties era leather-chypres, but the Guerlain feels richer, more suave and just a touch classier, at least to my nose. 

It is very difficult for me to explain how Derby smells. It is not an extreme scent, or particularly challenging. It just smells good, classy and very masculine. By masculine, I am not referring to the chest-beating monsters of the era, but rather, just understated, confident class. The word class or classy comes to mind a lot, as you can see, but I can't help it; that is just how Derby is, for me. 


  1. Earlier today I was at the local Nordstrom store and asked if they carried Derby. Unfortunately they did not. When I was in NYC at the end of the year, I picked it up (along with a ton of other Guerlains) and spritzed some on. I didn't think much of it until around an hour later when I had left the store and never had a chance to go back. If my memory is correct, it's a very non-leathery leather scent that that basks in warm amber. I must find this again so I can decide if I need to buy! OK, I am now once again obsessing!!!

    1. Steve, I agree, it is not very leathery at all in the conventional sense. I'm not sure I detected much amber, but there is a sweetness to the fragrance. Also, as I said the other day, I have no idea how similar the original is to what may be reformulated nowadays!

  2. This is my fifth (and final) attempt at leaving a comment! The internet seems to be "eating" all of them (unless I am doing something wrong!)which is why,although I read your blog, there are so few of my comments in sight!

    I would love for my husband to smell of Derby based on your description but sadly he does not wear fragrance.

    And I completely agree with what you said about the term "vintage". For a while I was using that term loosely to denote some of my favorites from 1960s to 1980s that were either discontinued or re-formulated. However, I was properly informed that the cut-off year for vintage is 1957. Yet I feel there needs to be a category/name for our favorite "oldies", don't you agree?

    1. Brie, I'm sorry you've struggled to post on my blog. I must be honest, there is nothing in my spam folder, so don't think the comments are being diverted. Who knows with blogger?

      Yeah, it is hard to know what to genuinely class as vintage. Most of the time, we don't even know if something has been reformulated. I think Thierry Wasser of Guerlain swears that certain Guerlain fragrances haven't been touched, yet people seem to think they have. Who honestly knows?



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