Champs-Élysées by Jean Paul Guerlain 1996

Hey there Frag Hags,

So much hate for this lovely scent. I have managed to find a couple of other lovers in further reading but the majority don’t like it. Apparently people think it loud, really? I just don’t get loud…..

Champs Elysees by Jean Paul Guerlain 1996

Champs Elysees Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Blackcurrant, almond, anise, melon, peach, violet
Heart: Lilac, lily of the valley, hibiscus, almond flower, rose, mimosa, peony
Base: Almond tree, cedar, benzoin, vanilla, sandalwood

I have a story, it’s a little bit embarrassing because I’m worried you are all going to kick me to the perfumista curb. I have Champs-Élysées in EdT, EdP and Parfum strengths and also have the body wash. I love it so much and you can get it at the discounters for NOTHING!! Like, seriously, they almost pay you to take their excess stock off their hands. I bet there are a dedicated few who love and wear Champs-Élysées almost exclusively and they are going to be GUTTED when it dies the death of the unloved scent, discontinuation. My belief is that 10 years after this is axed it will be worth a fortune. That core of lovers will be bereft and RICH.

Champs-Élysées Guerlain Champs-Élysées WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Today I’m wearing a 2011 Champs-Élysées EdP, it’s the 75ml and while I adore the bottle design, to me it harks back to the art deco era but there is a stupid, ugly whilt plastic shoulder and neck that gives the air of a budget $3 “Smells Like” scent from the dollar shop.

Straight out of the gate I get a watery melon backed up by the soft waxy plastic feel of mimosa, that recedes into the background quite quickly as a sweet milky green-ness flows through. Champs-Élysées is so GIRLY! Soft , fresh, innocent and totally animalic or humanity free. The cleanest of all my Guerlains I can understand why hardcore perfumistas eschew its sheer, even prim and airy charms, there is only floating, no heft or pushiness, just a breeze blowing through that happens to be beautifully scented. The almonds milk stays softly insistent through Champs-Élysées life and is the closest thing to a grounding force that it has. This is what 60% of the celebuscents are trying to be and I can imagine it being a perfect first grown up fragrance for a teen or tween.

Fortunately Guerlain, while keeping Champs-Élysées light and youthful, has done it with such a deft hand that it is ageless, the lilacs and peonies through the heart blend beautifully with the return of mimosa and if you are 16 or 600 years old I think you will be pleased, if this is what you are after. Normally my skin sweetens scents but here I get the almonds all the way through and the woods and vanilla play only supporting roles as an amorphous chorus.

Surprisingly, for something so ethereal and wispy, Champs-Élysées has good longevity and 5-6 hours go by before I lose the scent completely. The sillage is quite mild as is the projection, I think you could wear Champs-Élysées to work as long as the space is not confined or your workplace completely fragrance averse. Really, I don’t get the loud thing, not loud on me at all.

Further reading: Scents Of Self and EauMG
Beauty Encounter has $20/30ml EdT, $55/50ml EdP and $125/30ml Parfum
Surrender To Chance only have $5/.5ml Parfum

Are you a Champs Elysees lover or a hater? Please leave your feelings and a short why in the comments. No judgements made on any answers, either way, as long as you keep it respectful.
Portia xx

The below photo is me standing outside Guerlain 68 Champs-Élysées, Jin and I decided to leave it to the last night we were in Paris February 2013. That afternoon it closed for renovation!! I KNOW!! This photo was the last thing done just before I broke down crying like a little bitch. Poor Jin, he had his hands full. It still makes me sad, thank goodness I have been back to Paris, in fact all going to plan I have just left it for London. From the Sydney Summer of my writing I have everything crossed that this time I will have been able to cross the threshold.

Guerlain CLOSED Champs-Élysées 2013

51 comments on “Champs-Élysées by Jean Paul Guerlain 1996

  1. Sarah K says:

    Poor Portia (and poor Jin!), but at least you have been able to get back to Paris this year – and from your other posts it sounds like you have done it in style! Believe it or not, I can’t actually remember whether I’ve ever smelled Champs Elysees.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Sarah K,
      I do believe it. If you aren’t for or against the way it smells I could understand a meh reaction. It’s so easy wear for me and fun.
      Yes, very glad to get back to Paris, thank goodnes they were open, I don’t know how I would have coped.
      Portia xx

  2. Jaybee says:

    Aww, you describe CE beautifully Portia! I have a fifteen-year-old bottle I still haven’t emptied because to me it’s just an ‘okay’ fragrance. Sweet, but not love-inspiring. It has good longevity but I find it a bit much for a small office. Kudos to you for standing up for your fragrance!

  3. Willa says:

    Mon dieu! You’re not suggesting that Champs Elysees is marked for the guillotine?! This was my first Guerlain love, and remains so to this day. I smell sunshine, happiness and modern sophistication. Really quite perfect.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY Willa,
      Another fan. I don’t know if it IS marked to go but if it does I will be very sad.
      Portia xx

  4. Nemo says:

    I have never smelled Champs-Elysees, so no judgement here. I will keep my eye out for it next time I am in-person perfume shopping. I hope your trip to the Guerlain store this time was all you hoped for!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Oh Nemo,
      We had lunch in the new Guerlain restaurant. It was fun, and FREAKING expensiive.
      The store is much less opulent than the old one, I like it and the staff were lovely. You need to get to Paris to see it.
      Portia xx

  5. Courant says:

    I wear it frequently. It’s the fragrance you wear to meet your Mother in law, a truly French scent that she is unlikely to have encountered. I think you’re right, it’s time to stock up and call it my own

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Absolutely spot on. I wish I had worn it to meet my owm MILaw. Though I can’t for the life of me remember what I did wear.
      Portia xx

  6. SallyM says:

    How very synchronous of Murphy to show up on your last chance to visit the Mecca of Paris. I would have thrown myself on the floor and had a tantrum. I’m so glad to had the opportunity to do it again. I like Champs-Elysees but don’t love it. However, you are spot on about the teens – my 13 year old grand daughter loves it and its about the only one of my Guerlains that she doesn’t do the dramatic “Ewwwww Grandmaaaaaaa!!” to 😉 Hope you’re still rockin’ Europe – are you in my (ex) home town of London yet?

    • SallyM says:

      “you” had the opportunity…

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Currently in London SallyM,
      Today we went to Bloom near Liverpool Station and then Les senteurs near town. We hooked up with a bunch of Perfume Bloggers and it was massively fun.
      Yes, The youth like it, sophisticated but ass-less.
      Portia xx

  7. Sandra says:

    Portia – you smell divine! I looovvee Champs-Elysees and was torn between the EdP and the Extrait. Ended up with the EdP and am enjoying it. Thank you for sharing your views on this little gem. Hope you got some goodies at Maison Guerlain this year. Sandra xo

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Oh Sandra,
      Michael was the major shopper at Guerlain. I bought from the Galleries Lafayette instead, Mon Precious Nectar. MMMMMM
      Portia xx

  8. Mary K says:

    I like Champs Elysees and have a bottle cheaply purchased from a discounter. There are days when this is just the right one to wear. It’s a happy smell.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Yes, even better when it’s a bargain MaryK,
      Do you wear it for work or casual, dressy or major event stuff?
      Portia xx

  9. laniersmith says:

    I love Champs-Elysees so much that I give a bottle to my niece who is away for her first year in college. She loves it too! So you see there are those of us out there who appreciate this lost and forgotten Guerlain.
    laniersmith recently posted…DEJA VU ~ Portrait of a Lady by Frederic MalleMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      EXCELLENT Lanier,
      I can see you, handsome man that you are, swanning around and wafting CE like crazy.
      Also, Candy Perfume Boy (forever now known as Crystal Perspex Buttplug) bought Portrait Of A Lady today. Synchronicity.
      Portia xx

  10. Dearest Portia,

    Oh the sad picture of you! Like a monk in need of a pray outside a derelict church! Did you enjoy Paris? Did you get to Serge Lutens at all?

    As for Champs Elysee, I found it a mish mash and not up to the usual Guerlain standard. However, there is no right or wrong in perfume. If you like it, wear it with pride and buy up all those stocks of it!

    best wishes and bon voyage
    Samantha Scriven recently posted…This Week’s Latest Avon Release: Avon FemmeMy Profile

  11. Whoops, missed the S off Champs Elysees!
    Samantha Scriven recently posted…This Week’s Latest Avon Release: Avon FemmeMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Yes Samantha Scriven,
      I can see how CE could read like that on many skins and wonder if it was intentional to do an UN Guerlain, a clean, fun, springy scent with no Guerlain ass.
      As for Paris. I love it. Yes we got to Serge. They were having a launch in the upstairs room but we remained i the purple dungeon.
      Have you been?
      Portia xx

  12. poodle says:

    I like this one too. I don’t understand why there’s so much hate for it. I’ve smelled far worse things that other people have raved about. I don’t think it’s loud either.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Poodle, There are times I think we are scent twins. And yes, there are far worse things that people have gone dolally for.
      Portia xx

  13. Tatiana says:

    Used to love it, especially in extremely hot, dry summers. I found it refreshing without having to go the citrusy route. Then ennui set in. I read Luca Turin’s book and didn’t trust my nose anymore and decided to sell my bottle. Wishing I hadn’t. But with all the bottles and decants I have now, it would be difficult to justify repurchasing.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Isn’t it terrible when someone else pans, or worse MEHs, one of your great loves? I have had it happen a couple of times recently, ouch it hurts. Very easy to be swayed to not trust yourself.
      It is currently so cheap at the discounters that you may get it for less than you think Tatiana.
      Portia xxx

  14. Enname says:

    Hi! I am de lurking to comment…

    My mother bought it for her 50th birthday as a perfume she could wear in the long, hot north Victorian summers without drowning. I still find it something I can wear on days like yesterday when it is 40C + and I am sick of florals and teas with bonus nostalgia for my mum. It always strikes me as a quick, heady beam of scent that is the complete opposite of what I would normally wear and as such, is most enjoyable.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Welcome Enname,
      We are thrilled to have you in the crew. Mum scents are so good for recollection and I have a few myself. The Australian summer helps many frags bloom in ways unimaginable to most of Europe and Champs Elysees can be a perfect choice, as you’ve noted.
      Do you have other scents for summer too?
      Portia xx

      • enname says:

        It is the only one of her’s that I could appreciate, which is helpful.

        I try to rotate a number of things in summer as Melbourne is a changeable and fickle creature, so some days you are catering to 40+ and other days it is randomly cold, or humid. That and as an ‘eternal’ student, my budget tends to only run to samples and small decants. Those that I find good in summer are:

        Tauer L’Air Du Desert Marocain (in truth I wear it all the time, but there is something I love about it in summer)
        Neela Vermeire: Ashoka or Mohur, depending on heat
        SL: Encens et Lavande if I am inside
        SL: Tuberose Criminelle (late night outings, I smell like an astonishing hot house)
        SL: Muscs Koublai Khan (humid days!)
        Guerlain: Champs-Elysees and on the odd day, Mitsouko.
        Hermessence: Osmanthe Yunnan if indoors (never mind the top notes, the tea goes mad on me and I smell like I should be drunk. That and I love freesias).
        Chanel: Bois des Iles (teaching in hot spaces)
        Mallee: Vetiver Extraordinare (when I forget what green grass looks like)

        … and pretty much anything else at least once as long as I don’t end up suffocated by flowers or my love of incense.

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        WOW! That is a fabulous line up. I am quite overcome by your good taste. Whoosh. Top of the frag class for you Enname.
        Portia xx

      • enname says:

        Hah! There is a first for everything, me having taste! And then you find me running around the house today in Love Chloe, because who doesn’t want to smell like talc, rice and rotting iris? (Ok, the latter is just how iris and my skin roll)

      • australianperfumejunkies says:


  15. annemariec says:

    Mon Dieu indeed! Anything that gets that much love from an experienced perfumista is worthy of my full attention. I am lunching with a friend today so I shall try and persuade her to swing into somewhere where we can try CE. Until now I admit that I have followed the herd and avoided it. How silly.

    I am preparing a decant of Madonna Truth or Dare Naked to give this friend. TDN is one of your faves I seem to recall? I think she will love that dark choccie note. I picked up a bottle at Priceline last weekend for $20.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      How good is the Priceline deal on TDN? So jealous, I paid full price for mine, but it was TOTALLY worth it.
      I hope Champs Elysees doesn’t disapoint AnnaMariaC
      Portia xxx

    • Willa says:

      Caveat emptor, the counters almost always have the CE EDT as testers. Don’t judge a fragrance by it’s EDT!

  16. Fifi says:

    OK, you’ve got me so intrigued I just ordered some. Can’t wait to try it! BTW I love that evocative photo (just before you burst into tears). It looks like a still from a classic French movie, you being a young Jeanne Moreau or someone equally iconic.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      I think I was being something moronic, Jin would agree.
      WOW! Fifi, I hope you enjoy Champs Elysees. It’s a cheap and cheerful, wearable, fun frag.
      Portia xx

  17. Laurels says:

    I put this on my “To Try” list after reading the EauMG review, but if she likes it, and Scents of Self likes it, and Poodle likes it, and YOU like it, it is moving way up the list.

    And I feel Tatiana’s pain. My bottle of Lalique Le Parfum was purchased before I got Perfumes: The Guide, and the one-star review (description: “rock bottom”) really had me wondering if I’d made a huge mistake. It does smell artificial to me now, in the dry-down, but certainly not more artificial than Angel, which they give five stars. The bay leaf in the opening still smells great, though, and I’m pretty sure I still like it. My advice to other newbies doubting their taste after reading a bad review: put the perfume aside for a bit until the vividness of the criticism fades, and then try it again as if you’re testing it for the first time.

    I’m glad things are going smoothly for you, perfume-wise, on this trip. Such a sad photo!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      GREAT ADVICE LaurelS,
      It was a very sad photo, even looking at it makes my stomach bottom out in sympathy still. This time was wonderful though.
      Portia xx

  18. Kandice says:

    I wore this when I was younger and loved it. I didn’t know it was still out there. I’d forgotten about it to be honest. Now I must go and look for it again. Thanks for the review! Glad you’re having a great trip 🙂

  19. maggiecat says:

    I wore Champs Elysee for a while some years ago – bought it for myself for Christmas, and enjoyed it as it was more sophisticated than other scents I enjoyed. The hate I hear for it makes me a little embarrassed to admit this, but I liked it just fine. Glad you do too!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      We are all so silly, we worry what others think at the most unnecessary times. I’m glad MaggieCat that you are on the love team
      Portia xx

  20. Jackie Rosen says:

    Hi Portia,
    Hope you’re continuing to have a fabulous time in Paris. The photos of 68 look gorgeous. Did you go to the Palais Royal? One of my favorite places, not to mention the perfurmeur there in. Want to hear more of your travel adventures!
    Party on, Jackie

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey there Jackie rosen.
      Done in Paris, yes Palais royale and we went to Parfums de Rosine and Serge Lutens there. It was a fabulous time. Now in London and off to Oxford later. Then home!!
      Portia xx

      • Jackie Rosen says:

        Wow, a true world wind trip! You’re amazing to write back. Have a ball! London is such a happening place these days. Look forward to your impressions.
        Fine & fun travels always, J

  21. Undina says:

    First I want to say that I have an almost identical picture at that store: Vanessa and I managed to get there the only day it was closed for some reason.

    Now about Champs Elysees: you just have to read my story about that perfume (just the first paragraph). I have an EdT bottle now and enjoy wearing it from time to time.
    Undina recently posted…A Postcard from Undina: Rain!My Profile

  22. […] scent. I have the lovely Miss Portia to thank for this gorgeous recent addition to my collection. The radiant mix of mimosa, rose and […]

  23. Marie says:

    To me, this is a lovely lovely fresh floral scent. Normally I like rich animalistic things and strange chypres and woods and mens fragrances but I like this floral because to me it smells fresh, violet, almost lime, sweet somethings even lilac and an citrus twang with powdery soft undertones. To me this is so much nicer than so many florals. I dont think florals are so easy to do.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Champs-Elysees is a very particular floral and not for everyone. I do like to meet a fellow fan Marie.
      Portia xx

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