Nahema by Jean-Paul Guerlain 1979


Post by Trésor



I’m often asked if I were forced to choose a single rose fragrance to wear for the rest of my life, the be-all and end-all of sumptuous carmine petals, what would that rose be? Would I choose to enrapture myself within a bordeaux hued nebula of Frederic Malle’s Une Rose? The labrynthine delicacy of Mohur from Neela Vermeire? The striking and immaculately vivid photorealism of Olympic Orchids’ Ballets Rouges? Though I appreciate their beauty beyond measure and spend many an hour in their passionate embrace the answer is simply no. My rose is Nahéma and it is her panoramic film star joie de vivre which draws me in close and beguiles me beyond the tangible and into a state of resplendent olfactory euphoria.

Nahema by Jean-Paul Guerlain 1979

Nahema Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rose, peach, bergamot, green notes, aldehydes
Heart: Hyacinth, Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lilac, lily of the valley
Base: Vanilla, passion flower, Peru balsam, vetiver, sandalwood

The incipient rush of Nahéma is an exquisite spectrum of golden sunlight, her rays are a fluid opus of scintillating aldehydes, bergamot and a rather fascinating, fleeting flicker of hesperidic emerald green. Before long she begins to reveal a precious gift passed down to her by her older sister Mitsouko, the most unctuous and extraordinary peach who’s ripe flesh is gilded with flourishing spices. The beauty of the peach in Nahéma is in the way she carries it with utter ebullience and effortless charm. This symphonic assemblage of top notes cannot hold a candle to what comes next, the ripples of which have pervaded the very atmosphere of the entire composition from the beginning, the rose.

Nahema Guerlain  Peach Liz West FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

To begin to explain this rose seems almost an Olympian task for it is not simply a rose, it is a dream sequence and conceptual art piece in and of itself. It is not a rose of the Earth but a romanticized rendering, an olfactory landscape of scarlet lipstick kisses and lucid eruptions of honeyed, crimson velvet. The facets of Nahéma’s rose are akin to those of an intricately cut diamond, a radiant explosion of luminosity grounded by a weighted, baroque floridity that calls to mind a bygone era of unabashed luxury and excess. As the operatic rose begins to settle into the skin you are met with a redolent hum of rich, balsamic warmth. She’s borrowed some of Shalimar‘s characteristic vanilla and has again worn it in her own signature style.

Nahema Guerlain Baroque WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

While still a study in resinous complexity it also maintains a dulcet levity to foil a smouldering depth. This is something that must be experienced for all the words in the world seem a failure to convey the inimitable beauty hidden within these treasured vapours.

Further reading: Colognoisseur and The Non Blonde
Beauty Encounter have $320/30ml Parfum
Surrendeer To Chance has vintage PdT samples from $6/ml

My concentration of choice in this pulchritudinous potion is the dense and luxuriant extrait de parfum. It lasts an exhorbitantly long time on my skin, sometimes through a hot bath and into the next day. I’m particularly fond of anointing my skin with Nahéma when I am looking to feel unapologetically glamorous and in need of an instant boost of confidence. For me, it truly is a sacred elixir.

Trésor XX

14 comments on “Nahema by Jean-Paul Guerlain 1979

  1. australianperfumejunkies says:

    Welcome Trésor,
    we are thrilled to have you on board. Love Guerlain and your first piece chats about one I am not intimate with.
    Already I am preparing to spend some quality time with Nahema, you make it sound incredible,
    Portia xx

  2. cookie queen says:

    One of the few Guerlains I really want to try. Now even more so. I better get onto it! Nice to see you here Trésor. xxx

    • Trésor says:

      Thank you so much! I’m so happy to be here.

      You really must give it another whirl, it’s something very special. <3

  3. Ferris says:

    Ohhhh I need to try this now! Is the current version very different from the vintage? Also what are the major differences in the other concentrations ie edp, edt? Very nice review!

    • Trésor says:

      As with any modern formulation, there is a departure from the vintage formulae but I think Guerlain has kept Nahéma in good form and I think anyone would be pleased with the present-time potion.

      The biggest differences between the extrait de parfum and the eau de parfum are in their longevity and the density of composition. The extrait lasts and lasts on my skin and feels much deeper, unctuous and more baroque. The eau de parfum is a lovely little concotion though, it’s just a bit thinner and the longevity isn’t as powerful. I find the eau de parfum a bit more ebuillient and cheery where I find the extrait to be more of a proper bombshell.

  4. Elia says:

    Sprayed the extrait on a blotter a couple of weeks back for the first time and it left a good enough impression to want to revisit. Most other things didn’t.

  5. Marion says:

    Sigh….another lemming born…..

  6. Nemo says:

    Of the rose perfumes you mention, I have only tried Ballet Rouges but I do love it! I also love Shalimar so now I am extra excited about Nahema 🙂 Who doesn’t need some apologetic glamour once in a while? Thank you for the lovely review.

    • Trésor says:

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it! I am a rose lover and my list of favourites goes on and on but it really is Nahéma that takes the cake for me. I hope you will love it as much as I do, 🙂

  7. Lyubov says:

    Yay, Tresor is here! Me – as glad as Punch, you – should be even gladder! APJs are the funniest fumie bunch in the blogosphere!
    Now, talking Nahema, I know it from afar. Never owned it, but I really wish to. At least a 10ml decant. Well, to put it simply, its metal-oily-lipstick rose is rolling like a kid’s kaleidoscope on my skin. I sprayed it 2-3 times from a friend who has it in the pierced gilded bottle edition, and it should be edp. The aftermath was a seductive effect on my boyfriend. Sexy, indeed. Though not many people admit rose fragrances are sexy. They say they are, before they know there’s rose blended in. Yep!
    Thanks for the reminder. Now, I must find some Nahema and make it my own, for keeps.
    Lyubov recently posted…Immersing / B21My Profile

    • Trésor says:

      That’s so sweet of you to say, Lyubov! I’m so happy to be here. 🙂

      It really is terribly sexy, isn’t it? I think that’s another reason why it’s my favourite rose. A kaleidoscope is a perfect analogy! It is so many things at once but somehow blended together with a masterful hand. If you get the chance, do try the extrait. There is something very special about it, to me at least.

  8. Odiferess says:

    This has rendered me very impatient to go and worship at the temple of the Guerlain counter. Unfortunately I have two days of work to get through before I can make the pilgrimage.
    I have had a little sniff of Nahema adorned skin before and found it both mesmerising and walloping, like a huge sweet wallop in the face, from a beautiful gloved fist!
    I shall seek it out.
    Thank you Tresor.
    Odiferess recently posted…Review: Estee Lauder Youth Dew Bath Oil, Oriental MothershipMy Profile

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