Love is All by Christophe Raynaud for Guerlain 2005


Kate Apted


Well hello there, APJ family! We all made it to 2019. I hope your bellies are beginning to subside and you have practiced saying/writing 2019 instead of 2018.

A few months back, I was doing my usual perfume rotation and I found a couple bottles of perfume I had been saving for the ‘right time’. Obscure, not terribly exciting ones that I had left for whatever reason. One of these was Love is All by Guerlain. It was released in 2005, around the same time as quite a few misses from the house. I am really not too sure what was happening behind the scenes at Guerlain at this time, but teen growing pains at LVMH ownership may have been part of it. I’ll explain why in a moment.

Love is All by Christophe Raynaud (2005) for Guerlain

I decided to open it. I had never been attracted to the box because it always seemed too frou-frou teen to me. Pink, a computer generated image of a brunette.. you get the idea. Then there is the name. Just take a look at the Insolence flanker names while you are at it. Bizarrely, the L’Art et la Matiere series had been released around the same time, as well as the incredible L’Instant range. Why Guerlain went with this Love series is still beyond me.


Photo by Kate Apted

It does not end there. The bottle itself is a variation of the heart topped squarish ones used for Mitsi and L’Heure. It curves at the edges, giving it a more modern appeal, yet definitely marks its difference from the classics. The graphics on the front of the bottle are cheap and something I’d expect from a celebrity scent. I am impressed, however, with the sticker on the base. I can read it quite easily and seems it will last longer than the graphics on the front!

So, what of the scent? That is why I opened the box, to know what might lurk inside. I had a vague notion that it was powdery and fruity. In all honesty, I expected very little, given the impressions of the box and the bottle. Upon first spray, I got a huge intake of a peppery passionfruit. It stayed that way for about 2 minutes. I nearly went to scrub it off, but then the powder hit. That Guerlinade that is instantly recognisable. Guerlain has an uncanny ability to make purple flowers morph into what ever they want. Fragrantica lists iris and mimosa as the two main notes. It explains the powderiness, but I would not have guessed it as being iris.

Love is all

Photo by Kate Apted

Fragrantica lists the following notes: passionfruit, pink pepper, mandarin, mimosa, iris, orange blossom, freesia, neroli, nutmeg, amber, musk, vanilla, woodsy notes.


The fruits dry down quite quickly and I honestly do not detect them at any time after the initial spray. The mandarin is not even detectable to my nose at any stage. So, the mimosa-iris combination is pretty much what I am left with for the entire time after. Linear, somewhat flat and very average projection. It lingers as a skin scent for about three hours. While Love is All has the hallmarks of a Guerlain, it certainly does not announce itself to a room and hasn’t the heady present of its contemporaries, such as Insolence and L’Instant edt. I will admit that the white florals that peek out after two hours give an indication of what Guerlain could achieve with L’Instant edt, Nerolia Bianca and Lys Soleia. To me, it seems as if Guerlain eased its usual quality into a more marketable mass appeal, but lost, in its translation, the very thing that makes Guerlain remarkable .

I do not regret opening Love is All. I am not disappointed, for I had really only bought it for two reasons: first, it was dirt cheap at some hidden suburban chemist; a bargain, I suppose, and second, I had hoped to profit off it one day.; an investment. It is by no means an unpleasant scent, but I do not reach for it. I have to wear it in order to remember what it smells like. That tells me I have no feelings towards it and will probably just sit there til I feel ready to part with it.

I suspect Guerlain was trying to capture the market being cornered by Paris Hilton, JLo and the rise of the celebrity scents. Both Colour of Love and Love is All were limited editions and were eventually superceded by La Petite Robe Noire and Insolence, which probably did better for Guerlain at speaking to Millenials. There was the changing of the perfume making guard, adding to Guerlain’s identity issues. It seems that Guerlain, headed by Wasser, has come into its own and remembered what it does best – make classics.

Let me know what you think are Guerlain’s hit and misses in more recent times. Are there any possible classics amongst them all? Or do you think Guerlain has completely lost its way?

Much love,

Kate xx

28 thoughts on “Love is All by Christophe Raynaud for Guerlain 2005

  1. I haven’t tried enough of the current releases to say. I did have a decant of Baiser de Russie which I liked but because of it’s poor longevity on my scent devouring skin it did not last very long with frequent application (in other words, I finished it!). Not sure I would put it in classic category. I also recently tried for the first time Encens Mythique which was beautiful. And last year, Black Perfecto, but I see there are SO MANY flankers of that one not sure which one I even tried!!!! I get overwhelmed when there are too many choices and rather than exploring them all I shut down and move on-LOL!

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  2. First of all, Kate, I continue to enjoy your writing.

    As an individual inclined to masculine tastes I have acquainted myself with Guerlain’s fragrances like: Vetiver, L’instant pour Homme EDT and also the original Eau Extreme (of which I own/have owned), Habit Rouge, as well sampling of the L’homme Ideal series. I’m not very familiar with the feminine line, so I cannot speak on that. What I will offer, is that I, too, pick up on a powdery theme that underlies the dry down of the Guerlain fragrances that I own and have sampled. Whilst Habit Rouge is not really to my taste, I highly appreciate L’instant pour homme and Vetiver (both pre- Listerine bottle era). Whereas what I get from the L’homme Ideal line-up (with the exception of the L’intense flanker) is a sense of identity-crisis or perhaps as you suggested, a roll-of-the-dice by the company to lure an alternative generation of consumers to their brand. That being said, the element that I found at odds with the Guerlain masculines that I had become accustomed to was the intensity of sweetness in the L’homme Ideal series. So that’s from a masculine point of view.

    There is something more consistently ‘buttoned-up’ and ‘grown-up’ about Guerlain fragrances, pre-Wasser, at least to my humble mind/nose.

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    • Khosro, I tend to agree. That works for the femme line too. L’Homme Ideal is brother to La Petit Robe Noire. Just different twists to the same cherry.

      With the tides shifting to a more discerning market, the trend for sweet scents on the wane, we might get to see more of what Mr Wasser has hidden in his box of talents.

      And thank you for your very kind words. X


  3. I have a sample of Love Is All, it really is a nice cheerful scent. The thing with Guerlain is, even when they manage to produce an outstanding perfume nowadays, they sell it as a part of their exclusive line which is hard to find unless one lives in a big city or travels abroad often enough, and the price are rather high. I totally get that this is a luxury segment but it still seems unfair that only people with money can get, say, Iris Ganache. If not for their classics, I probably wouldn’t bother with Guerlain anymore: nothing that came out in the recent years has pleased me. I have to say, though, that Thierry Wasser has done a terrific job in having recalibrated Mitsouko and the rest of Jacques’s and Jean-Paul’s creations, I like them much better that those produced in the late 90-es or the 2000s. They’re not as deep as true vintage but still, rather good.

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    • Given the choices on the market, Diana, and the IFRA demands, I think we need to thank our stars we even have the classics.

      I would love to see a Wasser creation that is not curtailed and bridled by the marketing team or LVMH. I have a strong feeling he has ideas that might amount to more than sugared water.

      Diana, Love is All is indeed a cheerful scent. X


  4. I haven’t even smelled most of their newer offerings except for Parfum Initial, Souffle and Black Perfecto, but I really like them and they’re well done imo.

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  5. Hi Kate, I love several Guerlain perfumes and cannot imagine life without them. I am unfamiliar with the very recent perfumes though. However, it really all is a matter of personal taste. Guerlain Champs Elysee was not all too popular and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Happy New Year!
    Sandra xo


  6. Happy new year 2019 Kate!🎶🎶
    Love hearing about less well known scents especially from Guerlain. I have noticed they have very many variations of same fragrance and it is too confusing sometimes. They should stick to great classics.

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      • I remembered a couple of rare birds: With Love and L’Instant Fleur de Mandarine. I won the latter in a shop lottery and gave it to my mum (I was a Miss Dior Cherie gal then, lol). Someone at Guerlain clearly liked mandarine note back in the 2000s, they’ve made some decent scents with it.

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  7. Never even heard of that one, Kate! I like the spotty curved-mitsy bottle though. And your review 🙂

    I love the old school Guerlains–Mitsouko, L’Heure Bleue, Jicky, Vetiver, Vol de Nuit*–but most of the newer ones just slide past me. Except Wasser’s Encens Mythique, which is bloody lovely. And Black Perfecto is a fun wear but I think, generally, the explosion of LPRN scents diluted the potential of the original version.

    I really wanted to like Mon Guerlain, but, oh, the unredeemed sweetness.

    * yes, Shalimar is missing from the list. I like it in theory more than in practice. It goes a bit lemon meringue pie on me.

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