Crappy picture from the Internet.
I've never experienced a perfume that made me weep-until this one. It is so beautiful, and so different, that smelling it on my person became an emotional experience-and I'm so not an emotional person, at all. Danny stood there trying it with me, and though he didn't burst into tears, he did get very quiet before retreating to another room to experience it privately.
I have no idea what Oeillet 000 (the triple zeros are for a triple concentration of the carnation) would have smelled like when it was new, and there aren't any official notes available. To my nose, there's something else there as it is sweeter than you'd expect a carnation to be. In fact, there's hardly anything of the spiciness I love so much in carnation scents (I mourned a bit when Roger and Gallet stopped selling the soap in the US). I could swear I smell vanilla (or Tonka) but I admit that might just be me imposing Guerlain on Guerlain. This is different. Mr. ETB pointed out that I'm wearing a perfume from before the World Wars, and that it suggests a time so far gone it is hard to approach. I suppose there might be something to that but honestly, I wasn't thinking of the history when I opened the bottle-I was thinking of smelling a Holy Grail Guerlain (I joined the Cult of Guerlain so long ago I'm practically a Cultist Emeritus). What's the magic ingredient here? Who know. Perhaps, age?
I ignored Mr. ETB's urging to go secure a few more decants before it is gone forever as I can't see myself wearing Oeillet 000. There's something too awful about witnessing the extinction of something be it a white rhinoceros, and Ivory Billed Woodpecker, an aged bottle of brandy, or a rare, vintage perfume. Sure there might still be a few bottles left in the wild but for practical purposes, it is gone. I may well change my mind by morning and buy as much as they'll permit, but I doubt it. Who wants that sort of emotional baggage with a perfume? What if it went off in my care? I don't want that responsibility.
There are still decants available if you're interested in smelling a nearly extinct Guerlain from over a century ago. I can promise you it is beautiful, but I can't promise you won't fall apart when you try it. I guess that is part of the experience. I do recommend trying it when you can be alone to spend some time with it . I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience Oeillet 000, and I have enough left for a few more wears (a little goes a long way with this one) but I don't see that happening soon. I've never felt as uncomfortable with a perfume as I was with this one.
Do you have a Holy Grail fragrance you've been searching years for?