I'm a bit surprised at all the fuss made about this re-issued Guerlain fragrance from 1901. I secured a generous decant expecting I'd be blown away by it. I'm not. There isn't anything wrong with it, and I don't actively dislike it, but I don't understand all the fuss either. There's iris and violet, and a tiny bit of sandalwood. The notes list narcissus and ylang ylang, but I don't smell those at all. It reminds me a little of the dry shampoo I used to buy in the 70's.
I can't know what the original would have smelled like, but in this re-issued formulation, it isn't terribly exciting. Nice, yes. We all like nice sometimes, but this is very expensive, "nice." Unless you're a Guerlain fan and must experience it, I can't recommend splashing out on something this uninteresting. There are better violet/iris fragrances available if you're looking for something wearable. If you're looking for a perfume history lesson, then perhaps Voilette de Madame makes more sense.
The silage is almost nothing-if you turn your head, you'll miss it. The longevity isn't much either-a couple hours tops.
I suspect there's just some fragrances that require a time and place to work properly. 2015 in Omaha, Nebraska isn't able to provide Voilette de Madame whatever it requires.
I really do wonder if it is worth trying to resurrect these turn-of-the-century perfumes with what modern perfumery has available per regulations. Sure, I can get an "idea" of what it was like, but so what? I'm only catching a glimpse, and leaving my brain to fill in the blanks seems terribly cruel. I understand the desire to feel connected to the past, particularly with a house like Guerlain, but at some point it does start to feel like a way for them to make money. Guerlain already has ways to make money with things people want to buy and wear. Offering up an olfactory history lesson in the guise of a "reissued" classic is a bit silly. It isn't so much a reissue as a re-imagining with modern materials. Is it "close" to the original? I don't have any way to know, and neither does anyone else so for all that, it might as well be a completely new perfume without relying on the mystery afforded it by age.
I used to think flankers were the worst thing about modern perfume marketing, but perhaps the reissuing of fragrances gone so long no one missed them is worse. I wouldn't hesitate to pry open a 100 year old bottle of perfume to smell it in whatever state of decomposition it survived, but I do hesitate with re-issues. My bias of course, and if I miss out on something magical, well then there's more for the adventurous. I know I'll continue to buy re-issues from time to time, but I really am trying to avoid making a habit of it. There's only so much space in the fridge to store decants.