Another addition to the White Collection, Pierre Guillaume takes influences from 1977 and makes them relevant to the current day.
Vanilla, Sea Spray, Ylang-ylang, Peach, Sandalwood, White Musk
What would you say if you were having a chat with Venus? Well, if you are Pierre Guillaume, the answer is this rather intriguing and interesting take on a vanilla fragrance.
Dialogue with Venus opens with boldness and strength. Throughout this review I am likely to make reference to a wave crashing on a beach and this starts right now with the opening. The scent is dynamic, sparkling, energetic and lively. It calls to mind the whoosh of spray thrown up when a wave crashes on to the shore. The sparkling facets of the fragrance mimic the glittering light that the wave catches, but the purity of the sparkling wave is shot through with flecks of green from ribbons of seaweed which lurk beneath the surface.
There’s a lot going on in the start of Dialogue with Venus, and it may well take you a few wears to feel comfortable with the sheer size and impact of the start (it certainly did me), and especially so if you are sensitive to an aldehydic white floral composition because in reality that is what this is. There’s a watery kind of freshness there, the splash of cool water on a warm day, the crunch of salt crystals, this strange greenery which has a herbal facet to it – almost haylike and anise at times. The way that it opens makes Dialogue with Venus feel almost foamy, frothy, alive.
The sheer enormity of the way that the scent begins doesn’t last for too long, and in the way that we are led through the fragrance demonstrates the cleverness of the perfumer. If a lesser nose had composed this, the top would have felt disconnected from the rest of the scent. As it is, it almost feels disconnected even now, but somehow Pierre Guillaume manages to just hold on to it long enough for the composition to make sense. It skirts the edge of that at time, but just about holds the line, and is more thrilling for doing so.
As the scent settles, the peach and ylang-ylang come to the fore, taking over from where the shafts of greenery and sparkling light left off. The saltiness continues, tangy, but not overdone. It’s just there lurking at the back of an inhale and making sure you know that this is seawater we are playing in.
Peach and ylang-ylang could be too much in and of themselves, but the greenery we had at first, and the saltiness we retain, both seem to settle and keep the scent in check. It is undercut by a glowing swell of sandalwood which starts to make itself noticed, and that smoothes and tames everything sat above it.
To go back to the wave, the initial foamy crash has now happened and the milky water is being dragged back seawards. Normally we discuss texture in scent but here it is a sound: that wave rumble, crashing and then sighing as the sea reclaims the water it cast up.
The final phase of the wear of Dialogue with Venus sees the sea become a mill pond, with the energy of those initial waves spent. The sun is out in full now, warming the water which is milky and full of soft caresses rather than tempestuous crashing about. The vanilla combines with the peach and ylang-ylang to make a sumptuous setting, pillowy and sweet. The saltiness recedes with the tide, leaving us with this residual combination and the fragrant comforts of white musks and sandalwood.
There’s something really dreamy and intoxicating about Dialogue with Venus. It has an otherworldly feel about it whilst remaining friendly and calming too. lt does indeed make you imagine gods and goddesses sat on white clouds, watching the toils of men and women far below them on earth.
Whilst the beginning of the scent does take some getting used to, and whilst it feels like the sort of opening which will put some people off immediately, the base is round, plump, cosy and widely appealing. The interest of the fragrance is in the way that Pierre Guillaume has managed to marry the two elements and make them feel part of a greater story.
The other stuff
The perfumer for this fragrance was Pierre Guillaume.
1977 was the year Pierre Guillaume was born, and it was also the year that Helmut immortalised Charlotte Rampling in a series of photos entitled Venus in Fur. In the photos, Rampling is depicted as a supersensual woman, fully in charge of her power and asserting her desires. Pierre Guillaume used this as the inspiration for the fragrance which fuses the bohemian perfumes of the 1970s with a more modern and updated sensibility.
The longevity of Dialogue with Venus is really strong, lasting a good eight ours following application.
The sillage of the fragrance is also good with the scent travelling to at least handshake distance and likely even further, especially in the moments following a spritz and whilst those aldehydic top notes are really sparkling.
If you’ve visited us at all previously then you will know that Pierre Guillaume are one of our firm favourites here at The Sniff and we have reviewed a vast array of his fragrances which combine interesting, modern compositions with a wide range and ease of accessibility. These aren’t the esoteric end of the spectrum, but instead are wearable scents which fit into your daily life with ease, whilst giving you that slice of luxury and uniqueness you may have come to fragrance to find. Pierre Guillaume scents are designed to make you, yes you, feel good and have a little bit of joy in your day, and they do that so well.
We’ve previously reviewed Oshiso, Intime.Extime, A Une Madone, Alphaora, Morning in Tipasa, Animal Mondain, Lune d’Eau, Sunsuality, PG 9.1 Komorebi, PG 03 Cuir Venenum, PG 04 Musc Maori, PG 5.1 Suede Osmanthe, PG 16 Jardins de Kerylos and the exceptional Bois Naufrage. Also by Pierre Guillaume we’ve looked at Superlady, Sucre d’Ebene, Shermine, Aqaysos, Jangala, Tonkamande, Anti-Blues and Hapyang.
Dialogue with Venus is available from the Pierre Guillaume web boutique where it is priced at €105 for 50ml and €155 for 100ml of EdP.
It’s also quite likely that you will be able to get Dialogue with Venus from Bloom Perfumery London, although they don’t have it in stock yet (at the time of writing).
We were gifted a sample of this fragrance by Pierre Guillaume when we visited him at Esxence. Our thanks to both Pierre and the brand.