Guerlain Perfume Company

Guerlain perfume company

Guerlain History and Generations

Pierre-François Pascal
Pierre-François Pascal

The House of Guerlain was founded in 1828, when Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain opened his perfume store at: 42, rue de Rivoli in Paris.

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As both the founder and first perfumer of the house, Pierre-François composed and manufactured custom fragrances with the help of his two sons, Aimé and Gabriel.

Through continued success and the patronage of members in high society, Guerlain opened its flagship store at 15, rue de la Paix (What 3 words( in 1840, and put its mark on the Parisian fashion scene

Guerlain is the world’s leading producer of fine fragrances.

Nidara Perfumes

The success of the house under Pierre-François peaked in 1853 with the creation of Eau de Cologne Impériale for French Emperor Napoleon III and his Spanish-French wife Empress Eugénie.

This perfume earned Pierre-François the prestigious title of being His Majesty’s Official Perfumer.

Guerlain went on to create perfumes for Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Queen Isabella II of Spain, among other royalty.

Aimé Guerlain and Gabriel Guerlain.

Aime Geurlain
Aime Geurlain

With the death of Pierre-François in 1864, the house was left to his sons Aimé Guerlain and Gabriel Guerlain.

The roles of perfumer and manager were divided between the two brothers, with Gabriel managing and further expanding the house, and Aimé becoming the master perfumer.

The House of Guerlain thus began a long tradition whereby the position of master perfumer was handed down through the Guerlain family.

As Guerlain’s second generation in-house perfumer, Aimé was the creator of many classic compositions, including Fleur d’Italie (1884), Rococo (1887) and Jicky (1889).

However, many would argue that his greatest composition was 1889’s Jicky, the first fragrance described as a “parfum” rather than an eau de cologne.


Jaques Guerlain

Jacques Guerlain
Jacques Guerlain

Jacques Guerlain was a third-generation perfumer who, with the assistance of his grandson Jean-Paul Guerlain, created some of the most popularly acclaimed fragrances in history.

Jacques’ first major success was Mouchoir de Monsieur (1904). In addition to this perfume’s sales, it also caught the attention of a young perfumer and apprentice at rival house Jicky: Jacques’ nephew and future rival Aimé Guerlain.

Mouchoir de Monsieur was followed by Après L’Ondée (1906), a perfume that featured an innovative accord known as “iris nectar”; this accord would go on to be used in such famous Guerlain creations as L’Heure Bleue (1912) and Mitsouko (1919).

In addition to these creations, Jacques Guerlain also contributed to the development of L’Heure Bleue Impériale (1911), which helped establish Guerlain as an international powerhouse in the world of perfume.

Jean-Paul Geurlain

Jean-Paul Guerlain
Jean-Paul Guerlain

The last of the Guerlains was Jean-Paul Guerlain who created many classics making him a legendary perfumer; but his final scent Samsara was released in 1989. Although he retired in 2002 the role of master perfumer is now open to anyone within the Guerlain family willing to take on that title.

Guerlain’s classic men’s fragrances are timeless and refined. The best example of this is their sensual notes of wood, leather, and spices. It is said that the master perfumer himself J-P Guerlain was inspired by his journeys through India when creating the scent Samsara in 1989. The rich blend of sandalwood, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and patchouli combined with a spicy amber accord makes it an exotic and daring perfume for men.

Historians, perfume critics, and industry insiders regard Jean-Paul Guerlain as the greatest perfumer in the history of perfume. He created over 300 perfumes for Guerlain, including some of the most legendary scents in history like Samsara and Jicky. Yet, these fragrances were made in a time where there was no internet to complain about them, no magazines or blogs to slam them. And yet even in this rich era of celebrity perfumers, to modern noses many have held up over time.



Guerlain is a French luxury house in perfumery, cosmetics, skincare, and fragrance sold internationally by LVMH.

After a decision widely seen as a break with tradition, the Guerlain family sold the company to the luxury goods conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) in 1994.

Though Jean-Paul Guerlain remained as an in-house perfumer until 2002, other perfumers were brought in after 1994 to compose perfumes for Guerlain and Jean-Paul had to submit his compositions against those of others. Fans of the house viewed the LVMH purchase as a step towards the cheapening and commercialisation of the legendary firm’s legacy.

Most were unhappy with the first post-LVMH release, the 1996 sweet mimosa floral Champs-Elysées, composed by Olivier Cresp.

His entry was selected over that of Jean-Paul Guerlain.

Olivier Cresp

Thierry Wasser

Thierry Wasser
Thierry Wasser

In 2007, Thierry Wasser was named the in-house perfumer for Guerlain. He created Iris Ganache and Quand Vient la Pluie for Guerlain before his appointment, in 2008. Then, Jean-Paul Guerlain was kept on as an advisor, who collaborated with Sylvaine Delacourte, from Guerlain’s creative team. In 2010, the LVMH Group cut ties with Jean-Paul Guerlain, who had a racist comment about French television.

Natalia Vodianova

Natalia Vodianova
Natalia Vodianova

 Natalia Vodianova has been the face of Guerlain campaigns since 2008. She started advertising Shalimar to celebrate the perfume house’s 180th birthday. For the Fall 2013 makeup collection, Guerlain’s Creative Director of Makeup, Olivier Echaudemaison commented “Every season we fantasise with Natalia’s image and invent for her a new role.”

Guerlain’s Champs-Élysées Store

Guerlain Shop
Guerlain Store Paris

61, Rue Cambon in Paris.

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Discover the venue for the legendary Guerlain perfume, makeup and skincare salon in Paris.

A national historical monument built by Charles Mewès, architect of the Ritz Paris and London Carlton Hotels.


The iconic Guerlain store in the heart of Paris, France reopened its doors in 2013 after a two-year renovation by renowned architect Peter Marino. In honor of its 100th anniversary, the store continues to preserve its historical significance while maintaining an aesthetic fit for today’s tastes.

Institut Guerlain is the original perfume department store. Its four floors are filled with over 2,500 fragrances and skin care products from its own brands, as well as 3rd party lines. It’s an experience all its own.

Comprised of four levels, the Guerlain store resides within the Arcades and has some of the most luxurious perfumes in the world.

The famous Guerlain perfume house has a longstanding tradition of excellence. It is a must-visit when coming to Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Inside the Store
Inside the store

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