L’Instant’s one of those weird anomalies that give me a hard time when it comes to finding and purchasing it. Eventually I broke down, having looked for months with it eluding me, and dropped full price on a bottle. It felt ridiculous at the time that a very recent, rather popular fragrance like this, could be out or not stocked everywhere I looked.
I can see what some Guerlain fans can love about L’Instant. For one, it’s not the dreaded mix of fruits and florals in a bottle. Heaven forbid.
In Bottle: Rich, sweet honey with a resiny background. It is almost a gourmand but the floral note in this is preventing it from getting there. The magnolia lends it a bit of powder to prevent the honey and amber from turning into a honeyed cream scent which would land it in gourmand territory for me.
Applied: Honey amps up immediately with this slightly sharp sting of citrus. The magnolias are creating this very fine sweetened floral fragrance a few moments later. The floral aspect does a good job working with the sweetness. I’m no longer detecting powder and there’s less and less of it as the magnolia fades away and the amber gets stronger. Once again L’Instant is skirting the gourmand line as it warms up from the initial blast of citrus. In the end, L’Instant goes out smelling like warm, sweet, golden amber.
Extra: Resins and resinous notes can include amber, labdanum, ambergris, frankincense, myrrh, benzoin, etc.
Design: Nicely shaped rounded corner bottle with slightly purple tinged clear glass showing off the light amber juice inside. The cap on the bottle I have has a nice weight to it unlike the flighty, flimsy clear plastic deals on the other Guerlains I own. I wish they would go with this denser feeling cap more often. It looks better, feels better, and helps class up the project.
Fragrance Family: Oriental
Notes: Citrus, honey, magnolia, golden amber.
It was a bit difficult choosing which way to go on this fragrance. To me, it is really close to being a gourmand despite having only one gourmand-esq note in it. Had the amber been vanilla this wouldn’t have been so hard. In the end I stuck to the safe bet as L’Instant does have the amber necessary and does have that thick, resinous golden base to it that could label it as an oriental even though it doesn’t truly slot itself neatly there either. See, people say oriental and I think resins and dark musky scents. There’s no dark musk in L’Instant. In the end, I hate agonizing over something that’s essentially my opinion anyway so you get oriental.
Reviewed in This Post: L’Instant, 2010, Eau de Parfum.