I don't understand the bad reviews for this exquisite fragrance, but I conclude it just underlines how much perfume is about individual taste.
Metalys strikes me as an intellectual hiding behind a blonde bombshell persona. First there is that genuinely strange metallic opening - wholly unexpected and actually quite avant garde for a Guerlain compostion. This is quickly followed by a rich, warm, blossoming carnation, with none of the one-note tinniness that is so common among carnation-based scents. I am struck, every time I use Metalys, of the contrast with Nina Ricci's l'Air de Temps, a scent that enjoyed a lot of popularity among my girlfriends at university in the 90's. On me it smelled of cloves and little else. In many ways Metalys is the fragrance that l'Air de Temps should have been, with good quality ingredients in the mix. Then the whole thing settles down to into a creamy, blowzy, sweet-spicy accord that radiates from skin and fabric for hours, losing very little of its complexity and stability over time. The carnation and metallic notes peek out every now and again just to remind you that you are wearing a fragrance of really high quality. I actually prefer this to the much more classically Guerlin-esque and much-coveted Attrape Coeur. Certainly this fragrance is more conventionally 'feminine' and even - shock horror! - girly, but the whole thing is done with tremendous intelligence and aplomb and even, I think, wit. It reminds me that a love of perfume is not some austere exercise in taste, but about pleasure and wanting to smell pretty. Incidentally, this also seems to give pleasure to others, as I've never had so many compliments from strangers on my perfume than when wearing this. Highly recommended, but maybe sample first and live with it for a few hours before springing for a bottle, as it does seem to divide opinion.
Finally got my hands on an ORIGINAL bottle of METALLICA! I was so excited to try this and to have something so coveted (gee im pathetic...) Anyway, I sprayed it and got a mildly spicy carnation, I also detected some rose (not really a a fan) and orange blossom in the opening hour or so. The middle softened the carnation alot, and the powdery vanilla came through still laced with spices and the metallic part, its like a hint of something metallic, not something straight out of dad's garage. Now 24 hours later it is STILL on me and has dried down to a delicious subtly spiced creamy vanilla. Not hugely interesting but I'm still happy to have it.
Yet another screaming stinker from Jean Paul Guerlain. Yes, I've decided that it is he who is ruining the things I love about all Guerlain fragrances....which are subtlety, refinement, complexity, sophistication and uniqueness. Jean Paul's fragrances for women do not posess these qualities. He has created some fabulous classics for MEN...think Vetiver and the different but wonderful Coriolan. But where women are concerned, he seems to think we all need to smell like cheap trollops trying very desperately to smell sexy. Metalys is a sickeningly sweet (ten times more sweet than Shalimar) overtly candy-like vanilla floral surrounded by the most basic cheap powdery notes. Not good powdery (and I love powdery fragrances). Bad, syrupy powdery that hits you over the head. Think of the paper car-deodorizers that can be hung from a car's rearview mirror. THAT kind of powdery (God help me). Metalys, along with Guet-Apens (Attrape-Coeur) and the fantastically horrible Mahora, are just the opposite of what used to be signature Guerlain. I put them on and all but weep from their sticky, cloying and cheap syrupy nature. They are just as ordinary as any cheap mall fragrance we all try to avoid. Also, they bear the distinction of being the only Guerlains to induce bad headaches. What is going on here? Jean Paul needs to stick with the men's fragrances, his true talent, and hand the lady's stuff over to some more talented protege. (One with a more refined sense of smell, please.) These latest from Guerlain are, well, just not Guerlain. And I'm a Guerlain lover from way back. Sigh....
Metalys is very well blended and therefore must be sniffed -and sniffed again- in order to distinguish the notes from one another. This is a rich, deep, sweet, and spicy vanilla concoction that while well done does not blow my socks off. I do love a vanilla that doesn't smell like cup cakes, but this doesn't stand out and yell "PICK ME! PICK ME!" The spicy carnations and vanilla notes dominate this scent. The warm metallic note does not stand out much and does not feel sharp to the nose like some blade- like metal notes can feel. I detect a little jasmine (although it's not in the notes) well in the background and some fruity and juice rose accord that stands out but does not manage to take the spot light away from the vanilla and carnation-- but thankfully manages not to turn the scent into a sharp, soapy and bright scent. The violet is so well aware of her minuscule role in this fragrance that it doesn't even make an effort to get any attention from the crowd. Well done, decant worth it, and I am sure this will be perfect for winter for those looking for a fragrance that is well blended, better done than your run of the mill vanilla fragrance, but not so different from what is popular. Why three lippies? While this is very nice and well done, it simply did not WOW me.
At last, thanks to a swap with mundy, I got to sample this one. Like other "big" Guerlains (Vol de Nuit, L'Heure Bleu, Jicky, Mitsouko, etc.), Metallica is a surprising composition that's so well blended that I get more of a unique one-note, never been tried before, impression of a scent rather than a floral/green/spicy/whatever composition of notes from it. Or maybe that's just because I'm plain lousy at trying to figure out notes in the first place! Anyway, it's very sophisticated yet it manages to be very sweet at the same time. Its gourmand equivalent might be those edible tiny shiney silver balls that you can stick on frosting. And there's this, kind of, soft barrier of scent that keeps its luscious, big middle notes (or heart?) at a distance, making it even more intriguing. I am repetitively sampling it and can't keep away from it, which are signs of maybe eventually loving it or obsessing about it, and bumping it up to 5 lippies. What I'm sure of is that I NEED a decant of Metallica/Metalys since I've used up my sample while writing all this!
I bought a bottle of this in 2000- just before Guerlain took these off the shelves after Metallica the band sued them. I forgot I had this, until the other day I found it still boxed, hidden in my case. After all these years the scent has not morphed- a beautiful carnation follows the metallic opening- then some warm vanilla (a much more beautiful and contemporary vanilla than in Shalimar. I am going to try and get the recently released Metalys- as according to Guerlain, they are one in the same.
I am lucky enough to have some of the original Metallic . I am wrapped up in it like a warm blanket. It has taken to my skin like it was made for me. yes it is a floral with a tiny bit of carnation Vanilla & amber & most of all my beloved violet which stays to the end...all in perfect quantities. I say that as most vanilla go all funky and BO on me not this one.Finally I get to appreciate vanilla as it should be. Lush and creamy and a little bit sleepy. For the few seconds th opening of the perfume is shocking as it smells like a medical faculty,bandaides and betine. But fast as you think oh my it is gone and the vanilla warms up. It never gets hot/cold as in shalimar ..all warm cosy and perfect is how is stays and lasts a good long time on my skin. Yet I am not suggesting that you stay at home and wear this oh no it goes out to parties and has something I really like in a perfume ...class.
At last, I have finally gotton around to reviewing this beauty. I was given a sample vial of this a while back and it did nothing for me. Then , a wonderful MUA'er gave me a decant of this and it was then, after spraying it on and really getting in on my skin fully did I fall in love with it. To me, this is one of those scents that not one particular note stands out in. At first, it is a powdery, spicy floral with some vanilla. No aldehydes at all. Then the violet goes away (thankfully, the only violet I have liked is Tonatto's E. Duse), and the vanilla and spice picks up. This is not a harsh spice, it is a very snuggly beautiful feminine spice. The vanilla is just perfection, it is not overly sweet or overly anything really. It is just right. This is one of my favorite perfumes of all time and believe me I have tried tons of them. When I spray this on I feel comforted, soft and feminine. I love it.I have the EDT and the lasting power is amazing. It has recently been reissued in a 2.5 ounce bottle for about $190 and it is now called Metalys. Metalys is an EDP version of this. I have not tried this so I do not know if the EDP concentration has any noticeable differences. Guerlain claims it is the same formula so for now I am going to believe them. For those who do not know the story, Metallica the band sued Guerlain and they were forced to take this off the market. The original bottle is a gorgeous, gaudy bee bottle, 8.5 ounces.It was $168 at the time it was issued which is a pretty great price for such a huge vat of perfume. Yes it's huge and yes I am going to use the entire thing before I eventually die in a dreamy,sweet smelling fog years from now.
Metallica just did not work for me at all. Virtually all I could detect was spice, spice and more spice - oh, and with a little carnation thrown in. I certainly couldn't smell any violets or anything metallic, although there was a certain amount of vanilla. Not feminine enough for me!
Metallica is one of those scents whose discontinuation boggles the mind (IMO Lars Ulrich should have been FLATTERED that his band was lucky enough to share its name with this fragrance), and I am so relieved to hear Guerlain has made the smart decision to reincarnate it under a new monniker, Metalys. Whatever the title (though it might be important to note that this is not No. 25 -- that is Terracota Voile d'Ete) , this is a glorious, classic fragrance that verges on near perfection. It opens up with a blast of chalky violets that soon give way to a dancing violet carnation blend embedded on a base of light, almost cocoa-butterish vanilla. A Holy Grail if I ever smelt one.