Guerlain • Jicky • Fragrances

rated 3.9(118 reviews)

Average Rating.3.9
Would buy this product again.67%

rated 4 of 5 nero77 on 9/17/2014 7:10:00 PM more reviews by nero77

Age: 19-24   Skin: Oily, Olive   Hair: Black   Eyes: Brown    

Review for the Eau de Parfum...

Reviewing something like Jicky isn't an easy task... but I'll try and give it a go.

Simply put, if you don't know much about fragrance, Jicky is basically the ancestor of practically every modern perfume we have today. Although it was not the first perfume to use synthetic notes (as opposed to those inspired by nature), it was different in that it was based on an abstract concept. Emotion (this was a perfume inspired by a person, and memories associated with them). All perfumes before either related to a place or a natural ingredient (a bouquet of flowers, a single flower, eau de cologne etc.). Fougère Royale by Houbigant was released 6 years before Jicky and used a synthetic note: Coumarin (an Almond and Hay-like note derived from Tonka Beans). However this was just a single synthetic note. Here, Aimé Guerlain used not just Coumarin, but also Linalool (a Minty, spicy-fresh type note), and Ethyl-Vanillin (a Vanilla derivative). The result? The foundation for all modern perfume. The world's first truly abstract (i.e. "Modern") perfume.

So what does this 125 year old creation smell like? Well, it doesn't smell simple. It's complex, and not old either. Jicky is essentially a Lavender-Vanilla combination, but not just that. It's also dirty and warm, due to use of Civet (an animalic, Musky note), which gives it a very intimate and a very human, almost sexual feel in the background. For me I get 4 main notes: bitter Bergamot, sweet Lavender, a dry and almost nutty, sweet Hay note (from the Coumarin/Tonka Bean), and warm, dirty Civet (animal musk). It's such a strange mix but really fascinating to wear. I basically get sweet Hay and dry Lavender, with a hint of bitter-sharp Lemon and Bergamot, before settling down to a deep, sensual Vanilla and warm Musk combination which stays until the end.

Even after all these years... Jicky is still a very hard one to describe. But it's certainly a direct ancestor of all Lavender-Vanilla combinations since (including Pour un Homme de Caron and even Jean-Paul Gaultier's Le Male). It's also the direct predecessor of Shalimar (Jacques Guerlain later added a huge dose of Vanilla to Jicky and created Shalimar).

The other question: is it for men or for women? Originally it was a unisex/masculine scent. But very few men wore something as complex as Jicky, and afterwards was embraced by women (not at first, because of the skanky, animal-like Musk note). But time has proven that Jicky is truly androgynous, as it belongs to the fougère family of fragrances directed towards men (the Herbs & Lavender "barbershop" feel), but at the same time was dirty and sensual and sweet with a Vanilla and Amber base, and was later adopted by modern, independent women. The list of people who wore this includes Sean Connery and Roger Moore, but also Brigitte Bardot and Jackie Kennedy. It really doesn't have a gender. Even the name "Jicky" was either a nickname for an English girl whom Aimé Guerlain loved (called Jacqueline) or his nephew, Jacques Guerlain (who would later create Shalimar).

Basically, there is no other way to say this but that Jicky is a work of art and the DNA ancestor of all modern perfume. Without this, there wouldn't be a Shalimar, or a Chanel No. 5, or any other "abstract" type of perfume which uses rich, sensual ingredients and which is not inspired purely by nature.

My advice? Try it, not just because of the history and significance... but also because you may be surprised and challenged. It's not for everyone, and it's a little strange to many people, but if you approach it with an open mind, you may really grow to like or even fall in love with it. Jicky is as French as the Eiffel Tower, and like an impressionist painting... is to be appreciated as art and with respect in order to understand where modern perfume-making came from.

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 3 of 5 FrenchCoco on 10/17/2013 11:04:00 AM more reviews by FrenchCoco

Age: 36-43   Skin: Other, Fair   Hair: Brunette   Eyes: Hazel    

This is for Jicky edp. I knew Jicky in edt and liked it though the staying power is very weak, so I thought the edp would be better... Well, no, or maybe a little better; I can barely smell it on my jacket after an hour. I must add here that I spray like 10 times ! At that rate my 50 ml bottle will be gone in no time. I'm quite disappointed because I love this very aromatic smell of dirty lavender. I won't buy it again since it's too light and fleeting; the pdt of the 90s probably was quite a beast compared to the actual version.

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rated 5 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* SUPAtime on 10/16/2013 2:27:00 AM more reviews by SUPAtime

Age: Unknown   Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm   Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium   Eyes: Brown    

I used to find Jicky alarmingly animalic with its dangerously vivid civet note prowling in the sunny lavender. Now, having become more familiar with it, I enjoy it but I can completely understand why some find it disgusting. The civet note is extremely challenging to modern noses and I would definitely recommend trying Jicky first before buying it no matter how much you love lavender.

That said, I find Jicky an absolute delight. A free and fresh lavender accord is orbited by sexy-dirty civet with a light touch of leather and a cuddly soft cushion of tonka and vanilla. The effect is marvelous: comfortable and cozy on one hand, daring on the other. Interestingly, it maintains a wonderful cohesiveness-- the fragrance is one velvety smooth breath.

As a lavender lover, Jicky is one of my favorites. The lavender accord is simply unbeatable: pure, breezy, and as open as the sky. Accented with bergamot and herbs it is one of the best around. I love the way such a clean and fresh lavender is mixed with outrageously dirty animalic notes. I can't think of another perfume that treats lavender in such a knowingly sexual way. Delightful!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 2 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* TaniaRides on 8/22/2013 10:25:00 AM more reviews by TaniaRides

Age: 25-29   Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium   Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine   Eyes: Green    

I think that this smells better on a paper test strip than it does on my skin, which doesn't happen for me often. On a paper test strip, Jicky has a dark, animalistic quality that I love (sort of like leather and dirty musk). On my skin, however, the citrus notes are loud and screeching for about a half hour, reminding me of really harsh cleaning fluid (I actually like the smell of lemon pledge and pine-sol, but this is more sharp and sour than either of those). The floral notes come in after a few minutes, and those turn too sweet and powdery for my tastes. The leather and musky dirtiness that I like on paper does come out after about 15 minutes, but those notes are cloaked in the sickly sweet floral and powdery qualities on my skin, making the whole thing smell a little too dirty, overpowering, and slightly sickening.
I find Jicky interesting and I do like it on paper and have loved it on other people.. it just doesn't work for me, personally. I think that it's a difficult fragrance to wear, and I find it to be very heavy and aggressive.

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rated 4 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* LizWords on 8/12/2012 8:07:00 PM more reviews by LizWords

Age: 30-35   Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm   Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine   Eyes: Brown    

This fragrance can come off as a bit masculine during the first few spritzes because of the strong lavender and other base notes. This is probably the strongest true lavender based perfume on the market. After the first hour, however, this does calm down and the other notes start to shine. The vanilla and amber creates a warm and creamy dry down. The jasmine, rosemary, and citruses also appear after a little while and make this a very enticing and feminine skin scent. I really do like it, I found a very large refill bottle pretty cheap and I'm sure it will last a very long time. I love how old this fragrance is. It was made in 1889. I love thinking about the women from that era wearing this, so neat!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 3 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* rock_chica81 on 3/28/2012 10:38:00 PM more reviews by rock_chica81

Age: 30-35   Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral   Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine   Eyes: Brown    

So I finally got my hands on the ever popular Jicky and, sadly, it just wasn't for me. It was too masculine like an old man's aftershave or something. However, the dry down was nice and soft. Like vanilla but not so sweet. My husband hated it. I don't think I'll ever wear it again unless I want to repell my husband lol. I should add that it has pretty decent lasting power. Anyways, I'm glad I had a chance to try this and I can see why people like it, but it's just not for me.

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rated 4 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* ilymed2 on 3/6/2012 5:28:00 AM more reviews by ilymed2

Age: 36-43   Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Neutral   Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium   Eyes: Blue    

For me it is lavender, powder, citrus, musk with some slight sweetening at dry-down. I have a few masculine leaning fragrances in my collection, so Jicky's slight musky edge is actually welcome. This isn't your usual bombshell fragrance, more like the sexiness that comes when a women is confident with or without the lipstick. I find myself reaching for Jicky at the end of the day, it calms and comforts me.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 3 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* mariella99 on 11/1/2011 10:46:00 PM more reviews by mariella99

Age: 44-55   Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool   Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse   Eyes: Brown    

I had the opportunity to smell Jicky again for the first time since I was a very young teen and it was my first fragrance purchase! I read (in 16 Magazine...I am seriously dating myself) that this was the fragrance that Pattie Boyd (at that time, girlfriend of George Harrison) wore. So I made my mom take me to buy some and I thought I was the coolest thing on 2 legs! Guerlain fragrances and I just don't get along. I want to love them and I want them to smell great on me. I love the history of some of the older scents and their associations with Paris and some of the great writers and icons of past times. I'd love to be able, for example, to wear L'heure bleu or even Shalimar but these scents just do not work with my skin chemistry at all and the same is true of Jicky. Recently, I saw that it was available again and I gave it a try, mostly for the sake of nostalgia, but it is just not a scent for me though it's probably better on me than some of the more well-known Guerlain fragrances. But the price is so steep that I won't be shelling out for it just for the sake of nostalgia.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 5 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* girrl65 on 9/10/2011 10:13:00 AM more reviews by girrl65

Age: 19-24   Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm   Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium   Eyes: Green    

I'm not that good at describing fragrances, but I know that this smells very masculine. At first, I thought it was too masculine. It almost reminded me of that cheap cologne someone's unsophisticated uncle would buy from the drugstore. BUT NO! It's not like that. You have to wear it a while and smell it a while before you can appreciate it. This is very unisex, but on a woman it is very interestingly exotic. It's different from the sea of florals and sugary scents. I wore it all day and then reapplied before an event at night, and it seemed to have changed at night. I would say this is more of a night fragrance for sure because it transforms into a decadent, hedonistic scent after hours. Well, it's always like that, but when the sun goes down it enhances that effect. If you like Guerlain and classic fragrances, just try this. It's unique and interesting. Just try it!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

rated 3 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* tabloid on 8/9/2011 4:52:00 PM more reviews by tabloid

Age: 56 & Over   Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium   Hair: Brunette   Eyes: Hazel    

Yet another great fragrance which has been ruined by reformulation. The result is pleasant but forgettable, and the original Jicky was, like all the great classic Guerlains, unique and sophisticated and utterly memorable.
Did anyone see the Woody Allen movie "Midnight in Paris" where the main character was magically transported to 1920's Paris where he met the writers and artists who would one day become legends? If that happened to me, I would run straight to the nearest parfumerie and buy all of the great fragrances which either are no longer being made or have been reformulated beyond recognition. Apparently the perfumes of the 1920's (and '30s, '40's and '50's) were indescribably, heartwrenchingly beautiful.

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.     Was this review helpful to you? Yes   No

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