Guerlain’s Philtre d’Amour (2000)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

The Untold Story Behind Guerlain’s “Love Potion”*

Jean-Paul Guerlain, the nose of some very notable Guerlain perfumes such as Vetiver, Nahema and Chamade, created Philtre d’Amour (Love Potion) in 2000, at the age of 63, just two years shy of retiring. Rumour has it that when he was creating Philtre d’Amour he had a serious “nose-block”. He felt that his chypre floral was missing something, although it already smelled very accomplished – it had patchouli, myrrh, jasmine and neroli, just to name a few of the sensual ingredients that he had used. What he also had at that time was a rather severe cold, literally a nose-block, and he had to rely on Ricola cough drops to sooth his sore throat.

A few weeks had passed and he was feeling much better. Little did he realize that he had fallen in love with that yummy candy Ricola. He couldn’t stop popping those candies in his mouth and he accidentally dropped one into the vial that contained his work-in-progress perfume. The candy immediately dissolved, and just when he was about to toss his work away, he took a sniff and voila! A perfected perfume with the addition of lemon verbena and citrus flavour. Totally delicious! What better name could he give to this new creation but “Love Potion”?

*Completely fictional.


Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit or for more info!

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