Jicky review

What is revolutionary in the world of perfume? Is it similar to revolutions in other spheres, such as the French Revolution, which rejected the old system and introduced a new one, or the industrial revolution, which offered a new way of production? Is it like the Theory of Relativity that broke the shackles of physics and astronomy or Cubism that offered a fresh look at reality? To understand what a revolution in the world of perfume really means, it is best to look at the example of one of the most prestigious perfume brands in the world – Guerlain, and one of the most revolutionary perfumes ever, named Jicky.


Guerlain Jicky appeared in 1889 and perhaps not by chance 100 years after the French Revolution, because what he did in the perfume world, or more precisely, what its creator Aime Guerlain did, is truly extraordinary … and revolutionary.

Why is Jicky revolutionary?

Until then, people mostly used colognes based on aromatic and citrus mixtures. It was the only thing available, it was the only thing decent. But, as we know in the case of Shalimar, the Guerlain family perceived perfumes as art, and art has always questioned boundaries and laws, and often crossed and violated them. Jicky has crossed more than one line.

For starters, Aime Guerlain put a huge dose of civet in the base, a fragrant substance of animal origin that made Yves Saint Laurent’s Kouros infamous in the world of perfume and divided people into those who lose their heads over it and those who perceive it as a smell of public toilet. And as was the case with Kouros, so it was with Jicky – only the brave and courageous accepted it and carried it along the streets of Paris from the late 19th century.

guerlain jicky

Of course, as is always the case with innovative things, first a generation of free-minded people embraces them, and then slowly everyone else accepts them and makes them an indispensable part of their daily routine. Jicky eventually became that, a cult perfume that was part of everyone’s fragrant wardrobe.

The composition

To succeed in presenting to decent Parisians his idea of ​​how men and women should smell: animalic, potent, and sensual, just like Jicky’s fragrant base made of aphrodisiac civet, warm blend of sandalwood, tonka, and vanilla, Aime Guerlain resorted to cunning. He made a perfume that at the glance was the same as all others. It opened with refreshing notes of bergamot, rosemary, and lavender, only time hid the secret of the beast that was hiding in the base. There was something frighteningly appealing about it, just like when one frees oneself from the clutches of a superego and leaves oneself to one’s own true nature woven of animal instincts.

However, Jicky is not at all devoid of subtle and beautiful emotions. According to legend, Aime met a beautiful girl named Jacqueline during his medical studies in Britain. Aime fell in love with her so much that he even proposed. But her consent didn’t mean anything either, because her parents forbade marriage, and Aime returned to Paris with a broken heart and shattered hopes, which he immortalized forever in a perfume he named after what he in secret called his greatest love Jacqueline – Jicky.

Was Jicky reformulated?

Over the years Jicky has been reformulated, but it still remains a masterpiece of modern perfumery. Although it is fresher and airier than the old version, it still retains what generations of men and women loved it for: the most aromatic lavender from Grasse and the creamiest, warmest and sweetest vanilla. Perfection of simplicity!

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[Fragrance notes] top notes: rosemary, bergamot, lemon, orange; middle notes: lavender, cinnamon, tonka, iris root, basil, jasmine; base notes: vanilla, leather, spices, benzoin, sandalwood, amber, rosewood, civet.

[Fragrance group] oriental fougere.

The creator of the perfume is Aime Guerlain.