I am risking the discomfort of my co-workers today and am wearing Jicky, one of my very favoritest perfumes and one of the old, classic Guerlain fragrances that (as I understand it) haven't changed that much, in the last few decades at least. Some Guerlains are ridiculously, deeply gorgeous; others are so poignant they bring a lump to the throat; others are so mossy and sharp I have trouble being in the same room with them. Jicky is none of these things. Its mix of spice, vanilla and woods is similar to Shalimar, but it is earthier and somehow subtler than Shalimar, I think. The warm-skin quality of the middle and base notes could lull you into a sleepy feeling of intimacy, if there wasn't that clever little thread of herbal/floral freshness (lavender, rosemary and bergamot are in the list of notes) running through the thing to alert your senses and make your eyes fly open again. This is one of the most balanced perfumes I know, but not so much in terms of ingredients as in terms of personality - it is a balance of indoors and outdoors, depth and clarity, humor and intelligence. This may be an odd way to describe it, but it smells like a great-smelling person wearing a simple, great-smelling perfume. Another way to describe it is as a testament to a fine and easy union between feminine and masculine. To me, it is the smell of a life well-lived.
I like the name, too. If I had named it, I probably would have come up with something like "Manure and Lavender," which I'm sure would have made it fly off the shelves. And which is why nobody is eager to pay me the big bucks to write perfume ad copy.