I'm assuming anyone considering this is already familiar with one of the less expensive formulations; at this price-point no-one else need apply. Anyway, here we have the crème de la crème.
As usual with a parfum, this wears close to the skin but lasts a long time. I use a parsimonious 3 or 4 sprays and it gives me 12 hours or so. How does it smell? Very good. So good that if JP Guerlain himself slighted me unintentionally with an ill-judged faux-pas, I'd still wear it.
Compared to the EdT, it ain't sparkling: that energetic opening citrus salvo is more muted. There isn't much air or light, it's a denser, darker, less powdery fragrance than the EdT or EdP, with no enveloping pink cloud. There's more leather than the other forms (save the aftershave). That, and an almost sour dry resinous accord to an extent neutralise the sweetness of the vanilla, making it harmless to dentition. I don't detect any oud (based on a numbered bottle bought in 2011).
Imagine you are at dinner with the Conte di Cavour, resplendent in black tie, crystal glass of non-Negroamaro in hand, pontificating on the origins of the latest financial crisis and how it would never have happened in the good old days of the Risorgimento. HR Extrait, with its old-money feel and conservative projection, is for just such an occasion. As I don't move in those hallowed circles, I wear it whilst chained to my desk at Department B (Subsection C) and dream.
Yes it is overpriced, but look at it like this: it costs about the same as 2 bottles of typical under-performing recent niche releases and you only have to spray half as much. Super value for money!