Insolence Eau de Toilette fragrance notes

  • Head

    • Bergamot, Raspberry, Red berries, Lemon
  • Heart

    • Orange blossom, Rose, Violet
  • Base

    • Resins, Iris, Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka bean

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Insolence Eau de Toilette

When I was a kid there was something called Parma Violets; chalky sweets that crumbled in your mouth with a violet flavour.
This is Parma Violets done as perfume fireworks; exploding hairspray, fruity berries and iris that no one can ignore. You either love it or hate it; me - I think it's great, and it lives up to the name; it's a trashy, irreverent take on Après l'Ondée, and probably the best thing Guerlain have done since l'Heure Bleue.
Maurice Roucel may look like an ex bouncer but he's the biggest olfactory showman of his generation.
17th April 2020
Tolerable fruit. Perfume-y fruit. Good fruit. Just the right balance of citrus and berry. Of these fruit notes bergamot seems to take the spotlight. This is definitely a modern-smelling Guerlain. If I'd blind-tested this I would not have recognized this as a Guerlain perfume.

The delicate notes of orange blossom and violet follow, in the heart. Feminine and youthful. I get the faintest reminder of vanilla. Rose does not appear strong here.

Iris begins milling around, climbing up from the base to make friends with the orange blossom & violet. A glorious kinship this!

I believe the musk, resins, and Tonka are what tricked my nose into believing the existence of vanilla. (Sometimes, they do that to me).

Where the top notes seemed juicy, the middle notes seem dry. Slightly cooler, too. I use the word "powdery" too often when describing perfumes. But, it is appropriate here. Insolence is soft, and airy, overall. The iris and sandalwood remain hours later.
31st January 2019

It starts off perfumey and after a while Insolence does smell more Mugler than Guerlain. Iris, bergamot, incense and spices. Germolene and Dettol. I think I only smell the violet because I know it's there. I like it: it's unexpected.

Now it's dried down some more I realise it reminds me of 24, Faubourg. I checked the notes for this and find they are by the same perfumer, Maurice Roucel.
25th January 2019
For something that smells so light, this performs really well on my wife's skin. Projection is strong and lasts for hours.

The smell is pleasant but nothing special. Reminds me of children's soap or shampoo.
25th January 2019
I bought this blind because I was searching for a nice violet scent, and this seemed to be receiving good reviews. I ended up giving away almost the entire bottle because all I could smell when I wore it was bitter grapefruit and no violet at all. A sad lesson in testing a fragrance before buying.
9th June 2018
I absolutely love this violet perfume. It's violet but it's mature. I love it, can't get enough of it.
15th January 2017
Insolence is nothing but violet to my nose. It lacks complexity, and originality. Everyone recognizes it from meters away. Sillage is exceptional.
26th December 2016
First time I tried this, I got it sprayed on my wrist right before a flight to Doha and, those 30 hours or so, with stops included, all I was thinking of was the GOOD SHOWER I was going to have when I landed to finally scrub that candy flowers off my being self. Crazy sillage. Violent opening. Bad experience.

Now, this spring -south hemisphere here- I got sick of wearing the same four fragrances I do around this time of the year (Miss Dior, Light Blue, Acqua di Gioia and J'adore) and wanted something... new. Out of those comfort-zone notes. That´s when the lady at the Guerlain counter approached with this pinkish juice I could almost recall I had a bad first encounter with.

Do not ask me why, but I absolutely LOVED the opening and could not stop sniffing my wrist for the next hours. Besides, I could catch a whif every now and then while shopping and deciding on the fragrance and another one -the latest Chance flanker. I eventually bought it. And Im loving it. New fave.
4th December 2016
The top notes consist of a somewhat nonspecific berry fruit mix, poured into a mixer and left standing for a while. There is a whiff of bergamot present at times, as a whiffs of peach. An overlying thin layer of aldehydes adds a fresh impression.

Later on, heading towards the heart notes, a touch of styrax combines with a medium-bright fairly light tuberose impression, with a gentle iris confirming to switch from being fruit-dominated towards floral heart notes; later strengthened by a violet tinge.

Then a very restrained and slightly creamy vanilla heralds the arrival of the base note phase. Through all its developement there is all was a well-behaved sweetness present, which is never strong, never intrusive and never cloying.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and an impressive eleven hours of longevity on my skin.

This is unusual spring creation, at times a bit generic, it develops over time into a subtle but very agreeable composition that is delicate and times and overall well balanced, albeit a bit lacking in intensity at times. The excellent performance lifts into the positive realm - if just by the skin of its teeth. 3/5.
25th October 2016
From February 16, 2017:
I'm pretty new to the niche/collector fragrance world, but the house of Guerlain and I go way back. I've always assumed that anything Guerlain released after the 1970s was non-canonical and therefore to be avoided. Then I read The Guide (over and over), and Luca Turin's breathless description of Insolence sold me. I found a ridiculous deal on Amazon, and I jumped on it, buying it blind.

The first time I smelled Insolence I sprayed way too much. It smelled like Aqua Net, nasty red frozen "cocktails," and a thick cloud of incense, all amped up with migraine-inducing aldehydes. I thought, if this perfume tells a story, it's a night at a Eurotrash disco--complete with hangover. It was even worse on skin. The sillage was nuclear. My husband complained from two rooms over, and the cat ran away. I finally took a shower and scrubbed off a layer of skin. I felt like an idiot and swore never to buy blind again, and I cursed Luca Turin and his four stars to the high heavens. Major buyer's remorse set in.

I eventually did go back, because had to make sure it was THAT BAD. This time I cautiously sprinkled it on my skin, and voila! A true-blue, ineffably Guerlain scent wafted up from my arms, swirling with candied violet and raspberry over soft peach and apricot florals, with vanilla and spice underneath. Incense balanced out those fruity notes beautifully. The secret is definitely in judicious application.

This whole composition just sings. Individual notes seem to drift into the air. This effect allows Insolence to span fruit, floral, gourmand and oriental categories without--unlike, say, Angel--settling down into a single one. This also makes it amazingly wearable. There's no sense of flatness, just a sparkling net.

I'm so glad I revisited this: it packs serious bang for the buck. I'm also happy Insolence is misunderstood. A certain kind of fragrance snobbery ensures low prices for forseeable future.

Crazy sillage. Amazing longevity, Revisit if you're a hater.

PS: From looking at its print ads, I've come to wonder if Insolence was perhaps intended to attract the Mugler customer. The strange, lopsided bottle; the "celestial" images of Hilary Swank with a giant glowing factice; and the decibel levels of the fragrance itself led me to this notion. Incidentally, I hear that the EdP is lusher and somehow less loud; however, the EdT was released about a year earlier, and is thus presumably the way nature and Mr. Roucel intended Insolence to be. (added May 1, 2017)
16th February 2016
If I had to sum it up in two words, they would be "candied violet."

Its relationship, and homage, to both prior Guerlain classics, L'Heure Bleue and Apres l'Ondee, is at once apparent. It's chameleon-like, as its iris and unspecified fruit notes weave in and out of the basic violet center.

I don't find it screechy or sweet, as do other Basenoters. It falls in with the other two, making a delightful trio. This, however, is more modern and sleeker than the sleepy earlier duo, a nod to a new age, while honoring one past.

It's quite affordable and looks terribly modern in its bottle design. I rather like it. Turin rightly gave it four stars, but did not nail the description, calling it a "floral oriental."

Recommended for all lovers of violet.
18th November 2015
Genre: Floral Oriental

Comments on Insolence emphasize its aggressively fruity top notes and its resemblance to L'Heure Bleue, and both observations are accurate so far as they go. Yet it would be wrong to characterize Insolence as a more synthetic L'Heure Bleue with berries on top. It actually succeeds on it's own merits as a stylish, distinctive, and a meaningful modern extension of the Guerlain line for women. The overall structure of insolence leaves no doubt that the reference to L'Heure Bleue, Vol de Nuit and, to a lesser extent, Apres l'Ondee, is a deliberate gesture on the part of parfumeur Maurice Roucel. The anise and vanilla are present in abundance, yet their more aggressively spicy setting and their harder edges mark Insolence as a thoroughly modern composition.

I've read complaints that Insolence is overly sweet, but I do not find it so. To my nose the sweet fruit and vanilla are well balanced by the prickly spices and woods that overlay the scent's heart accord. Insolence is un-apologetically loud, with conspicuous sillage, so for me enjoying it requires a light hand in application. Used with appropriate temperance, Insolence is a very gratifying perfume.
17th June 2014