Reissued in 2005 for the renovated flagship Guerlain store on the Champs-Elysees. Reorchestrated by Jean Paul Guerlain.

Sous Le Vent fragrance notes

  • Head

    • bergamot, lavender, tarragon, basil, verbena, myrtle, galbanum
  • Heart

    • jasmine, carnation, ylang ylang, tiar?, orange blossom, iris
  • Base

    • oakmoss, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, Peru balsam, musk

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Sous Le Vent

Sous Le Vent is considered a classy subtle chypre scent that's both aromatic and airy. The opening introduces notes of bergamot, tarragon, lavender, verbena, and green notes. Together the notes create a bright herbal feel that is invigorating. On me I detected a slight citrus/lime accord as well. The opening is short lived and eventually becoming more floral and powdery. As the florals became more pronounced I began to notice carnation, iris, and jasmin notes that meshed together to form the heart of the scent. Underneath the florals there's a bit of powdery notes that's subtly sweet. Some reviewers detected an amber note in the background and I would echo this as well. There's a slight sweet resinous feel in the background and this could be from the small dose of amber that that may be present. The powdery note intensifies eventually eclipsing the florals in the drydown backed by a subtle chypre accord and woodsy notes. On me the woodsy notes has a mossy feel to it. It kind of reminds me of the oakmoss note in Mitsouko but not quite exactly the same. Oakmoss isn't listed as an official note in the reformulated version of Sous Le Vent but I do get a feel that there could be some in it. Despite that it's a reformulation it has a very dated feel to it which is something many of the classic Guerlains have in common. The longevity and silage for SLV isn't too great. Longevity I never got more than 6 hours while silage it was average for about half an hour to an hour before it became a skin scent. It's a very subtle scent throughout the life of the scent. Warm weather conditions particularly in the spring and summer would certainly help the longevity and silage. Unfortunately, SLV has been discontinued the last couple of years and the prices to acquire a splash bottle or even a sample continues to soar. Despite this it's definitely worth getting a sample of this historical fragrance. It would be good learning experience regardless if one likes the scent or not. Personally, I find this scent a wonderful masterpiece!
31st January 2016
A beautiful oak moss fragrance with galbanum (the 2005 re-release). On par with pre-2000 Mitsouko and Chanel Pour Monsieur. The galbanum reminds me of Piguet Bandit and Patou Pour Homme (1980), which adds to feeling of impressiveness I get from Sous Le Vent.
31st December 2015

Carried by the wind...

Have you ever thought of selling all your perfume collection just to buy one extremely rare bottle of a perfume that shook your world? And how about if you're a man and the perfume in question is supposedly a feminine one? It's one of these abhorrent yet alluring thoughts, on which one might spend a whole life pondering over it, without being able to make a final decision. The proverbial "What if?".
Sous le Vent is the melancholic smile of someone who gazes at the horizon while being in some far-flung exotic place on this earth and knows there's a war going on back home. But while his thoughts are back there, his eyes are here. Beholding all the eye-hurting beauty which lies before them and floods every single grain of his soul's sands. The war is there, beauty and life is here... And he slowly turns his back to the horizon, and chooses life.
If there was some way to know how a painting would smell like, then I imagine this would be the scent wafting from Paul Gaugin's "Manao tupapau". Surrounded by an otherwoldly aura, created by a seemingly contradictive atmosphere of both innocence and debauchery. Like bright colours which can be a sign of life and a warning of danger at the same time. Like a joyous yet austere beauty, whose austerity comes from the very same quality of being beautiful, and thus unapproachable to many. I can picture Josephine Baker coming out of a giant bottle, and then dancing frenzily around it, before the eyes of the mesmerised audience, as though it was some kind of a totem. Primitive, yes, but also one of extremely skilled craftmanship. You can hold beauty in your hands, but can you hold its essence? You can put your arms around a beautiful woman, but can you put them around her soul? No matter how close you may be, Sous le Vent will always be elusive. Like the never-ending quest for happiness. Like the fleeting and short-lived fulfilment that beauty pursuers may feel every once in a while. Just like the wind, Sous le Vent may be at your side, but it shall never be yours...
I'm fully aware that my words may sound abstruse, but it's not reason that is speaking here, and the exact depiction of abstract sentiments through words is a privilege held by poets. And I'm not a poet... But Jacques Guerlain surely was. One of the greatest poets of his generation I'd daresay, even though he did not write a single word. For me, and based on my sentimental receptors rather than my olfactory ones and the iota of their analytic abilities, this is Guerlain's eternal masterpiece. One of just a handful of scents which drown me under a tidal wave of images and dampen my eyes, every single time I feel them. Not Shalimar, not Mitsouko, not L'Heure Bleue, not Apres l'Ondee, not Jicky. No. This...
20th December 2014
Deep dark and rich. Wonderful. However, about to be discontinued so get your nose on it asap.
5th August 2014
Genre: Chypre

It's Derby for girls! Well, maybe not exactly, but the opening sure is a dead ringer for Derby in its smoky, bittersweet, green leather chypre structure. Sous le Vent's top notes include a magnificent sweet bergamot that's lacking in Derby, and there is a more obvious floral component, but the two still present themselves as siblings. I'm left wondering whether Jean-Paul Guerlain consulted grandpa's formula when he made Derby, or whether the resemblance is purely incidental.

Unexpectedly, the bergamot note expands rather than fades with age, contributing a bright accent to what otherwise might be a rather somber accord. Next to appear is a whopping note of civet, which serves at once to infuse the composition with a lascivious animal warmth and to associate Sous le Vent unmistakably with the tradition of Guerlain's vintage perfumes, particularly Jicky, Shalimar, and Mitsouko. The current Sous le Vent was composed in 2005, and whether it follows the original formula or not, it certainly smells like something out of 1933.

The intensely animalic chypre accord persists for hours, growing ever more sweet, spicy, and balsamic, until the civet dissipates to reveal warm amber and oakmoss base notes. This drydown goes on forever on my skin, though sillage and projection are only moderate. I'd consider Sous le Vent equally appropriate for a man or a woman, assuming you're comfortable with its raunchy animalic aspect. I think it's a great scent, and regret that it's so hard to come by.
3rd July 2014
I tried the most recent version. I understand the vintage is the one worth having. Yes, it IS wonderful. It's like a sister to Guerlain's Derby.

I retried this, and found it was too fleeting to buy a bottle prior to its being discontinued. For that money, I'd rather have a bottle of Vol de Nuit, Shalimar or Jicky parfum.

My Derby will have a place in my collection.
13th June 2014
Lavender and tarragon are the opening notes, with a very attenuated citrus-bergamot-style add-on. The drydown is fresh and green without being grassy, with a smidgeon of sage before jasmine and then carnation emerge; the latter provides a beautiful centrepiece of the middle phase. Later I get a bit of iris, with wood, whiffs of amber and a light musk and minimal powderiness at the very end. Beautifully made and blended of ingredients of supreme quality. Adequate silage and longevity with eight hours of longevity. One of the great Guerlains.
This review is of the vintage perfume.
26th March 2014
Meh. I wish I liked Sous Le Vent more (gotta love that bottle!), but it just does too many things that I don't really like for me to give it a thumbs up. It has those lemon-candy topnotes that often turn me away from old chypres, but paired up with a weird taragon note that's sort of doughy. There's a sweet butterscotchy amber buried in there, as well as a clear but quiet green chypre backbone. There's also that green note Guerlain likes (sweetpea?), and the whole thing has an oily waxy quality.

All in all, it's just strange to me. Waxy doughy lemon candy with background greens? Medicinal lemon cough drops drenched in oily Bearnaise sauce?

As many Guerlains as I enjoy, it's beloved but awkward perfumes like Sous le Vent that have kept me from turning into a rabid fanboy. Honestly, I agree that it's clever and theoretically well made, but just not anything I really want to wear.
23rd March 2014
Wonderful! Not only one of the best Guerlains I have tried, but one of my best fragrances overall.

To me this fragrance is timeless and genderless and sensual. It does not feel powdery nor with 'old style' elements that would nail it as a 1930s fragrance. Also, it has neither a feminine nor masculine feel to it. But, the mastery blend (including civet?) makes it a sensual scent for me - unlike some modern 'fresh' fragrances. It blends well with the skin chemistry to create a 'second skin'. It works excellent in the hot climate here and is long lasting on me. Spray rather generously, and it will last.

18th February 2014
First review: 5-29-13

2005 re-formulation: Spicy herbal citrus fougere, re-orchestrated from its chypre original. I was immediately put in remembrance of Guerlain's own Derby -with the carnation spice notes. Despite Derby's similarity to this earlier concoction of 1933, Sous Le Vent can hold its own. I am a devotee of Josephine Baker, for whom this was created, and I detect an immediate match of scent to personality. This is a very classy scent- fresh, spicy and herbal - and I'm sure its distinction highlighted Miss Baker's own unique sensuality. The 15 ingredients: Bergamot, Lavender, Tarragon, Basil, Jasmine, Carnation, Ylang Ylang, Galbanum, Verbena, Orris, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Partchouli, Sandalwood, Musk. To my nose, the burst of tarragon, basil and verbena hit first, creating a citrus and herbal blast that is cool and refreshing. The carnation takes center stage and the rest of the ingredients surround it with warmth. The result: citrus, spicy fougere - no longer a chypre due to reformulation, but still a lovely scent. Like my reaction to Guerlain's Vega, I am intrigued but the cost is prohibitive ($300 plus) when you can find it .Pros: Fresh and spicy, reminiscent of Guerlain's own Derby. Cons: The cost - $300 plus and its scarcity.

New review of vintage parfum 4-1-22:

My reaction to a decant of the pure parfum from a vintage bottle is quite different from that of the 2005 release. There was a great deal going on in that one that I do not experience with the vintage. The citrus and herbal notes do not appear at all. I immediately get pure carnation, not mixed with or substituted with clove oil. Just pure carnation, not only center stage, but almost soliflore. Yet, there is such a warmth surrounding it that the other ingredients seem to have all been so blended to perfection that no single one stands out. Just warm carnation, subtly surrounded by a warm mélange of notes.

This certainly evokes Josephine Baker, her spicy, sexy on stage persona, and her warmth as a human being, evident in her many charities, and her “rainbow tribe,” her adoption of many unwanted children from all over the world, growing up surrounded by her loving and caring personality.

The parfum therefore is more “direct” in its appeal than the 2005 reformulation. One of the finest, and certainly the warmest, carnation you are ever likely to come across.
30th May 2013
One of the most fantastic openings that I have ever smelled. Green citrus and bitters. It doesn't smell like Campari but it makes me think of it. Think about unripe citrus, sherbet, lime. Then it is green and herbal, galbanum, verbena, and is there mint, and basil? Imagine all of that over ice. It hits you like a chill wind. Wonderful! It is icy, bitter, and dry. Something lurks beneath, an animalic tang. No, a twang. I'm only aware of it sometimes. This is quite unlike many of the other rich, dense, fragrances in the Guerlain family. It is much clearer, scalpel sharp, refreshing, upliftling.

Guerlain say that Sous Le Vent has a heart of Jasmine, Carnation, and Iris, but it's not a floral fragrance. Citrus, herbs, bitters, wood. It would make a great cocktail!

26th April 2013
Refreshingly green, airy and somewhat spicy at first encounter, SOUS LE VENT is darkly mossy at its heart, exemplifying the beauty of the French style classic chypré. I found it rather subdued, having perhaps lost some of the potency the original vintage had. But its allure is without question, its secrets fiercely guarded. Of the privileged few who come within kissing distance not all will discover the animal lurking within.

One of the finest Guerlain in existence, if not certainly one of the most dangerous for it will come between you...and your money.
30th January 2013