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

Véga fragrance notes

  • Head

    • bergamot, aldehyde, orange blossom
  • Heart

    • jasmine, ylang ylang, carnation, rose, iris
  • Base

    • sandalwood, rosewood, amber, musk, vanilla

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Latest Reviews of Véga

Jacques Guerlain was sixty one when Véga was released. It was one of his last works, but even so, it's still beautiful. A wonderfully delicate rose with an iris bouquet; aldehydes at the top, animalics in the bottom, and a slight fruitiness - although fruity notes aren't listed. The base is a soft Amber which may have been influenced by Shalimar Eau de Cologne - released the same year.

I have the 2005 re-issue, which feels like it has Jean-Paul Guerlain's fingerprints on it. There's a characteristic sour edge to the opening but besides that Véga is subtle, allusive, hard to pin down.

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, named after the lyre of Orpheus, the bard of Greek myth, whose music had the power to enchant. Wikipedia says Opheus is portrayed, or referred to, in countless forms of art and popular culture including poetry, film, opera, music, and painting.
Someone should add perfumery to the list.
4th December 2020
The original vintage Parfum (released 1936):

A rich and deep opening with orange blossom, whiffs of orange fruits, jasmine and touches of bergamot in the foreground; all underlined by a backbone of aldehydes.

The drydown is like walking in a hothouse full of beautiful flowers, with a rich and deep ylang-ylang, as well as a dark and velvety rose in the foreground. Soon a slightly powdery iris sets in and dominates for a while, to then pass the baton to a carnation that temporary brightens up the whole.

The base seems a delightful sandal wood moving in - the real deal evidently - with some - weak -rose wood asisting the woodsy takeover. There is a vanilla impression present soon afterwards, but this is a very restrained sweetness on me. An shadowy ambery musk is added towards the end, but again it is quite weak now.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection, and a longevity of five hours on my skin.

This is a gorgeous perfume for spring evenings. The notes in their natural beauty are rich and vibrant and much more convincing that the new reformulation reviewed below. The quality of the ingredients is first-class. I suspect that some of the fresher component like the aldehydes and the bergamot are attenuated by the age of my sample as is the performance, but, nevertheless, this is still a stunner. 4/5

Review of the reissue of 2005:

The opening blast is aldehydes, and lots of them. Bright....And more aldehydes. Until I get a bergamot that adds even more brightness, together with a very restrained orange blossom and a touch of a whiff of orris injects a darker tone.

The drydown adds a jasmin that is not so much green that is expresses a more wood/bush element. Touches of carnation appear briefly. A darker ylang-ylang that arises is of only limited creaminess and is merged with a dark rose impression, which is somewhat nonspecific in character. The latter two introduce some powderiness into the mix, whose intensity surges with the arrival of a green iris.

With the iris still on board, the base arrives with an ambery and slightly musky wood note, which has some facets and sandal, of rosewood, whiffs of a gentle tonka and of the iris still being present with it.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and eight hours of longevity, with the last three hours it being merely a powdery skin scent.

A good spring scent, but many notes besides the aldehydes and the iris lack some vividness, and the base is a bit generic at times. 3.25/5
6th March 2020

I came into sampling Gueralin Vega as a fan of aldehydic florals, and I have loved it from the initial spray to the dry down; a new coequal favorite with Guerlain Sous le Vent among perfumes I have tried marketed to women.
31st May 2016
I declined to review this iconic scent immediately after trying it out a couple of times and it was probably a good thing. It took some time for me to eventually appreciate the scent although I can't say that Vega is for me. I'm no fan of the aldehyde note at all and my past encounters with the note were never positive. The extra time sampling Vega prevented me from jumping to conclusions that the scent was a disappointment and at allowed me to appreciate it for what it is. Applying this to my arm, I was immediately appalled by the intensity of the aldehyde note in the opening. Aside from the dense soapy aldehyde note, the opening was rather bright with a slight floral feel, probably contributed from the additional notes bergamot and orange blossom that were also present. Luckily the aldehyde note that dominated the scent at the opening was short lived and eventually began to tone down. As the aldehyde note weakened, a strong floral presence begins to develop which consists of ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, carnation, and iris. In time the florals are joined by notes of sandalwood, vanilla, and amber which create a smooth floral slightly sweet oriental dry down. For me the drydown has a little bit of a resemblance to Samsara, some other reviewers have found this similarity as well. Longevity and silage were average with this scent. Depending on how much was applied, longevity ranged between 4-6 hours while silage was decent for the first hour before staying closer to the skin. In terms of occasions of wearing Vega, I think it is versatile enough so that it can be worn in different settings (daytime, nighttime, casual, dressed up) however I don't see any ideal occasion it would work best in. Likely many of the other classic Guerlain scents, Vega has a very dated feel. Vega is elegant, classy and was constructed really well. Overall Vega is a wonderful scent, unfortunately it didn't appeal to be me as much as I would've liked.
29th February 2016
Well-made and elegant, this one is just not my style. Possibly the cassia note is the deal-breaker. There is an overall powdery accord (rose and ylang-ylang) that just overwhelms me. This is way too "perfumey" for me. I need something less frilly, more tweedy. Bring back 'Sous les Vent'!
3rd May 2014
This one opens with sparkling aldehydes, with only a vague hint of the "off" note that l sometimes get from them. They hover over an ethereal, bright & soapy floral accord, mainly ylang-ylang & jasmine, to my nose. There is a fleeting impression of indoles, before it all settles into a soft, creamy, tropical floral with a touch of vanilla. lt puts me in mind of a lighter, more luminous version of Mahora. Where Mahora is loud, proud & (some might say) a little vulgar though, this one is rather more elegant & aloof. As the scent progresses, l get whiffs of something very slightly salty, perhaps ambergris or maybe some moss. l also get something like old-fashioned face cream, & a light musk in the base. Four hours in, it settles very close to the skin, but doesn't fade completely until ten hours have passed.
This is a very beautiful fragrance, but l have to say, l think Mahora is more my style. ;)
4th April 2014
Superlative classic floral oriental -a masterpiece Vega (1936) is a total surprise to me. I had no idea Guerlain made this type of scent - creamy, warm florals over an oriental base (reminds me of Rapael's Replque and Plaisir and of Schiaparelli's Shocking, but smoother and more balanced than any of these classics). The 13 ingredients: Bergamot, Aldehydes, Jasmine, Neroli, Ylang Ylang, Carnation, Rose, Orris, Sandalwood, Rosewood, Amber, Musk, Vanilla. After an initial, almost minty blast of bergamot and neroli, the Ylang Ylang nestles to the forefront of this warm melange of floral scents, supported by the sandalwood/rosewood combo and the perfect balance of the three oriental notes (amber,musk, vanilla). I would take this over the more highly touted Shalimar any day, simply because it has more depth, complexity and warmth. This would be for me an immediate purchase to add to my collection. The problem is the exorbitant price - a bottle [and it's a gorgeous bottle] costs between $299-$399, since it is a limited edition (reformulated in 1997 and 2005). Too bad - this is a great scent. I just can't afford it.Pros: Creamy florals over a warm oriental baseCons: Expense only
28th May 2013
I fell hard for the re-issued VEGA when I smelled it at La Maison in Paris and bought it on the spot. I for myself don't see the often quoted similarity to Chanel No. 5 or Arpege either. Much more it is Vega's ylang-ylang predominance on my skin that reminds me of Chanel's Cuir de Russie Parfum or Bois des Iles. The aldehydes here are 'warm' vs. the 'cold' variety of so many Chanel's and Guerlain's own Liu (vintage extrait). Vega is certainly soapy (the aldehydes), but even on a skin that brings the soapiness to the foreground, it pulls back after about half an hour. The initial ylang-ylang 'blast' really leaves a leathery impression on my skin (it's been commented by others). Longevity for Vega is average at best. Sometimes I perceive the faint vanilla-ish smell for a long time and at times Vega seems to disappear before the Guerlinade takes over. Vega is fantastic, very classic and fits the 1930s smoky jazz club image just right...
21st June 2012
Even though marketed to women, this scent is actually very unisex to my nose. It opens with a blast of lemon/bergamot mixed with a soapy accord and a mild powder undertone. The bergamot tones down a bit and the powder gains strength throughout Vegas' development. The powdery development is similar to many other Guerlain scents, with the first one immediately coming to mind being L'Instant. I think the powder and soap are a bit too much for me, and really not to my liking. That said, the scent is very wearable, and shows some skill from the nose responsible for it. 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5.
4th November 2011
Vega is often compared to Chanel #5 and Arpege, but I for one don't smell the similarities. The aldehydes in Vega are toned down quite a bit. Yes the jasmine, and white flowers are present in Vega, but there is a sweetness, a darkness and a spiciness that the typical aldehydic florals don't possess. Vega opens with bergamot and aldehydes, with jasmine and orange flowers peeking through from its floral heart. The vanilla and orris over tonka and woods in the base not only support the florals, they color them. The depth and subtle sweetness and woody spiciness of the base permeates the entire perfume lending not only warmth, but richness, comfort and welcome. Most Aledyhidic florals seem standoffish and formal to me; but Vega is a star of great luminosity. It has no need to prove anything to anybody. It is almost casual in its pure elegance. Upon my first several testings of this fragrance, I thought that there would be no way I could feel comfortable wearing anything so floral and beautiful. But now I can't imagine my wardrobe without Vega. So far, Vega is the only aldehydic floral that I can ever see myself wearing. Wearing Vega doesn't turn heads because it smells feminine; it turns heads because it smells inviting.
30th November 2010
In a recent move to explore and acquire some of Guerlain's classic fragrances I made a recent excursion to the Guerlain counter at my local luxury retailer. After trying many of the classic fragrances, I came home with Vega -- thrilled, happy and ecstatic. Vega is a bold and beautiful aldehyde, with stunning bergamot, cassia, ylang ylang, jasmine, sandalwood, amber, and vanilla shining through. But, in addition to being a gorgeous, head turning, fragrance, at the same time, it's demure, exquisite, and timeless. I can see the comparisons with Chanel No. 5; however, to me Vega is more refined. In the late dry down, it shares many characteristics with Vol du Nuit. It is a radiant fragrance and a sheer joy to wear. I do disagree with some reviews that attempt to pinpoint when and where to wear Vega. Although a very austere fragrance, I think Vega is perfect for many occasions (with some common sense and good taste, of course). It's formal and friendly and serious and fun. If you're looking to try some of the more classic (i.e. early 1900s) fragrances by Guerlain, do not overlook this one. And, by the way, I'm a guy and I don't hesitate for even one second to wear Vega. It is an aldehyde-floral-oriental fragrance that lends itself perfectly for unisex wear. Two thumbs up and 10 gold stars to a stunningly beautiful fragrance.
28th October 2010
Vega is simply exquisite. Lots of huge aldehydes and an opening that is so much like Chanel No.5 - a cross between the EDP and the extrait. Very smooth ,ylang ylang is very forefront on my skin. As it progresses,there is a little of Vol de Nuit peeking out , some woods. It is elegant, supremely elegant .I'm not getting any powder. I can see why it is called Vega after a star- it is so bright and luminous to begin with - like a flash of aldehydes ,rose and ylang ylang. Beautiful and still smells up to date . Classic.
12th June 2010