Jacques Guerlain was old enough to retire 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 oriental, which may have been influenced by Shalimar Eau de Cologne - released the same year as Véga.
The version I have is the 2005 re-issue, which feels like it has Jean-Paul Guerlain's fingerprints on it. There's a sour edge to the opening that goes against the grain of the main body. It reminds me of J-P's Vetiver Guerlain.
But despite the tinkering, Véga is still an accomplished work; subtle, allusive, hard to pin down.
The name is interesting, Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, named after the lyre of Orpheus. He was the bard of Greek myth, who had the power to enchant with his music and poesy. 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.
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
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.
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 cant say that Vega is for me. Im 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 dont 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 didnt appeal to be me as much as I wouldve liked.
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'!
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. ;)