Hello and welcome! Please understand that this website is not affiliated with Guerlain in any way, it is only a reference page for collectors and those who have enjoyed the classic fragrances of days gone by.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Jicky c1889

Jicky by Guerlain: originally created in 1889. It is a classical fragrance and, despite the age, it is timeless and still very modern.

According to the legend, the perfume was named after a girl Aimé Guerlain was in love with when he was a student in England, and then it was said that the perfume was named after his uncle Jacques Guerlain’s nickname – Jicky.

 It is more likely, though, that Aimé, a gay man, was hiding his love for someone else named Jacques and someone at Guerlain created the story of a long lost female love to hide his sexuality and to protect the reputation of Guerlain during the late 1800s, which is not unreasonable given the time period.

Bardot, Eternal Sex Goddess, 1973:
"Brigitte is not a heavy user of scent; for a long time she favored Jicky by Guerlain, a subtle girlish scent touched with bergamot and lavender and a hint of Provencal herbs."

From Truman Capote's book Answered Prayers:
"The room smelled of her perfume (at some point I asked what it was, and Colette said: 'Jicky"

Original Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a fougère fragrance for women. Young and sporty.
  • Top notes: geranium, lavender, Eau de Cologne Imperiale formula, Provencal herbs
  • Middle notes: mint, absinthe, tuberose, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, cinnamon, patchouli, vetiver, civet
  • Base notes: orris, vanilla and tonka bean

This was one of the first perfumes created with the addition of synthetic materials (the first was Fougere Royale by Houbigant, 1882).

Reformulated Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is a semi-oriental aromatic fougere fragrance for women with a dominant herbal note of lavender.
  • Top notes: lavender, lemon, mandarin, bergamot, rosemary 
  • Middle notes: jasmine,  rose, orris, vetiver, basil
  • Base notes: opoponax, Brazilian rosewood, benzoin, sandalwood, leather, spices, patchouli, vanilla, musk, civet, ambergris, tonka bean

I tested a vintage 1990s sample of the parfum and it started off with a very bright lemon and sharp bergamot, then the herbal lavender, followed by a beautiful marriage of the jasmine and rose, which became more prominent, before finally ending with a lovely woodsy dry down of sandalwood and patchouli resting on a base of creamy vanilla, tonka,  dusty orris, rich ambergris and civet (which behaved itself like a good fixative should, without the slightest hint of feces).  The parfum was very well preserved and extremely long lasting.

I am testing a vintage sample of the Parfum de Toilette and it starts off with a mixture of bergamot and the aromatic herbs: basil, rosemary and lavender with just a pinch of spice. Interestingly, the civet just made a quick appearance and is quite faecal, and it does not smell good to me. This is the first time I have smelled the skanky, poopy smell in civet, much like my cat when she doesn't clean herself very well and her fur stinks after using the litterbox. I don't smell much of the jasmine, but I do get a whiff of the rose which is hidden deep down with the earthy blend of patchouli, vetiver, and orris. Other animalic notes include musk and a rather tarry leather. A note of sweet benzoin, tonka bean and creamy vanilla round out the dry down of soft woodsy notes of rosewood and sandalwood resting on a delightful base of powdery ambergris and tonka. The Parfum de Toilette has been on the back of my hand now for about a half hour and I still smell a strong civet note, but the florals and the herbs melted into a woodsy base.

The line consisted of the following products in the late 1960s-1970s:
  • Parfum
  • Parfum Spray
  • Eau de Toilette
  • Eau de Cologne
  • Spray Cologne
  • Film Spray Parfumé
  • Capillaque
  • Bath Oil
  • Déodorant
  • Talc 
  • Crème Hydratante
  • Flanelle pour le linge


In 1908, Jicky was presented in the ‘Quadrilobe’ styled bottle, designed by Aimé’s brother Gabriel, to echo their father's old pharmacy jars. It was also presented in the Goutte flacon (eau de toilette), the Montre flacon (eau de cologne), the Carre flacon (parfum), the bee flacon, the Lanterne flacon (parfum) and various sprays over the years.

c1935 ad

c1938 ad

ad from 1951.

Very rare bottle decanter-section and cylindrical shaped, cobalt blue crystal, created by Baccarat in 1922, , richly decorated with floral garlands and gold trimmings, collar and ball cap gold coated with gold enamel, and titrated lower part.  Baccarat paper label affixed  on the base. Stands 16cm tall.. 
Photo by Lombrail -Teucquam.

In 1947, it was presented in a slightly modified quadrilobe flacon by Cristalleries de Baccarat .

photo by ebay seller bettyswollocks*antiques

Prices Current By Fuller & Fuller Co., Chicago,, 1907:

Fate of the Fragrance:

Jicky has been reformulated several times, most notably in 1984.

Buy Jicky 1 oz Parfum extrait at neimanmarcus.com!
Buy Jicky 3.1 oz Refillable Eau de Toilette Spray at neimanmarcus.com!
Buy Jicky 3.1 oz Eau de Toilette Refill Spray at neimanmarcus.com!

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