It’s My Party – Guerlain Vega (1936)

I’ve always thought of floral aldehydes as not my cup of tea, really. I can’t wear no5 (it wears me), L’Interdit (twee like a pink hello kitty outfit) or White Linen, let’s just say that it doesn’t rate the highest on my list of perfume complaints that the genre seems to have long gone out of fashion. However, I find there are a few perfumes that I do like very much, and nothing says PARTY like those. In fact I’d go even further and say those are my happy-perfumes. It just isn’t possible to be a party pooper wearing them. What they have in common is firework sparkle and a gorgeous sandalwood dry-down. And one of my absolute favourites in this category is Vega from Guerlain.

Vega is named after the brightest star in the constellation of the Lyra.


The opening is bright, dry and bubbly like the best champagne enjoyed in the happiest company. The aldehydes here are going off in all directions like shooting stars, one moment I find them citric brilliant, the next creamy peachy and I’m reminded of sipping a good Bellini.

Although there’s clearly a lot of jasmine, on me at least it never goes very indolic, but becomes part of a huge floral centerpiece of roses, ylang-ylang and orange blossoms, decadent and lavishly arranged, nothing spared, no wishes left open.2468-image-350-470-fit

The sandalwood mixes the whole cocktail effortlessly into one of the happiest perfumes I know.

Whenever I wear it, it brings a smile to my face. Vega is both dramatic and fun and it’s my secret weapon for big parties and on special occasions.joan crawford


What are your favourite party or happy perfumes? Does anything make you feel like Joan C. in the picture above?


*Review based on the reissued EdT in the series Il Était Une Fois from 2006. Discontinued again in 2014.

* Read a comparison of vintage vs reissue in this review of Vega by Guerlain by Perfume Shrine.

Feat.pic is mine, the Moet vintage advert without source, Joan Crawford in the film *Our Dancing Daughters’ from 1928.

20 thoughts on “It’s My Party – Guerlain Vega (1936)

  1. Brilliant! This is just how I see Vega. I wouldn’t ever have thought of myself as a floral aldehyde person either. I can’t even break it down though and don’t really want to.

    It’s also my happy moments perfume. I wear it to the rare party and I wore it all through my time in Vienna. Actually I now want to wear it to work tomorrow 🙂

    Love the expression “no wishes left open”.

    • Thanks Tara, I’m Happy that’s how you see it too, it can truly make the sun come out. I think in my case the floral aldehydes probably have a rather oriental dry down, but that’s all I can think of as to why they works and most others don’t.
      You made me wonder if I did some random translation in my head about the ‘wishes’, but I don’t think so, so I probably did just make it up 🙂

  2. I love your reviews and insight.

    • Thank you for appreciation and readership, Sam 🙂

  3. I don’t think I like No. 5, and I may be one of those (like yourself) that doesn’t really do the floral aldehydes all that well. I also haven’t found many Guerlains that really work for me. Nonetheless, you make this sound stunning. Since it’s discontinued, I’m not sure if I’ll ever try it, but if I do I hope I love it as much as you do!

    • I do do Guerlains well, even if I wouldn’t say that Vega is anything close to your typical Guerlain perfume. It’s such a shame they stopped the Il Était une Fois series, I am pretty sure they were suppose to add perfumes to it, but who knows, perhaps they didn’t sell, perhaps IFRA restrictions got in the way… Arpege can do some of the same for me, so perhaps you can try that one?

  4. I love aldehydic perfumes, and they do remind me of champagne and mineral water and all kinds of sparkling things, so I definitely understand how the chosen few aldehydic perfumes that you do love are party perfumes to you. And Guerlain Vega especially so, as it’s rather warm and flirty beneath those aldehydes. Lovely review, dear Asali!

    • Thank you Suzanne. I do love the sparkle and find peach aldehyde C14 gorgeous. The general luminosity aldehyde lends to a perfume I love, even if I can see it being even more your thing 🙂 I think in particular it might be the soapy aldehydes paired with pink roses that feels very un-me 😉 however, recently I drank a rose infused soda, which I should love to see made into a perfume, I think I could wear that. It had the right amount of salty sparkle, ginger, rose and a tiny bit of pear juice for sweetness. Obviously that’s only really top- and part heart notes, but still I like the idea.
      True, warm and flirty what a great description.

  5. Loved your review of Vega and photographs to accompany your article. THE Rose Infused soda sounds wonderful ! A fragrance which makes me really happy is Hilde Soliani Luce.

    • Thank you Esperessence! Ah, yes Luce, I remember you writing about that, I will keep an eye out for it 🙂 yes, the soda is great, and made me think that just perhaps I will at some point find a rose perfume which is absolutely right for me, while still being a rose.

  6. My favorite party perfumes are Chanel 18 (for the champagne party) and the original LPRN for a girls night out (not a champagne party). 😉

    • Absolutely, nothing beats original 2009 LPRN for a girls night out perfume. As for 18, you know I actually can’t even remember it, I’ll need to test it next time I’m near the Chanel counter 🙂

  7. I love Vega, both the star and the perfume. You are so right, it’s bubbly like a good champagne, it’s such a happy uplifting fragrance! I don’t usually get on well with the aldehydic perfumes (there are a few exceptions), I like having a sniff but I don’t feel comfortable wearing them, but Vaga is a special case. I also adore the bottle.
    By the way, I was looking at Vega in the sky just before I read this review!

    • It seems we are a few then where Vega is one of the rare few. I only have the simpler, newer bottle, but I think it’s gorgeous too. What a coincidence that you were just star gazing and looking at Vega just before reading.

  8. Every time I tried Vega I thought it was a very nice “classical” perfume but I don’t want to wear it. But unlike the other perfumes you mentioned, I probably could wear Vega – it just won’t be my first choice.

    Trying to think of any “party” perfume… I don’t think any of those that I have, consider special and wear to parties and such convey the emotion on the picture. Probably because it’s too far away from my personality. My “party” perfumes are Amouage Gold, Ubar or FM PoaL 😉

    • That’s interesting, because you generally like quite a few floral aldehydes, I thought you would like Vega too… But then Gold is an amazing party perfume, although you’re probably right; Gold would so not dance on the tables 🙂 I think I have still try try PoaL, shame on me!

  9. If you like Vega, have you tried The Party in Manhattan? It also packs an aldehydic fizz with a retro twist? I do like Vega too, but it’s actually quite quiet on me – and kind of ‘classical’ and restrained to my nose, as Undina says. Though I should test it against the likes of Le Dix or Arpege to see how they all fare on the festive fizzometer!

    I would wear sultry florals or woody orientals to a party, I think – something that also makes a statement, but in a different vein.

    • I have tried The Party in Manhattan actually, although now I don’t remember it too much, so I will try and dig my sample out. I do remember it being hideously expensive though, so perhaps that clouded my judgment at the time of testing. Funny, that Vega should be quiet on you, Le Dix is very quiet on me. Do let me know what the Fizzometer says to your tests 🙂
      And since I love my woody orientals and wear them often, that might in part explain why I need something completely different on big occasions.

  10. Such a delightful gem to read! Thank you for sharing. Floris’ White Rose is an aldehyde fragrance I love; fresh, uplifting and classic I have wonderful summer memories of my first year at university relating to it 🙂 It started with a sample from John Lewis and became much more

    • Interesting… Wonder now at what it became 🙂 Thanks for sharing, White Rose is indeed lovely.

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