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Guerlain – Insolence: Overview, Smell, Notes & More!

Within the Guerlain community, Insolence is considered one of the beauty and makeup company’s foremost scents.

The perfume is an amazing “floral bomb” with its signature accord being the powdery violet.

The flower is sometimes seen as a scent suited to an elderly audience.

Still, while there’s some debate as to whether that’s the same case here, Insolence has grasped the noses of worldwide fanatics, thus making it a ubiquitous product in many department stores.

Whatever you think about violets, you can’t argue with the masses.


  • Brand: Guerlain
  • Fragrance: Insolence
  • Release: 2006
  • Gender: Women
  • Perfumers: Maurice Roucel and Sylvaine Delacourte

Fragrance Notes

  • Top Notes: Raspberry, Red Berries, Bergamot, Lemon
  • Heart Notes: Violet, Rose, Orange Blossom
  • Base Notes: Iris, Tonka Bean, resins, Sandalwood, and Musk

What Does It Smell Like?

Right off the bat, some people find the structure of this scent strange; however, many love it and think it’s wonderful.

The aroma is not layered from top to bottom like most perfumes but rather goes through cycles, with some accords resurfacing and diminishing from time to time.

This is one of the perfume’s unique features.

It’s already known to be the first modern Guerlain with berries, so there’s certainly enough distinctiveness to go around.

The top aromas are sweet and fruity with the red fruit pulp further accentuating this aroma.

This is so much so that the citrus of the lemon and bergamot can barely be smelled.

All the while, you can still sense the lingering and potent violet emanations.

The middle brings the EDP to life, and despite the violet stealing the show throughout, the likes of fresh rose are adequately pronounced.

Rounding things off is the creaminess of the bean and the sweetness of the resins.

Iris does add an extra bubble of powderiness, but it’s subtle.

The remaining woodiness complements the sweetness fairly well, with the longevity of the bouquet being fairly strong.

How Long Does It Last For?

A strong, beautiful eau de parfum, Insolence is long-lasting.

Even a small 30ml bottle could last you months due to how little is needed on the skin.

Regarding daily usage, it can easily last the whole day.

Sillage is extensive too, so if you’re a girl who wants to get noticed, then you’ll absolutely love this one.

Just make sure to only spray it on your pulse points for it to appreciate well on the skin.

When Should You Wear It?

Winter and fall fit this scent like a glove. 

Despite its longevity, the perfume is not really that vibrant, which is why it might feel out of place when worn during warmer periods.

The cold seasons also emphasize its staying power. 

You’ll be glad to know, it can be worn both during the day and at night.

Where Should You Wear It?

This perfume demands a special occasion, so it’s not the best option for casual occasions.

For these types of events, rather try a light EDT.

However, providing you limit the amount you spray, it smells good in a normal office environment too.

It better complements fancy events, and you’re sure to love its projection at ceremonies like weddings.

Presentation and Value For Money

Insolence is advertised as an elegant, mature EDP for the younger woman.

It should be noted that Academy Award winner, Hillary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby, etc.), was the face of the fragrance during its initial advertising run.

Not only that, but the widely renowned “Master of the Bottle,” the artist and sculptor Serge Mansau, was the brains behind its popular semi-spherical bottle.

There was, however, a new release of the fragrance in 2017, packaged in a different, but still beautiful, modernized bottle.

This was also done for most of the popular Guerlain fragrances (Shalimar, Samsara, etc.).

A change in packaging, in most cases, means reformulation and all the controversies that come with that.

Yet in this case, when compared side by side, the two are almost identical. 

The only difference being that the original is a touch stronger.

Depending on the country you live in, the popular UFO-type bottle can be harder to find (it’s likely to have been discontinued), but if you do come across the modern one, don’t be afraid to try it out. 

It also works well as a personal gift, and at around $65 for 75ml, the price is fair.

The Bottom Line

Guerlain pleasantly surprised its target audience when Insolence was launched 15 years ago.

Today, the EDP is considered a timeless classic.

Overall, this perfume gets 5 stars. 

Sure, that’s a bold claim to make, but if you’re a fan of violet and you haven’t tried it out, my first instinct would be to ask: “Why not?”

You might really be missing out on something great!

Perfumes that Smell Like Insolence

1. Insolence Shimmering Edition

Formulated by the same noses, the shimmering edition contains all of the same accords from top to bottom. 

It does come across as fruitier though, and the violet in this is not as potent.

2. Innuendo Parfum (Roja Parfums)

Innuendo is a citrusy, woodier substitute to Insolence.

It still contains scents like bergamot and raspberry, but it’s a more pleasant alternative for the summer.

3. Feminine Limited Edition 2013 (Women’Secret)

This perfume has a sweet, floral, fruity structure with unique accords like pepper and apple. 

The heart similarly has a flowery base, while the scent also finishes off in a creamy, woody base (vanilla, amber etc.)

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