Appreciating Guerlain’s A Night at the Opera Collection for Holiday 2014

November 21, 2014

The one thing that I love about Guerlain is that it is never a one-trick pony. Whilst other brands build entire collections around 1-2 eyeshadow palettes, or maybe 1 very pretty highlighter, or even a collection of lipsticks; Guerlain has done excellently in more than 1 product category with this year’s A Night at the Opera Holiday collection. The reason I’ve held back on this part 2 of the review, is because I just got my hands on the piece de resistance of the collection!

Guerlain Coque d'Or Perfumed Shimmer Spray for Holiday 2014

As with every holiday collection, Guerlain has given us a limited edition shimmer powder spray. However, this year’s rendition is extra special. The Coque d’Or Perfumed Shimmer Powder pays tribute to the 1937 Coque d’Or perfume designed by Jacques Guerlain. This is the first time since its creation that Guerlain has reproduced Coque d’Or’s original bottle and reinterpreted it in gold-lacquered glass (instead of the original blue crystal). It is a beautiful bow-shaped golden bottle that dispenses the most magical fine golden mist when pumped! The powder is finer than shimmer, and carries a hint of a scent which is reminiscent of the original Coque dOr perfume, with notes of bergamot, rose, jasmine and patchouli. However, as with all powders, the scent is very faint and not a replacement for perfume.

Reproduced from Monsieur Guerlain

Reproduced from Monsieur Guerlain

Let me meander a little and talk about the original Coque d’Or perfume. Created in 1937 by Jacques Guerlain, it was named after the French opera Le Coq d’Or by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (and from whence Guerlain obtained the opera inspiration for this year’s holiday collection), and dedicated to his friend Sergei Diaghilev, founder of Ballet de Russe (which was the reference point for the Petrouchka Palette reviewed here). This year, Guerlain has launched a re-edition of the vintage Coque d’Or perfume, as an exclusive haute couture edition with only 29 pieces in the world, retailing at EUR17,000. The price tag sets it apart from the masses, and makes the Perfumed Shimmer Spray more relevant to us.  And it is this Coque d’Or Perfumed Shimmer Spray which is the true intended centerpiece to the Un Soir a L’Opera (or A Night at the Opera) collection.

Guerlain Meteorites Perles d'Etoiles

Just in case a beautiful bottle of magical fine shimmers isn’t your thing, Guerlain has a fail-safe for even the most cynical consumer. The Meteorites Perles d’Etoiles Illuminating Pearls is this holiday’s limited edition rendition of their best-selling pearls. It comes in a brushed golden tin with an embellished Coque d’Or red bow on the lid. In keeping with the old world charm of the collection, the interior of the tin is lined red, and there is an exquisite fluffy red pouf sitting atop the pearls to protect them. I wanted to be able to say that it is largely similar to something from the permanent collection [reviewed here] but it really isn’t. My skin has been incredibly dry lately, so I’ve skipped all setting and finishing powders, and only dusted a fine layer of the Meteorites Perles d’Etoiles all over my face with additional emphasis where I want more light. It gives me a soft luminosity and blurs those imperfections. I also loved that it is slightly warming, and helps to counteract the redness of my skin. I’ve also noticed this particular version seemed to be less powdery compared to the permanent collection, closer to the previous generation of meteorites perles.

Guerlain Ecrin 2 Couleurs for Holiday 2014

For those who were disappointed by the mostly monotonal eyeshadow palette in Petrouchka, Guerlain offers an alternative in the form of 2 limited edition Ecrin 2 Couleurs Eyeshadow in Cygne Noir (Black Swan) and Cygne Blanc (White Swan) – more references to Russian ballet.

Guerlain Ecrin 2 Couleurs Cygne Noir for Holiday 2014

Cygne Noir is what I’d consider a typical holiday eyeshadow palette with a rich plumy purple with a reddened base, and a black with silver shimmers. As consistent with the rest of the Ecrin 2 Couleurs family, the shimmer shade (in this case the black) tended to be a bit sheer. Personally, I found Cygne Noir to be of an improved texture and pigmentation than all its predecessors, but I did still find it lacking when compared against the Petrouchka Palette. It is just slightly drier, and tended to crease after about 6 hours’ wear on me.

Guerlain Ecrin 2 Couleurs for Holiday 2014 swatches

Cygne Blanc I did not care for very much. It consists of a frosty metallic white that had a slight greenish tinge, and a pale pink with sparse silvery shimmers. To borrow the words of another blogger friend of mine, this may actually be the palette you need to recreate the Frozen Princess Elsa look.

To round up A Night at the Opera Collection, there are 1 Rouge G and 2 Gloss d’Enfer Maxi Shine Lipglosses. Here are the swatches for your reference:

Guerlain Holiday 2014 Rouge G Gloss d'enfer swatches

Note: Gloss d’Enfer #400 Gold Tclack is a repromote. The others are all new and limited edition.

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I was surprised to find myself falling back in love with Guerlain and this year’s A Night at the Opera Holiday collection. As I had discussed in my earlier review of the Petrouchka Palette (here), I had been somewhat disappointed initially when I first saw pictures of the collection. But having played around with the items in person, and getting a better understanding of the inspiration behind this year’s theme, I really appreciate the deep thought that went into this. If there is only 1 piece in this collection that I’d recommend, it would be the Meteorites Perles d’Etoile because it is simply beautiful in every way. For the collectors, please do not miss out on the Coque d’Or Perfumed Shimmer Spray! Even if you have no use for shimmers on your hair and skin, think about the history that the bottle represents! The Petrouchka Palette for Eyes and Cheeks is lovely, and very value for money if you don’t already have dupes of the eyeshadows. Rouge G is always a good one to stock up on, it is a formula that will never disappoint. And those Gloss d’Enfer Maxi Shine are lovely too… which is everything in the collection! Have you picked up anything Guerlain this season?

xo Linda