Bottled Starlight – Vega by Guerlain

The brightest star in the sky…

Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot and orange blossom. Heart notes: jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, blackcurrant blossom, carnation, iris and rosewood. Base notes: vanilla, sandalwood, musk and amber.

Last year I met someone whose taste in perfume perfectly mirrored their personality. While communicating online she told me a few of her favourite fragrances and it was then easy to pinpoint that she was drawn to aldehydic florals.

When we then met in person, it was clear that this category of perfume was a perfect fit for her. She is effervescent, bright and beautiful both inside and out. The correlation with her favourite fragrance genre was striking.

I gave her an atomiaser filled with Vega, which is my favourite floral aldehyde fragrance and as I anticipated, she fell in love with it. In her own words “I can’t even explain it to you…it transports me to an entirely new world. That is my heaven”.

I get a real kick out of being a perfume matchmaker so hearing this from someone who I felt an immediate connection with, was wonderful.

In the past, I never had much luck with floral aldehydes. They were usually too soapy for my taste and the bubbly effect irritated my sinuses. They just didn’t feel like me. Then Birgit generously gave me a decant of Vega and my eyes were opened. This was unlike any of the others, it was so soft and luminous: Pure aldehyde perfection.

This fragrance was first released by Guerlain in 1936 and relaunched as an exclusive in 2006. It shines like starlight and is as smooth as the most expensive champagne. You could separate out the different floral components but this is a fragrance that is more than the sum of its parts. I switch off and let it send me off into the ether.

I wear Vega for celebrations because it’s so sparkling; like bathing myself with a thousand tiny stars.  I picture it as pure white light and feel as if it’s shimmering off my skin. For me, it’s best applied by dabbing rather than spraying.

I wore it to my fabulous friend Thomas’s wedding and that was one of the few times someone’s complimented me on my perfume.

A great twist is that in the base there’s something warm and dark which contrasts so nicely with its cool and clean character. Truly intoxicating.

Unfortunately, Vega has been discontinued. Not only is it sad to lose such a transcendent scent but just look at that stunning Art Deco bottle!


Do you think the kind of fragrances you like reflects your personality?




Filed under Perfume Reviews

22 responses to “Bottled Starlight – Vega by Guerlain

  1. cookie queen

    Crap. I want this. 😬


  2. As you know I’m not an floral aldehyde person either, but this one truly is different. I suspect to me the big difference is the woody oriental base, as is also the case with Arpege, which I love too.
    I actually bought B.’s bottle and think of her whenever I wear it 🙂
    I love the “perfume matchmaking” phrase, and like you I find it such a thrill to get it right 🙂


    • Yes, good point. It must be the oriental base that makes the difference for us.
      It’s lovely when you have a bottle that reminds you of someone, especially someone far away.
      Successful perfume match-making is so satisfying!


  3. ‘Bottled starlight’ is so poetic! It reminds me of a favourite song by Scarlet’s Well called Vampire (bear with me;) ) which contains the line ‘I fly in starlight’… Am happy you were able to give your friend an effervescent epiphany. It is such a satisfying outcome for both of you to know that someone else will now appreciate a scent you love. And I agree that the bottle is gorgeous. Do I wear fragrances that reflect my personality? Maybe in the sense that I like so many styles of perfume, and by the same token, have varied interests? And am a bit of a chameleon? Have a job with ever changing topics? Anyway, have dug out my sample of Vega – also courtesy of you – and am feeling suitably fizzed up.


    • “I fly in starlight..” is lovely, V.
      I was sooo happy when she fell in love with it. I think it’s a lot easier to match personalities with fragrances when they aren’t into loads of different ones like us. But maybe that in itself says something about us, as you suggest 🙂


  4. Hey Tara,
    Back in 2013 on Jin’s and my first trip together he fell madly in love with Vega and I with Sous le Vent. We bought other things at the time, vowing to grab them both next time. Then they were discontinued.
    Fortunately I have a bottle of Sous le Vent, from Vienna, but never did get Jin his Vega.
    Portia xx


  5. What a truly lovely portrayal of the perfume, Tara! Unfortunately I have never smelled this one … Oh, gosh, I so want to try this!!! And look at the beautiful bottle! What a beauty. I must get my hands on someday. 😉


  6. Sandra

    Lovely review Tara. I am so sorry that I never bought this when I could have. Sandra xo


    • Thanks, Sandra. That’s the way it goes sometimes unfortunately but we can feel lucky to have what we’ve got. If you’d like me to try and smuggle some across to Vienna, just let me know.


  7. I have a decant of Vega, that came from the same bottle that now reminds Asali of its owner 😉
    While I thought it was a beautiful “classic” perfume, after testing it repeatedly I decided that it wasn’t “me.” But since I still have something left in the bottle, I’ll keep trying it. I wish I could feel about it the way you do! It’s such a beautiful review. And I’m upset for you (and others who love this perfume) about its discontinuation.


    • Maybe you could try it dabbed nwxt time as thar made all the difference to me. Though maybe that is because it tones dowm the aldehydes which i am not a fan of.. In any case it is probably just as well not to fall in love with now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sun Mi

    I’m not sure how I feel about aldehydes – I have stayed away from many of those fragrances so far in my trials. I am, however, very struck by the perfume matchmaking and the perfection of her personality with fragrance. For the life of me I can’t imagine what perfume might be perfect for my personality, and now I’m starting to wonder if I even have any noticeable personality traits! I think I have been inspired to work on myself, thanks to this post! (Vega sounds amazing, btw.)


  9. Pingback: Mood Scent 4 – Uplifting Perfumes | A Bottled Rose

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