Jean-Paul Guerlain, the patriarch and former nose of the legendary Guerlain family, is allegedly the victim of elder abuse at the hands of his son and guardian, Stéphane Guerlain. An article yesterday, January 15th, detailed a host of allegations against Stéphane who will be appearing in court. Charges include terribly dilapidated living conditions, bare financial support, loss of income, and both violence and death threats against Jean-Paul’s girlfriend who he’s wanted to marry for years. (Stéphane Guerlain put a stop to that, allegedly. He’s also brought counter-accusations against her which several courts have dismissed.)
Jean-Paul Guerlain, now 85 and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, is under the guardianship of his son, a lawyer. His companion and intended fiancée is Christina Kragh, “a fiery blonde Danish-born equestrian who has lived with the celebrated perfumer since 2005 at La Vallée, his now woefully dilapidated 133-acre country estate 25 miles southwest of Paris, near the wealthy village of Les Mesnuls and tête-à-tête with the Rambouillet forest.”
The article upon which this is all based is “The Scent of a Scoundrel – In Paris, accusations of elder abuse bring a stench to France’s oldest perfume house.” It is written by Christopher Mason and posted on January 15th, 2022 on AirMail News. You have to provide an email and subscribe in order to read the full thing. I understand that some people may not be eager to do that, so I’ve provided screenshots of some key parts below.
The allegations, if true, are heinous. No elderly person without control over their mind or their body should be treated the way that Jean-Paul Guerlain is allegedly treated. And, yes, I know Jean-Paul Guerlain is a complicated, potentially controversial figure due to his racist statements in the past but, again, no elderly person — particularly one so helpless and experiencing the many effects of dementia — should live the end of their life like this.
Further, if the son’s driving concern in preventing Jean-Paul from marrying his love is money, an iron-clad prenup would solve the problem easily. Let the man be happy!
So, onto the screen shots showing a few parts of the article and the allegations against Stéphane Guerlain:
I know I’ve posted a lot of things today and that many of you are probably a little tired of hearing from me, but I thought this was an important story to share. Jean-Paul Guerlain and his family are an integral part of the fragrance world, and he was the perfumer behind a number of greatly loved fragrances. Furthermore, I haven’t seen the story picked up anywhere except for this obscure AirNews site, so the situation may have escaped your attention, as it did me until a non-perfumista Twitter friend sent me the link late this afternoon.
I wish Jean-Paul Guerlain the very best and a speedy resolution to the situation.
Wow! That’s a terrible way to treat an elderly person. Yes, the elder Guerlain has a controversial history, but that’s no reason to abuse him! At least he has his fiancée going to bat for him. Let’s hope this messy situation gets resolved. Thank you for posting this, Kafka
My pleasure, Antonia. 🙂
I loved this documentary about the House of Guerlain:
So very sad. No one should be treated in such a manner, whether they be saint or sinner.
Incredibly shocking, sad and shameful. Unfortunately there seems to be a growing epidemic of this type of abuse. Thank you for sharing this.
I’ve heard this saga few months ago. I never thought it’s this bad. Such a sad situation.
This state of affairs has been going on for years, alas, and is regularly reported on in the French press. A really toxic mess, as family conflicts often are.
Thank you for posting this, I hadn’t heard about it. I’m shocked at how horrible his son is, he sounds deranged and dangerous. I hope the courts take care of this and protect Jean Paul from further abuse.
LVMH’s perfume arm was severaly hit in 2020 bringing net loss. It may explain but doesn’t justify the son’s bout of austerity.
I don’t think there is a causal link. Let me explain why. French readers tell me that this situation has been going on for years, so it seems unlikely that LVMH perfume finances in 2020 play a role. Plus, JP probably got tens of millions, or perhaps more, from selling the company, so LVMH’s finances probably don’t impact him at much, if at all. It’s unclear if JP got any shares in LVMH upon the sale. Lastly, his son controls JP’s vast fortune and has no need to impose austerity measures due to LMVH and in violation of the specific terms he agreed to years before in the guardianship papers.
The whole thing is just so sad and, as you say, unjustified.
Thank you for sharing. Atrocious. Incredible that Stephane is getting away with this and that a family like Guerlain wouldn’t have stipulations in place for elder care.
They did have stipulations, it seems, in the guardianship papers or contract that Stéphane signed, promising to keep JP in the lifestyle to which he was accustomed. I think those terms will play a central part in the upcoming court case against Stéphane.
Thank you for posting this, and I hope (and will pray) that the truth will come out after so much attention to the matter. As you have mentioned that you are an attorney, I am sure you appreciate the slow but rigorous process of such matters!