The 83-year-old retired head of the Guerlain perfume empire is locked in a court battle with his son, who is trying to block his father’s plan to marry a woman 21 years his junior. Jean-Paul Guerlain suffers from senile dementia and his 60-year old son Stéphane, who is his legal guardian, is trying to block him from marrying Christina Kragh Michelsen, 62, a tall, Franco-Danish blonde. Stéphane Guerlain, a patent lawyer won a case in July to prevent the marriage. This week, however, his father began an appeal. The son’s lawyer, Pascal Koerfer, said: “His father doesn’t want to marry. He has clearly said so before the guardianship judge. He has said so in front of domestic staff. He doesn’t want to marry but is being subjected to daily pressure.” Kirsten Kragh Michelsen, known as Christina, met Mr Guerlain senior around 2005 and moved in with him a few years later. Her lawyers argue that the couple have lived together for years, but the son’s lawyers claim they have “no common life together in the legal sense” because of Mr Guerlain’s condition. She says they planned to marry in 2007 but dropped the plan because of the son’s opposition. As his father’s guardian, Stéphane Guerlain was notified when the marriage banns were posted. His lawyer said he is only trying to protect his father from those who covet his wealth. In July his father signed a letter stating: “I reiterate that I do not wish to marry Kirsten Michelsen.” She claims the older man was under pressure to sign the letter from a son who had the keys to their home and often walked in unannounced. She said she avoids Stéphane Guerlain because when they cross paths, he tells her she is not at home. Last week the elder Mr Guerlain appeared to change his statement. Accompanied by his lawyer and Ms Michelsen, he said: “I adore Christina. We’ve lived together for years, I get on very well with her, we share the same tastes… I’m an adult and vaccinated, and I have the right to marry who I wish.” However, he appeared unaware of what it means to be placed under his son’s guardianship and could not remember his lawyer’s name, although he said his associate was pretty, according to Le Monde newspaper. During one hearing, he asked for a bottle of rosé three times in 15 minutes. Decia Ruspoli, a Belgian woman who had a relationship with Mr Guerlain senior from 1985 to 2003, has offered to testify in Ms Michelsen’s favour, saying Stéphane was always suspicious of his father’s partners. “I’m outraged,” she said. “This man [Jean-Paul Guerlain] is a historic monument for France and he’s being tied up like a chicken.” The case continues.