Following last year’s successful launch of Aqua Allegoria Forte Mandarine Basilic (reviewed here), Guerlain has added three new iterations to the range: Bosca Vanilla, Rosa Palissandro, and Oud Yuzu … and I’m definitely having a moment with them all.
Housed in the brand’s instantly recognizable bottles with a honeycomb shawl draped along the shoulders, along with the brand’s iconic bee symbol etched onto the cap, these are visually differentiated from their eau de toilette siblings by their gold labels. As these are an eau de parfum format, the DNA of the range remains the same: sumptuous yet still lighthearted. Made in France, the Aqua Allegoria bottles come with a removable screw top that makes them refillable, with the bottle itself made from at least 15% recycled glass.
‘Bosca Vanilla Forte is the scent of a wild Corsican beach in late summer, notes of driftwood and salty vanilla, like a powerful wave caressing the warm sand’
Aqua Allegoria Forte Bosca Vanilla Eau de Parfum (CAN $156.00/75 ml, 2.5 fl. oz) | “The meeting between a driftwood accord with hints of the sea, the warmth of vanilla and everlasting flower with sunny, enveloping accents”. Symbolic of Guerlain’s commitment to the planet, each Aqua Allegoria fragrance contains ingredients of more than 90% natural origin; an example of this is the vanilla tincture in Bosca Vanilla that is made using organic vanilla pods. The notes are:
- Top: Bergamot, Eucalyptus
- Heart: Solar Notes, Immortelle (Everlasting Flower)
- Base: Vanilla Absolute, Driftwood, Musk
I always gravitate to anything with vanilla and this was the first one of the trio that I immediately wanted to try. What makes Bosca Vanilla Forte unique amongst my other vanilla fragrances, is the layering of the notes; the initial spritz opens up with a zingy freshness which quickly softens up within minutes, morphing into something that’s hard to pin down as a traditional vanilla, but more like salt-water taffy. Displaying excellent longevity, the dry down is sensuous, yet not overly dark and made me want to continue sniffing my wrists throughout wear. My daughter said that this smells like a hug, and I definitely agree.
‘Rosa Palissandro Forte is an homage to the beauty of rosewood: a fresh wood with floral and spicy tones, paired with the intensity of patchouli and sandalwood, wrapped in an elegant vine of roses’
Aqua Allegoria Forte Rosa Palissandro Eau de Parfum (CAN $156.00/75 ml, 2.5 fl. oz) | “The spicy freshness of rosewood meets both the delicacy of rose and the intensity of patchouli. The flower and wood combine to provide a fragrance that blends strength with sophistication”. The notes are:
- Top: Coriander Iandaldehydes, Lemon
- Heart: Damask Rose, Palisander Rosewood, Germanium
- Base: Sandalwood, Patchouli
Historically, I’ve never been drawn to florals — especially anything rose, as in my mind those always came across as ‘old’. That said, the last few years I’ve experimented with several florals — including rose-centric fragrances — and have been loving them, primarily because the new iterations combine unexpected and unique note combinations. Rosa Palissandro Forte, however, is a bit of a surprise; the opening is sharp and doesn’t really hint at floral. Once past the initial phase, I pick up something earthy yet with a rounded edge and hints of rose flirting around the edges. The Germanium in the mix also provides something I’d never think to say about a floral: a somewhat dill tang that’s odd, yet not unpleasant. The dry down is where I get a bit more of the rose, but even at that it feels grounded and makes me think of the verdant fragrance of fall foliage. Definitely not your grandma’s rose scent, I can guarantee you that. If I had to use one word to describe, it would have to be ‘clean’.
‘Oud Yuzu Forte is the surprising illumination of sacred and mysterious Oud Wood, shot through with the tangy freshness of Yuzu’
Aqua Allegoria Forte Oud Yuzu Eau de Parfum (CAN $156.00/75 ml, 2.5 fl. oz) | “The unexpected contrast between the sacred whorls of Oud Wood and the mischievous acerbity of Yuzu. Wood and citrus meet to create a fragrance that plays with light and shadow”. Oud is one of the rarest and most precious raw materials in perfumery, with the process of obtaining it extending over dozens of years. The notes are:
- Top: Yuzu
- Heart: Oud (Agarwood)
- Base: Cedar
I own a few fragrances in my collection that are Oud Wood based, and much like patchouli, this ingredient is quite polarizing: you either love it or gate it. As far as Oud Yuzu Forte is concerned, consider me on team love. The citrus opening hits the ground running and has a slight acrid yet sunny side; picture a citrus orchard basking in sunlight. Within minutes, the fragrance morphs into something hard to describe – warm yet earthy, crisp yet soft, and rather animalistic but elegant. Finally, the dry down seems to take all the notes, round off the edges and leaves you with a scent that I still can’t fully describe, but it sits on the edge of familiar yet odd … very intriguing and unlike anything else I own.
As a huge fan of Guerlain fragrances and the Aqua Allegoria range in particular, I’m really enjoying playing with these latest. I also love the fact that they layer well, whether with each other, or any of the eau de toilettes in the lineup. With a history in perfumery as extensive and storied as that of this brand, I always look forward to new creations and Guerlain does not disappoint. Oh and the vanilla I was so eager to try first? It turns out that my instincts were bang on.
Available at Guerlain Boutiques and online
Kindly provided by Guerlain for my unbiased consideration