SmackDown: Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria vs 4711 Acqua Colonia


Post by Willa Zheng


Hello Perfumistas,

In the quest for the perfect orange cologne to splash about in summer, I am smacking Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic (2007, Marie Salamagne) against its cheaper drug store dupe, 4711 Acqua Colonia Blood Orange & Basil (2010) this month. To me, the perfect orange cologne is like mint julep on a hot day – refreshing, uplifting, but not cloying sweet.


Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic

Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Clementine, orange blossom, ivy, green tea, bitter orange
Heart: Peony, chamomile, mandarin orange, basil
Base: Sandalwood, amber

vs 4711 Acqua Colonia Blood Orange & Basil

4711 Acqua Colonia Blood Orange & Basil Maurer & Wirtz FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica Gives these featured accords in one line:
Blood orange, basil

SmackDown: The hit

Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic opens as a blast of the sweetest, juiciest mandarin juice. Five seconds later, the bitterness from the rind emerges. And it continues to push through and dominate, until you’re like: ‘hold on, I’m smelling a bundle of kitchen herbs sitting next to a plate of oranges and mandarins on the kitchen table’. Mandarin notes are typically sweeter than orange notes, so it was an inspired idea to pair this with basil to temper the sweetness. The overall effect is cheerful, fresh but not cloying sweet.

Blood Orange and Basil opens as a blast of synthetic room-fragrance-like blood orange and alcohol.
It is sweeter and more bitter than Guerlain. Whereas a soothing blend of herbs like chamomile, green tea and ivy become noticeable in Mandarine Basilic after a few minutes, you can’t really detect the basil in 4711 unless you really look for that green note. To a blind sniffer, it is an uplifting, orange with jasmine scent.

DCF 1.0Photo Stolen WikiCommons

SmackDown: The wake

An hour later, my impression of Mandarine Basilic can be best described as sweet and musky. Fragrantica’s description of its middle notes is pretty apt. Yes, there is still the sweet juicy mandarin and herbaceous basil, but they’re now the supporting players to the chamomile and soft floral peony notes anchored by sandalwood and amber. Those notes set the soothing and comforting experience for the rest of the wear of this juice. Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic is surprisingly tenacious for a citrus EDT. 6Hrs+

Unsurprisingly, you can’t really smell 4711 Blood Orange and Basil half an hour later. Junkies are advised to reapply to continue to enjoy the bursts of happiness.

Smackdown Happy woman Sunset Jill111 PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

SmackDown: Verdict

Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic is the clear winner for me, not just in terms of its longevity and complexity, but because it hums so soothingly, melding with the chemistry of the wearer. It’s an exemplary idea of what the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria line can achieve – creating beautiful, affordable, naturalistic fragrances from quality ingredients.

Surrender To Chance has Mandarine Basilic samples from $3/ml

In any case, if you’re after a flutter, 4711 is a cheap thrill that will bring a smile to most wearers’ face. Just keep splashing, baby.

What is your perfect orange?
Willa Zheng xox

Lys Soleia by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain: Aqua Allegoria 2012

Hey Frag Fiends,

Hey Northern Hemisphere, remember summer? Here we are down here sweltering in the heat and humidity and loving it. Days are long, fruit and vegetables are abundant and cheap, the extremely fragrant frangipani, lilies, jasmine and lemon trees are all blooming like crazy, the beach and pool are awaiting, we’ve just had holidays and life feels good. I’m even lightly sunburned, getting my vitamin D levels up so my body will run efficiently and has the tools to fight disease and depression.

Well today In am writing about one of my summer fragrance staples which I also use midwinter to remind me of the warmth and steamy tropical evenings of summer.

Lys Soleia by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain: Aqua Allegoria 2012

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, palm leaves
Heart: Lily, ylang-ylang, tropical fruits
Base: Tuberose, vanilla, white musk

Lys Soleia basically opens right in the heart already for me, the citrus is so fleeting but it does add glitter to the bouquet and there is a green sugariness that I can only detect with a respritz. Lily, ylang and vanilla like a beautiful warm tropical dream. Sweet and sensual I am immediately transported to faraway islands, feasting on platters of fresh cut super sweet fruits and walking through gardens decked with evening blooming exotic flowers that pump out their fragrant song. Hot and sweaty skin fresh from swimming in the sea and from sunbathing, there is even a trace of sun lotion. The white flowers and vanilla wear hot, ripe and sensual in such a “come hither and ravage me” way that I am always blown away. It’s a welcome surprise every time. No wallflower is Lys Soleia but a red blooded, thrumming sex drive, naughty and fabulous adventure waiting to happen.

Lys Soleia Guerlain Lady_Elliot_Island WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

One of the most obvious and perfume-y of the Aqua Allegoria line Lys Soleia is a sirens song that makes me smile in secret, guilty delight. Deeper and more dense than the rest I find its intoxicating and mesmerising beauty a bit of a brain scrambler. Seriously, this will have your dates so befuddled that they will be putty in your hands. Always a good thing.

Rich, yes very rich, and regal I could imagine Lys Soleia on a woman of supreme confidence, Samantha Jones of Sex and the City played by Kim Cattrall in her powerful sexual woman mode. It can also be worn by a man who wants to stand out from the crowd as someone who is unafraid to be their own person, who is happy to be known to be different, maybe someone in business who needs to sell their own angle or point of difference.

Lys Soleia Guerlain Kim_Cattrall WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

As we head towards dry down the tuberose and vanilla stand forth over a slightly furry musk that I can barely smell but which feels a bit fuzzy. I know that description is absolute shit and gives you no clue to what I smell but there you have it, that’s the way I perceive Lys Soleia in the later stages before it starts to really fade out.

Fully fragrant and good longevity for an Aqua Allegoria. You need to be careful because with an overzealous application you could suck the air from a room and dry clean the curtains.

Lys Soleia Guerlain man ambroochizafer PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Further reading: Now Smell This and Candy Perfume Boy
Available through Guerlain counters at large department stores
FragranceNet has $61/125ml before coupon

What do you like to wear to remind you of summer, or in the midst of it? Are the Aqua Allegoris to your taste?
Come on and join the conversation, I love to read your thoughts.
Portia xx

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice by Guerlain 2001


Post by Tina G


Winter Delice is the secret door at the back of the cupboard from the The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. A few squirts and I’ve been instantly transported into a frosty European December day, walking through a high mountain forest with a crystal blue sky above and dry crisp snow crunching under my boots.

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice by Guerlain

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Fir
Heart: Pine, resin
Base: Opoponax, vanille, sugar

The whole opening of Winter Delice is as I’ve just brushed up against a forest pine tree, cupped a bunch of needles to my nose for a sniff, and got a bit of sticky sap on my fingers from my efforts. The pine and fir notes are fresh, bright, and uplifting. The presence of a touch of lemon may or may not be an aspect of the pine. A clear rich resin comes through after about 15 minutes when the fragrance has warmed on my skin. I’m enjoying it sooooo much I find myself respritzing during the first hour to reinvigorate & revive the experience.

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice Guerlain Snow Pines Daniel FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Given a bit more time, the sticky piney-ness settles into an aura of dry amber and resin. There is a hint of an odd metallic note which I quite like, but quickly passes. The amber/resin combination lasts for about 2 hours, at which time I give a small disappointed sigh, as I think that’s the end of it. Just a standard amber dry down – what a shame when I was enjoying it so much.

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice Guerlain Almond Cake PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

But wait! A little later I’m curled up doing some reading, and there is a wonderful aroma of sweet sugared almonds with a hint of vanilla, waiting shyly and oh-so-patiently to be noticed. You cheeky little fragrance! Withholding this intoxicatingly comforting skin scent for a last surprise. I’m so glad I didn’t write it off at the amber stage and miss this altogether. The vanilla sweetness is very yummy and cuddly and I find myself now snuggled down again, smiling while reading with my nose pressed firmly against my wrist.

So for the first time in a while, I’ve worn a fragrance three days in a row. Winter Delice is wonderful, but I feel like I’m running out of time to wear it as the days become progressively warmer coming into spring, perfect for Northern Hemisphere wear right now though. I do think it is a cool weather experience, but I’ll give it a run in summer to see how it fares – the pine may just be refreshing instead of cloying, who knows.

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice Guerlain wildflowers-spring WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Further reading: The Non Blonde and Olfactory Obsessed
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $6/ml

I will be trying out more of the Aqua Allegoria series, but I’d be interested in some honest opinions – have you tried any of this range? What did you like? What didn’t work for you?

Tina G

Aqua Allegoria Jasminora by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2011

Hey All,

As you know it’s summer down here but I also know that sometimes you need a spritz of springtime to wash away the winter blues. Here is one such, bursting with the freshness of spring, full of hope and sparkling like magic. I originally smelled this from a super frag fairy that added a little sample with something else , THANK YOU!!

 Aqua Allegoria Jasminora by Guerlain 2011

Jasminora FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, bergamot, cyclamen
Heart: Calabrian jasmine, freesia, lily of the valley
Base: Musk, amber

Few words make me want to bypass a fragrance as quickly as clean will, fortunately I tried this before I read any reviews though when I did read reviews I have hazy recollections of reading them before. A few reviewers complained of the artificiality displayed here but after the sizzling bergamot and green snap & crackle of the galbanum pass the waxy cyclamen brings a plastic bridge to the heart flowers and I think it’s a perfect segue. If you are looking for a dirty, indolic or sensual jasmine then you need to look elsewhere, what we have here is only a nod to jasmine, the cleanest, clearest jasmine note while not smelling at all like the jasmine on the plant. Here we find the jasmine of imagination with all the nasty bits left on the cutting room floor. The heft of the musks creates an unrelenting freshness through the whole life, about 5-7 hours depending, of Aqua Allegoria Jasminora by Guerlain and is what fabric softeners dream of becoming when they grow up and blossom into fine fragrance. I completely miss even a hint of amber on my skin, the dry down is a transparent floral laid over the squeaky clean musks, so pretty and now but still deep enough to be a Guerlain.

Fresh, bright and clean is a great way to smell when Thierry Wasser has been at the helm and he hit a home run with Jasminora, my new Aqua Allegoria full bottle. The advertisement below has orchids and I do feel a certain night blooming orchid entrancement floating through Aqua Allegoria Jasminora by Guerlain even though it’s not noted.

If you want something that will be fragrant but unobtrusive then this could be a very good go to for you. I like the lack of heft that comes with the Aqua Allegoria line at Guerlain, it’s a shame this one was a limited edition but it is still out there on discount sites.Wearing jasminora to work would be OK I think unless you are in particularly fragrance phobic environs, perfect for dinner, shopping, sport or after and great for the guys too.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Further Reading NowSmellThis and PerfumeShrine offer differing views
Amazon has 7 x 75ml left for under $50 at time of writing
ThePerfumedCourt starts at $3/ml

Have you tried Jasminora or any of the Aqua Allegorias? How do you like their fresh and youthful style? Is there one you pined for that’s now discontinued? How do you feel about Limited editions?

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in APJ in 2012. it has been an awesome ride and I am THRILLED about 2013 and seeing what we can achieve in it. Resolutions? To be the best I can be even when I don’t feel like it. To a different, non judgmental, forgiving level of best. To be good to the people around me. To try to understand foolish, uncaring and selfish behaviours in others and do away with them in myself. Oh yeah! More money, less work.

HappyNewYear2013 luckywpPhoto stolen luckywp

Till tomorrow, Next year!!
Portia xx