Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Laurier Reglisse and Figue Iris : Perfume Review


Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

As much as I love the complex perfumes that are the olfactory equivalents of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, I am always looking forward to Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria collection, which tends to feature much more lighthearted fare. The selection runs the gamut from ingenious Pamplemousse to lovely Herba Fresca to decidedly dull and un-kiwi like Tutti Kiwi. This year’s Laurier Réglisse and Figue Iris caught my eye with their unusual and potentially brilliant pairings—bay leaf and licorice, fig and iris. I felt as curious about experimenting with these ideas in the kitchen as about smelling them on my skin. …

Laurier Réglisse created by talented young star from Firmenich Marie Salamagne (the same perfumer responsible for last year’s light and effervescent Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic) is my favorite of the two. Vivid, green, scintillating, Laurier Réglisse is wonderfully refreshing and instantly appealing. I love its crisp citrus notes paired with petitgrain (leaves of bitter orange tree) and neroli (its flowers). Laurier Réglisse reminds me of iced black tea with lemon, especially once the richer woody notes start to gain strength. The bay leaf note, which is reminiscent of chilly, metallic clove adds an interesting and unexpectedly savory facet. Overall, it reminds me of Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien, given its dry pairing of woods and icy shards of citrus.

One can trace Guerlain’s lineage much more clearly in Figue Iris , which relies on a lush dose of violet, vanilla and tonka. Denser and sweeter than Laurier Réglisse, it would be less appropriate as a splash on a hot day. However, as a fragrance to wear on a warm evening, it would be just right. Although Figue Iris is richer than Laurier Réglisse, it seems to lack the body to truly fit the Guerlain mold. It is a waifish take on Guerlinade, if you will. Nevertheless, it has a good signature, and its green fig note proves to be an interesting match for violet and iris. Now that is an idea I would like to see developed further.

Aqua Allegoria Laurier Réglisse contains notes of bergamot, orange blossom, galbanum, licorice wood, bay laurel, violet and ambery notes. Aqua Allegoria Figue Iris includes notes of bergamot, grapefruit, violet, iris, fig, milky sap notes, woods, vetiver and vanilla. The fragrances are available from Sephora and Bergdorf Goodman.



  • Robin: A “waifish take on Guerlinade, if you will” is a perfect description, V. And if you do experiment in the kitchen, do post — I miss reading your recipes even if I never cooked them 😉 April 30, 2008 at 9:07pm Reply

  • violetnoir: You and Robin have reminded me of these two AA releases. I had completely forgotten about them, but now I need to test both.

    I was thinking that I would like Figue Iris better, but both of you like Laurier Reglisse. Since I find Eau d’Hadrien wonderfully refreshing (if not fleeting), I may like the latter better, too.

    Hugs! May 1, 2008 at 12:14am Reply

  • carmencanada: I’ve tended to neglect the Aqua Allegoria: my feet always take me up the gold-flecked stairs of the 68 Champs Elysée, straight to the classics and exclusives… But I was recently offered a bottle of Iris Figue at a Guerlain-sponsored book festival and found it quite attractive. The bluish-powdery coolness of the iris set off against the sweet fruitiness purple fig. So I went on to sample Laurier Réglisse: there was a very joyful grapefruit-galbanum, underscored by the slightly caramelized licorice, opening to it that brought a smile to my lips. And anything with galbanum is a welcome addition to my scent wardrobe. Now if it would only get hot enough in Paris to justify the acquisition… May 1, 2008 at 2:39am Reply

  • Peter: Do you think a man could wear Laurier Reglisse ? It sounds great based on the notes . May 1, 2008 at 9:06am Reply

  • Linda: V, I have not smelled these yet, but what do you think of Angelique Lilas? I wore it all through the summer last year, but now I do not feel like reaching for it. Maybe I just got tired of it. May 1, 2008 at 9:16am Reply

  • Annapurna: Another great post V! I’m often drawn to the Allegorias just because the bottles are so damn pretty–feminine without looking like they came from Victoria’s Secret.

    I can’t wait to try these…so far my favorite is the grapefruit one. If you are a Guerlain fan like myself, and are trying to win over your friends who live for the next Marc Jacobs EDC, these are a good way in. May 1, 2008 at 10:56am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: R, I enjoyed both of them, perhaps more than some other ones from the collection. The ideas are very interesting. I will try to post something food related soon. Spring is a good time to experiment. May 1, 2008 at 6:57am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: R, I see your name on these. They are definitely worth trying! xoxo May 1, 2008 at 6:59am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: D, I can understand why you would walk straight up the stairs in that boutique! The downstairs area is definitely less alluring for me too. I agree, in New York, it is also not hot enough yet for these, but I can pretend that it is summer. May 1, 2008 at 7:03am Reply

  • Svetlana: Bolshoe spasibo za review. Vse xodila vokrug da okolo, no ne reshalas kupit. Mne Laurier Reglisse nravitsja. A na Vash vkus ja vsegda orientirujus’. 🙂 May 1, 2008 at 2:31pm Reply

  • Marina: “Olfactory equivalents of Tolstoy’s War and Peace”! Love that! May 1, 2008 at 11:30am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Peter, definitely! It would work well on a guy. May 2, 2008 at 9:28am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Linda, I liked it, but I grew tired of it very quickly as well. It was just not memorable enough. May 2, 2008 at 9:32am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Annapurna, I also love these bottles, especially after they have redesigned the spraying mechanism. This collection is one of favorites from AA. May 2, 2008 at 9:34am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Marina, I am re-reading “War and Peace” right now, hence, the reference. Sometimes a trashy detective novel is just right too. 🙂 May 2, 2008 at 9:35am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Svetlana, you are welcome. If you are not sure about them, then maybe they are not going to please you for long. If I hesitate, I usually avoid buying. I know that I am going to be disappointed later. May 2, 2008 at 9:37am Reply

  • JFOREHAND: Well, I just fell on to this blog last week, I am a fragance junkie. Love it all! I especially like the Allegorias collection because of their classy straight foward focus with the elegance of the guerlain house. I especially like the Winter Delice (sorry about spelling), the liliac and of course, love the grapefruit! Right now, I am in seach for a fragance with pronounced orange blossom and a tad of jasmine… Long ago, Nina Ricca had a fragance called Biggadard or something like that it, was presented in orange packaging. I think I was the only person who loved it… or saw it at J. Magin. I have never seen any mention of it.(circa: 1970’s) It smelled like orange blossom and jasmine tea. May 16, 2008 at 12:42pm Reply

  • maryam in marrakech: I absolutely love the figue iris. Delicious! June 8, 2008 at 2:20pm Reply

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