Guerlain Herba Fresca : Perfume Review

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Mint plays a curious trick on our senses.  Menthol, the main component of mint essence, triggers the cold-sensitive TRPM8 receptors found in the skin – a phenomenon that is responsible for the icy burst one experiences when eating mint candy or drinking a mint julep. Even a sip of hot Moroccan mint tea on a balmy day will produce the same cooling effect. In the realm of perfumes, you can try Guerlain Herba Fresca.

Herba Fresca has been around for a while, and I don’t even remember the first time I tried it. I only recall enjoying its uplifting freshness and green notes. It’s not a complicated perfume and it holds few secrets. From the burst of verdancy and citrus to the soft musky chords in the drydown, it’s a straightforward blend. But what it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in its vibrant character. It’s refreshing in the summer and rejuvenating in the winter.

To imagine what Herba Fresca smells like take the accord of a Moroccan mint tea and add a handful of crushed green leaves.  Mint is the central note of Herba Fresca, which is what gives the fragrance its cooling illusion. However, the familiar peppermint bite is mixed with green tea and floral notes for a mild, soft focus  effect. A sprinkling of sugar tones down the herbal sharpness further.

The top notes of this perfume are so dazzling and bright that they give an instant boost. However, the fragrance develops in the typical fashion of colognes and fireworks–a big bang followed by a tail that slowly peters out. Not that it’s necessarily negative, mind you. Sometimes it’s pleasant just to feel recharged, without the perfume leaving a strong sillage. I still smelled it on my skin for the next few hours, but its presence was subtle. The memory that the exuberant opening leaves, however, is lingering enough to make Herba Fresca one of my staples.

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12 Comments

  • sunillusion: I remember it is such a marvel composed by Mathilde Laurent (?), who was once trained in Guerlain under Jean-Paul Guerlain and also contributed Guet-Apens (Love that!) as long as Pamplelune. And now she is Cartier’s in-house perfumer, and also presents many beautifully crafted compositions for Cartier (La Panthere, Carat, Baiser vole, etc). August 26, 2019 at 9:20am Reply

  • Perfumelover67: Thank you for the review Victoria. Herba Fresca has a very especially place in my collection. From the first time I tried it I fell in love with it. Several years ago I had an inner ear problem for a long period of time that caused severe dizziness and imbalance. The only perfume that helped greatly during that time was Herba Fresca. The minty aroma used to soothe the symptoms a lot. Rough days at work and daily activities were much easier to handle when I wore it. Besides that, it has always been a summer staple in my collection. Gorgeous and simple perfume! I never run out of it. August 26, 2019 at 9:33am Reply

  • Julie Basile: I think I will love all the Guerlain Fresca fragrances. I am on third bottle of the mandarin basilic with same qualities- with a similar burst. I even use on my sheets. Do t care if it’s long lasting. Initial spray is so uplifting and wonderful!

    Do you know which one of this line is sold at four seasons or Ritz? Maybe this one? August 26, 2019 at 9:35am Reply

  • OperaFan: I’ve never tried it, but have always been curious. Guess it’s time to get me a bottle… August 26, 2019 at 10:19am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: I must revisit Herba Fresca. I’m enjoying some of the newer Guerlain Aqua Allegoria scents like Bergamot Calabria and Pera Granita. Together, these 2 comprise my go to light and fresh summer scents. August 26, 2019 at 5:46pm Reply

    • Matty: I’ve got both Pera Granita and Bergamote Calabria. I like them both in the hot weather.Nearly forgot Limon Verde. August 27, 2019 at 3:27am Reply

  • spe: Wore it for several years. Cannot go back to those days! Too many (lousy) memories. On to a better life and different scents. 🙂 August 26, 2019 at 8:28pm Reply

  • Sandra: This scent gives me the scent memory of my father.Watching him shave and then brush his teeth in the morning. When you would give me a good morning kiss and would smell all minty fresh. When I miss him I often find this at a department store and give it an inhale. August 27, 2019 at 6:15am Reply

  • paola rozzoni: One bottle of Herba Fresca is always present in my perfume collection. A fragrance I can’t do without.
    Paola August 27, 2019 at 7:32am Reply

  • Ayesha Ali: I purchased this perfume after reading this review. It is the first bottle of perfume I have ever owned because my mother is allergic to fragrances. Starting university this month, I wanted something to signal my gradual transition to independence, and a fragrance that was not overpowering seemed to be a sensible option and starting point. Mint is my favourite scent and I am totally enamoured with the pretty bottle and the lovely smell of this thing. I am no perfume expert but am so glad I gave this a try. Thank you for the lovely article! September 1, 2019 at 7:55am Reply

  • Aurora: It’s such a treat to apply mint perfumes and that Herba Fresca is in the Aqua Allegoria permanent collection. One I like very much too is Paul Emilien Une Belle Journee, it is both minty and powdery. September 11, 2019 at 12:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: I like it very much! September 11, 2019 at 3:36pm Reply

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