There are few things more satisfying than a well done citrus. And seeing the latest Guerlain on sale at Birmingham airport on Thursday at the beginning of a MONSTROUSLY long journey to Tokyo via Dubai (ugh….more on that later), I decided to just buy blind – as, for some unfathomable reason known only to the local sales ladies, there was no tester available and it was time for me to get to my departure gate. But lime is possibly Duncan’s very favourite note in perfumery, I was feeling spendthrifty, and I was, I admit, seduced by the writing on the back of the box:
“Enjoy a Caipirinha under the lemon trees on the banks of the Amazon river….the spirit of lime with a tropical note”.
Oh go on then. I love rum, and I love that harsh, crushed icedness of the strong; the slightly too sour limeness of a good Caipirinha, and also, aesthetically, the words LIMON VERDE. Different from citron vert somehow, an anomaly: the couldn’t-be-more-Gallic stalwarts of perfumery going all FIFA and latino on us and making a Brazil-themed perfume to celebrate ( and cash in on) the forthcoming World Cup while extending the citric winning streak that began with the delightful Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, dipped slightly with the lamentable Lemon Fresca, but continued to strike again with the estimable, and highly sense-pleasing, Mandarine Basilic.
THIRTY HOURS LATER – yes you read that correctly; it was a f***ng ordeal to be honest – I met the D at Tokyo Haneda airport, we went to a hotel, I had the most welcome shower of possibly all time, and we then went out together to a cheap izakaya for cool beers, whisky gingers, and to relaxedly ruminate on the brilliant trip we had just had to England, while being secretly delighted simultaneously to have arrived back safely in the gleam dream (England is perhaps just one dose of reality too far…..) as fresh, cool Japanese rain chucked it down on the streets of Kawasaki – so very deeply wet, oxygenating and refreshing after being stuck, rigid and knee-bound, in the metallic carcass of an airplane for so damn long, watching formulaic, irritating Hollywood films and eating gut-clogging meals while feeling my lips begin to crack in the mucoid aridity of the ‘air’ – my clothes yearning and begging me to just have please permission to run off and wash themselves, my addled, slimy, claustrophobic brain just yearning for greenness; the outside; FRESHNESS.
In a way then, as Duncan ripped off the plastic from his unopened Limon Verde, this was the ideal perfume to have bought back with me, despite an overly familiar aspect that you get in many of the less overtly macho modern masculines such as Guerlain Homme, which, while admittedly uninspiring, can still be quite attractive on the id level in spite of one’s initial, prissy, perfumista judgementalism. Yes, the scent does dry down to a figgy, green-tea woodiness you have smelled several times before, but there is also a rather delicious aspect to this scent as well that I find quite appealing. I like how the initial fresh, matinal, lime note runs into a cool, basmati rice-like accord that brings to mind Etat Libre D’Orange’s Phillippine Houseboy (Fils De Dieu): an airy, almondish drinkableness that I can easily imagine on some young Brazilian alighting at a cafe one sunny July morning as he flips his friends a bom dia; an easy, casual insouciance, lazily cheering up the air around him with a smiling, minty, come-to-bed charm.
This latest release for Guerlain is certainly no game-changer, but I still feel sure I will enjoy smelling it on the D: I might even wear it to work myself when the temperatures start to hot up (perhaps with a touch of coconut?) as it is light, optimistic, and unobtrusively sexy. I can also imagine it working commercially, actually, can picture it quite easily rocking the terraces of the Estado Do Maracana as the nimble-footed gods of the stadia work their hot, southern hemisphere magic; the fans go wild in the stands, and the entire world, for a short period of soccer madness this coming summer, goes crazy .
17 responses to “GUERLAIN GOES RIO :: : : AQUA ALLEGORIA LIMON VERDE (2014)”
Sounds divine! I love lime too, and always sprinkle lime aromatherapy oil into the wood of the floorboards when I’m mopping chez moi (along with peppermint). Must try this one. Glad you got back ok. Japan sounds particularly beautiful in this review. Wish I was there!
I don’t know if the perfume or Japan are particularly beautiful, N, but after that horrendous plane journey they both seemed so. In truth, this scent isn’t quite original enough, but I definitely like it. Lime! The way it cuts through everything, the pain of grating your teeth on lime skin with that waxy bitterness. I love alcoholic drinks with lime: Cuba Libre, Caipirinhas, that mix of intoxication with healthful freshness. I love the idea of you scrubbing the floors with it!
The best lime perfume we have is one I customized myself: this very cheap but very nice German scent called Laguna, by Harry Lehmann, which I really like – quite similar to Paco Rabanne Sport from 1986, another gorgeous lime scent, but which didn’t have QUITE enough limette in it. Soon remedied with some top quality organic lime oils that I steeped in the scent for a few months in a dark place until they fused. It is now absolutely gorgeous in summer. I wear it, but Duncan wears it more. He swears by a lime. x
I like many of the Aquas Allegoria.
They have their place in the world.
Specifically for me they are morning scents, for the levee: breakfast. a walk, gymn, some thoughts, before bathing and something more serious.
In those terms, this sounds as though it could be an ideal addition to the Dandy’s collection… I’m also very fond of Guerlain’s lime, if it’s the same one used so effectively at the start of l’Eau Boisee.
Glad your home in gleamland… was England so terribly real?
The Perfumed Dandy
‘Before the levee…’ love it.
You have always championed the Allegorias, dear sir, and while this definitely is not essential (on further reflection, its heart is rather cheap), I still do not rue having it there waiting on the shelf.
As for the gleam dream, it’s a weird thing. I really connected with England this time and could properly see its beauty. So much green. And an ease, and friendliness. And yet so LUMPEN….it’s hard to explain. I am British and always will be, to the core, but it somehow just feels like the end of the line. Death is more…..vivid and imaginable in one’s own country. The neon sheen, the sublimated emotions and more liquid, mysterious fluidity of Asia make it easier for a dreamer’s dreams to stay intact.
Sorry to hear the journey back was so monstrous, Neil. Flying is the worst but 30 hours on the move is horrendous. Glad Limon Verde was a welcome pick-me-up.
I’m with Duncan, I love lime in perfume. I don’t come across it often though. I think it’s reserved for the more masculine fragrances.
Godd news that you’ll be able to wear it to school. A definite plus.
I MIGHT wear a dash when it gets really hard, though I think this is more a Duncan. I still love the Aqua Allegoria Ylang Vanille, unsurprisingly, and the little loved Gentiana, which is a stunning, sparkling, pear citrus sandalwood concoction that is just happiness in a bottle.
Have you ever worn any of them? Herba Fresca doesn’t quite work for me, and there have been so many florals since I can’t even remember them. I like Winter Delice for Christmas time.
I must admit I haven’t tried any of these. I should pay more attention to the AAs. I will check out Gentiana if it’s still around. They seem to come and go. I don’t know if you tried Lys Soleia from not so long ago. That got a lot of love and has a vanilla base, you’d have to like lily though (which I don’t sadly).
Actually I loved that one – I thought it was really well done and toyed with buying it for a few moments (but then had to head to yet another departure gate…..is it still around?)
Gentiana is long gone, though. It was too distinctive and didn’t fit into any recognizable categories: truly a lovely, odd, little thing though.
Agreed lime is wonderful and I do agree with Dandy that the Aquas are daytime fragrances. Was this the only fragrance you picked up on your journey?
I came back with a whole bag of vanilla scents, Songes, and Loulou. Total ponce.
I scrounged around in my sample piles of untested perfumes and found this. I put it on before going out to garden. It lasts so long!!! I kept thinking ‘salty sea’ but that must be the figgy thing that just goes on and on. I found it to be a great scent to wear outside in the sun while working in the dirt. It is much more than what I was expecting. Very pleasant!!
It is a salty scent, actually, with a slightly too harsh synthetic note I am not sure about.
There is definitely something quite nice in there, though, isn’t there?
I like your idea of adding coconut to the lime for a summer scent. I had a Bath & Body Works lime/verbena/coconut shower gel and mist that I wore one summer and that people said was a dead ringer for Virgin Island Water. Lime is a wonderful scent, though I’m also one who prefers citrus scents in the morning, or as a wake me up in the bath/shower. I’m so glad to read you’re back safely, Mr. Ginza. The 30 hour journey sounds horrendous – I would have been well out of body at that point. :p
It was VILE and I was honestly going slightly crazy after a while: I actually WANTED to be out of body!
Virgin Island Water is quite a nice one I think, although it doesn’t have much variance within itself, if you know what I mean, but that lime/coconut combo can definitely be really quite beautiful on a summer’s day.
You captured Brazil brilliantly. Come here and let it capture you!
Have you yourself been captured by it?
Does Japan seem totally wrong now?
Tokyo has a stationery cafe. You pay a small yearly membership and you get a key that opens desk drawers filled with all sorts of writing paper that is yours for the taking. A country that offers something like this could never be wrong….I still have a Japanese work visa valid until 2016. Brazil allows permanent visa holders to leave the country for up to two years. I think I have a big decision to make.