Classic French fragrance and cosmetics house Guerlain is busy issuing "flankers" this year as we will see on this and the next post. "Flanker" is industry speak for coat-tailing to a successful perfume launch with a new one that utilizes a very similar design and slightly differentiated name for a completely novel fragrance formula. For 2012 they're issuing a masculine flanker (Guerlain L'Homme L'Eau Boisée), two flankers to existing flankers in the feminine range (more on which on upcoming post on these pages) and an addition to the Aqua Allegoria line, Lys Soleia, as is customary every year.
Guerlain L'Homme L'Eau Boisée is Thierry Wasser's new spin on his original Guerlain L'Homme. Contrary to what one might expect the new edition is taking the direction of a woody chypre, but the effect is illusory: the backbone of the fragrance is vetiver, the exotic grass from Southeastern Asia.
Vetiver is well known among perfume aficionados for its refreshing boost in many classy and classic masculine colognes (from Carven to Givenchy vetiver fragrances and the brand's own classic Guerlain Vetiver) all the way to modern niche interpretations such as Vetiver Extraordinaire (F.Malle), Vetiver Oriental (Serge Lutens), and Vetiver Tonka (Hermessence).
In Guerlain L'Homme L'Eau Boisée the vetiver is well-behaved rather than raw and earthy, creating the tonality of a noble chypre fragrance with an underscoring of subtle smokiness (a desire to mimic Chanel's beautiful Sycomore?).
The tempered effect will make this new addition to the Guerlain stable a launch to be considered by the ladies for personal wearing as well.
Guerlain continues to infuse precious flowers into producing a collection of introductory Guerlain fragrances for casual wearing and younger dispositions, the Aqua Allegoria line.
The newest installment in the series, Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia is centered around a transparent floral composition, which reproduces the sensuous aroma of oriental yellow lilies and the regal white lily. The base is airy and elegantly light, with clean musk and solar notes of ylang ylang.
My reader & friend Enrique tried the scent and comments: "[Guerlain Lys Soleia is] in the vein of Cartier Baiser Volé, but less fresh and more sensual. It has that slightly indolic greeness of fresh flowers that doesn't sound dirty or fecal, mixed with a more fresh and slightly citrusy side. It's a little bit sweet too. A great spring fragrance."
The Aqua Allegoria line has produced some small gems over the years, notably last season's Jasminora and the older releases Flora Nerolia and Ylange & Vanille, so we can be relatively optimistic.
Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia will launch in 2012.
Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Upcoming releases, Guerlain news & reviews.