Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Aqua Allegoria Limon Verde: When Guerlain Looked Towards Brazil (new fragrance)

The fact that Brazil is an emerging market for perfume companies is no big news to readers of this blog.  We have noted the phenomenon for some time, with niche perfumeries taking an interest in the country of Pele, favelas and endless beaches (see Batucada by L'Artisan Parfumeur for instance) as well as more mainstream luxury houses, such as Dior with their Escale sub-line. Now another European house of pedigree, the French Guerlain, joins them with a new fragrance in their light-hearted declination, the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria line.

Limon Verde ( limón verde refers to lime and literally translates as "green lemon") is inspired by the refreshing note prominent in the national "drink" of Brazil, the Caipirinha, which routinely includes lime alongside sugar cane liquor and sugar. House perfumer Thierry Wasser married this Caipirinha accord with lime to a tropical green accord, fig and tonka bean for some tenacity in the new Guerlain eau de toilette.

Brazilians are not very far removed from the Mediterranean concept of a refreshing splash as a much needed pick-me-up in the hot throe of a summer spent under an unrelenting sun, where fragrance isn't seen a weapon of seduction as it is seen as a necessary sensual pleasure out of life that pertains to all sexes and all ages. In that spirit Guerlain can't do wrong.

It remains to be seen whether the local market will view it as homage to their "emblematic" lime cocktail note or they will use it as an effortless casual splash to be enjoyed all summer long. If you want to get a taste of what "clicks" for that particular market (which please note places a very high tax on all "western" luxury products and has very little "niche" infiltration so far, you can see the Best Seller perfumes list for Brazil for 2011-2012. )
Usually perfumes "inspired" by specific cultures necessarily bypass some elements to appeal to a wider audience, which is got to be true in the case of Limon Verde as well, seeing as it will come to North American and European markets.

Limon Verde by Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria line is launching internationally in spring 2014.


  1. Miss Heliotrope09:19

    Real lime is fantastic, but to wear? (I know there's more to it than that). It is one of those scents that does seem to conjure the tropics though - it's not a desert-dry-heat scent in the same way.

  2. solanace09:22

    Hi Elena,
    I've lived in different regions of Brazil all my life, except for the time I lived in France, and I must admit I often refer to my beloved country as Perfume Mordor. Not only taxes are insane, Dolce and Gabbana stuff costing Amouage-like prices, but almost everybody favours the light and fresh, and consequently the stuff available to sniff is extremely limited. The good thing is, nobody in my hood wears Shalimar, so I'm not likely to feel like a commenter here who wouldn't wear it because she didn't want to smell like everybody else! And my male co-workers won't think I'm trying to be a bombshell and seduce them, they just think (and sometimes will tell me, when we drink a beer!) that I have the most awful, old-ladish taste. Perfumista Shire in a sense, come to think of it!

    But I digress. I wanted to share with you my dismay about the name Limon Verde. The não, pão, limão thing is a very central feature in Portuguese language (it has been dubbed 'Lingua do não' in reference to the si - yes, ja opposition). Citron Verde would be fine, mix and match, but Limon, in Spanish, offends me (and will offend other people here, I can tell you). It sounds like those C American movies (or presidents) who can't tell Brazil apart from Bolivia, Argentina or Equador. As a devoted Shalimar and l´Heure Bleue wearer, I really wish Guerlain would have been more classy. As is, I won´t even try this one, and stick to their Cologne Impériale.

    Thank you for your incredible blog, I love reading your articles!

  3. MH,

    usually a good cologne has a tart element and lime is as good as any, if not better. The trick is not making it too sour, but not too sweet either. Refreshing with an interesting twist (hopefully the green bitterness of fig leaf note)

  4. S,

    thank you for your compliment and for your amazingly interesting comment!! Priceless.
    I had no idea that the differentiation between limon and citron would be so loaded. (Lima I got to understand is the proper term for "lime"?)

    My choice would be Eau de Guerlain which does all things superbly. E Imp. was a bit weak for my taste (though it IS refreshing in summer).

  5. I just discovered it and I am wearing it today.
    Is it just me or it is the perfect clone of Un Jardin Après La Mousson ?


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