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.