Something Old And Something New – Review: Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune And Lys Soleia

The Aqua Allegoria line of Guerlain is more (but unfortunately sometimes less) than a collection of starter scents. Intended for summer wear, Aqua Allegoria features light and sprightly perfumes, some are in the permanent line, some fade out after a season, depending on their market performance, I surmise. Two are released each spring, one in general distribution and one only at duty free stores.

This year’s widely launched Aqua Allegoria fragrance is called Lys Soleia and is a warm and creamy lily/ylang/vanilla scent of the beachy skin-scent variety. The second Aqua Allegoria of 2012 is Bouquet de Mai, a fresh floral that I smelled at the duty free store, it is the kind of perfume my husband loves, a clean, fresh white floral with a musky drydown.

I want to take this opportunity to take a peek at my favorite of the line as well, one of the original launches from 1999, the sparkly citrus scent Pamplelune.

Pamplelune was created by Mathilde Laurent and includes notes of grapefruit, bergamot, blackcurrant, petitgrain, patchouli and vanilla.

Pamplelune is no doubt the most famous of the Aqua Allegorias and rightly so. It is a wonderful grapefruit scent, probably the best in its category. Even though Vanessa of Bonkers about Perfume says “To put grapefruit in a perfume, one has to be a bit deluded”, I think it was a very good idea of Mathilde Laurent to do so.

Pamplelune is a bit controversial since many people smell the unfortunate stench of cat pee or body odour in it, but thankfully, although I was frightened off the perfume for a while because of these accounts, I am now happily reunited with it. I have worn it every summer for years since it came out and I’m glad that my broadened horizon and expanded perfume knowledge didn’t change that.

Pamplelune opens impossible sparkly and fresh, very true to life and stays like that for a long time. It dries down to a nice green-earthy vanilla.

Lys Soleia was created by Thierry Wasser and includes notes of bergamot, lemon, palm leaves, ylang-ylang, lily, tropical fruit, tuberose, vanilla and white musk.

The predominant notes in Lys Soleia to my nose are lily and tuberose on vanilla. Very warm, very diffusive, with a whiff of sea breeze, tuberose, lily and ylang are conspiring to make Lys Soleia distinctive, memorable and give it volume. The white florals neatly segue into a sumptuous, creamy, almost gourmand base, worthy of a Guerlain.

Lys Soleia smells like a mix of florist’s shop (standing right beside the lilies) and sunscreen on the warm skin of a person having dessert.

It is sweet, but keeps a good balance. It can be overpowering if applied too lavishly, especially in the heat and confined spaces I can imagine it triggering a headache in someone susceptible to it.

Generally I like the line, and while the florals are often a bit generic, insipid and unremarkable, those two in particular are stand-outs and very much worth your time and money.

They are coming on vacation with me this summer, that is for sure.

Image source: polyvore.com, parfumerie.nl, vintageadbrowser.com
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This entry was posted in Aquatic, Citrus, Cologne, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Fruity, Gourmand, Guerlain, Lily, Oriental, Spicy, Tuberose, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Something Old And Something New – Review: Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune And Lys Soleia

  1. Undina says:

    I’m glad you’re back to wearing Pamplelune: I think it’s a very nice perfume (and I never smelled anything bad in it – even though there are many perfumes that are stinky to my nose).

  2. Alexandra says:

    I am afraid I am with Vanessa on the grapefruit note, but in the recent hot weather I am discovering a completely new appreciation of lush white florals (you have no idea how confusing I am finding this, my mouse keeps hovering over the ‘BUY’ button on a bottle of SL Fleurs d’Oranger!?!), I shall definitely stop and give Lys Soleia a sniff.

    The last perfume I bought before falling down the rabbit hole was AA Flora Nymphae, and while it doesn’t make my heart sing, on a warm summer’s morning it has a simple, innocent happiness about it that I am still very fond of.

    • Olfactoria says:

      This is the season for lush florals, indulge, Alex!

      Flora Nymphea is really lovely, but I found it a bit relentlessly cheery. Somethings are just “too happy” for me.

  3. Yep. Completely head over heels for Lys Soleia, although I’ve only tried it once I know it’s love. It must be that subliminal tuberose…

    Pampelune is a work in progress :D

  4. Ines says:

    I just smelled Ly Soleia the other day and it is really easy to love and use as a summer scent.

    P.S. I am very happy to hear of your reunion with Pamplelune. :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lys is lovely, isn’t it? I find it a lot richer than your garden variety beachy summer scent and therefore very covetable.

      Pamplelune and I have seen the error of our ways and will never separate again! ;)

  5. Lady Jane Grey says:

    The Allegoria perfumes are nice, uncomplicated “can’t-go-wrong” scents, I’ve happily used some of them during my “career” (I loved the Pivoine). Now that you wrote about I fancy again to get one or two of them for the summer – I somewhat lost the overview about them recently, but could use the time at the airport duty free on Friday…

  6. Figuier says:

    Great timing with this review: we’ve had a whole 4 hours or so of on-off sunshine today, and it’s almost feeling summery…

    Pamplelune is gorgeous, totally not cat-pee-ish to my nose. I can’t wear it, though, because it is ineradicably associated with a close friend of mine, who wore it for a few seasons when we first met – I’d feel like I was stealing her soul!

    Lys Soleia sounds wonderful too. I adore the genre of ‘beachy/solar skin scents’ – Songes edt, Terracotta Voile d’Ete and Tom Ford Azurree are all favourites – and am quite obsessed with lilies at the moment (my sample of Lys Mediterannee has seen a lot of action lately). Must try soon…

  7. tara says:

    Lys Soleia sounds like it will be popular. I like the AAs though I don’t own any as yet.

    May I join the chorus of those happy that you are now reunited with your summer staple? Although V’s quote did make me smile!

  8. Suzanne says:

    For once I can say, I smelled this new Guerlain! Asali is a fan of Lys Soleia and steered us to it when we went to the boutique. Ines tried it on skin and smelled absolutely wonderful in it … I got a bit of spring-lawn grassiness mixed in with the lily when I smelled it on her. Overall a very light and breezy lily scent that’s easy to love.

    By the way, Birgit, I fell in love with your Angelique Noire at the Guerlain boutique. Had I not reached my spending limit by that time, I think that’s the Guerlain I would have gone for. Thought immediately of you and Lady Jane when I tried it on.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I loved your travel post today! I got a little teary, because I would have loved to be in Paris with all of you!

      So glad you love Angelique Noire too, it is a beauty! I’m still waiting for my bottle as well. Some day…

  9. susan says:

    Oh dear. I am badly lemming Lys Soleia. Lilies in a florist shop + beach??? I’m in.

  10. Mrs. Scents says:

    Wow. I’m thinking Lys Soleia will definitely have to be my summer scent! And I have never smelled Pamplelune, but I am intrigued by it. I don’t see any problem with grapefruit in a fragrance – it is the epitome of sweet and refreshing (although I’ve grown up with grapefruit trees in my yard, so perhaps I am biased!). In any case, it sounds like a fragrance I would like, but I wonder if I would just get the cat pee/b.o. smell? Must head to Sephora after work to check out both fragrances!

  11. Alice C says:

    I have mostly ignored the Acqu Allegoria line, but now the Lys Soleia is a must smell for me! Oh dear! ;-)

  12. Amy Bella says:

    I often spritz myself with Pamplelune when visiting Sephora. It’s nice! Think I’ll ask for a sample next time… hopefully they’ll have Lys Soleia for me to try, too!

  13. Eva S says:

    I used to think lily-scents were to intense for me but I’ve recently done a turn-around thanks to Donna Karan Gold. Have you tried it, I think it’s very pretty and easy to wear.
    I’ll make sure to check out Lys Soleia next time I’m at the airport, Pamplelune is sadly not for me!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lys Soleia is in general distribution though, so you don’t have to wait for the airport (unless you want to. ;) )

      I have tried Gold, but it has been some time so my memory is a bit fuzzy.

      BTW, did you see my answer to your comment about Azemour? (I think it was on Monday’s post.)

      • Eva S says:

        Oh, thanks for the tip! The 100 ml bottle is already on it’s way in the mail though, so I guess I just have to spritz away with abandon this summer, which wont be a hardship!
        I wonder if PdE have stopped making the 50 ml bottles recently since the 100 ml ones are the only I find on their website now?

  14. dremybluz says:

    I have always loved Pamplelune. Of all the line, it is the only one I liked. Luckily I have never gotten the cat pee from wearing it. Pamplelune and Sira des Indes by Patou have become my mother’s signature scents. The next time I am in Sephora’s, I will have to try Lys Soleia. Lately the only place I have been able to find Pamplelune is online. I am wondering if it has been one of the line that has been discontinued.

  15. unseencenser says:

    So interesting that you’re reviewing Lys, as I just got to smell this, by accident as it were (I was in the neighborhood of a Guerlain boutique so of course I stopped in :-) yesterday. To me it was certainly in the “beach floral” category with Azuree Soleil from Estee Lauder, and Bond No. 9′s Fire Island even more so. The SA rightly pointed out that the tuberose is a lot smoother and less spiky (less obviously artificial, to my nose) than the one in Fire Island.

    I have Mandarine Basilisc and have sworn not to buy more of the AA line until I use more of it up. They could be too addictive.

  16. Civava says:

    I’m not so lucky like you – Pamplelune turns into a cat pee on me :-(. But I own Mandarine Basilic instead. Very wearable summer scent.

  17. flittersniffer says:

    I say, that Lys Soleia sounds very appealing, and if Candy Perfume Boy is swooning over it I am doubly encouraged, as we are increasingly becoming white floral scent twins.

    Goodness – did I really use the word “deluded”? That does sound rather pointed, even for me, hehe! Was it in my post on EL Intuition a while back where I know I had a pop at grapefruit – also its use in DKNY Woman? Or was it in connection with my brother’s recent Pamplelune experiment, which I believe helped bring about this happy reconciliation?! ; – )

  18. Lindy Mop says:

    I have Figue-Iris from a few years ago and recently purchased Mandarine Basilic, which is perfectly refreshing in hot weather. It was between that and Aracia di Capri, which is sweeter but is more expensive and doesn’t seem to last as long on me. Lys Soleia sounds like a lovely summer floral – will seek it out! The AA line is great for a very affordable bit of Guerlain.

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  20. Alexis says:

    I didn’t like Lys Soleia at first but you always have the tendency to sway my opinions. I’ll try this one again. I am fan of Mandarine Basilic.

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  23. Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok says:

    Tried both today while on a testing spree to cheer me up at the department store. Maybe it is because I am from a tropical country, but I feel cheated. Pamplelune smells like I rubbed my hand in grapefruit juice. I shall wait to see how it develops.

    As for Lys Soleia, no thank you to white florals. I have only smelled 2 white florals that I found nice.

    Side note: I’m not sure why, but I just bought Jicky. It was calling.

    • Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok says:

      Uh-oh… I’m starting to *like* smelling like I fell in a vat of grapefruit juice…

    • Olfactoria says:

      Which are the two white florals you like? (That was the category it took me longest to love, but there are some great ones there.)

      Jicky = perfection. Congratulations!

      • Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok says:

        Nasomatto Narcotic Venus, and Parfums delRae Amoureuse – both of these I’m not sure about a FB (yet), but they stuck with me because they were the only white florals I thought were nice… (unlike Amouage Honour BLEGH)

        As for Jicky, I only tried it once, and noted (on my multiple testing2 days ago) that I liked it more than Shalimar (blasphemy I know). It’s my first classic Guerlain, so I’m proud of myself. :D

      • Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok says:

        Yesssss…. The online store has run out of Pamplelune 75 ml, so they asked me if I would mind having a non-opened tester bottle of 125ml instead (for the same price)! :D

        Also, came to add L’Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons Extreme to that white floral list, even though I would never buy a full bottle for something so weak (gifts are welcome, to any kind stalkers reading).

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  27. amrimages says:

    I was chasing Pamplelune yesterday on ebay…I was so very close to the best deal of my life :). I lost! I wont give up though, the bitterness of this fragrance is too sweet to give up!

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