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Group: aromatic rustic
~ Introduction ~
Herba Fresca was one of last Christmas's gifts from my aunties. Typically these spinster ladies would buy me perfumes I would never ever think of buying and they are usually of the unisex or citrusy kind. I wore it once and it was too sharp and unnatural in the winter cold, so I decided to swap it on Ebay when my boyfriend reclaimed it from me saying he really liked it. He'd been using it away happily when a sudden warm May came and I started reaching for it too.
~ The packaging ~
As part of Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria series that Jean-Paul Guerlain himself conceptualized and developed from 1999, the simple but stylish packaging from France's oldest perfume house is a white box each having different motives printed on it depending on the main notes of the fragrance. In Herba Fresca's case, it's green grass leaves.
The bottle is cylindrical, with a golden, round nozzle on the top (that is easy to lose by the way). The clear bottle has some of its top half covered with a golden mesh design, like that of North African window panes that allowed women you were shut inside look out but allowed no one to look in. It certainly gives an elegant and luxurious touch to the design that and radiates rustic simplicity.
~ The fragrance ~
Top notes: grass, lemon
The first impressions of the fragrance are the fresh, characteristic note of lemon and strongly flavoured grass. The heady chlorophyll as my boyfriend calls it, is extremely fresh but refined and is never overwhelming. A few minutes later the lemon wins out the game and softens the - have to say very pleasant - minty grass smell.
However, it is not the fresh grass note you'd get from freshly mown lawn, but rather a damp scent green leaves of grass in the garden after a summer shower. Altogether, a crisp and clean, cool and refreshing aroma, that becomes increasingly lemony and softens as it warms up on the skin.
Middle notes: green tea, mint
When the first notes finally settle on the skin an hour later, Herba Fresca becomes rounder and less herby, though the overall impression is still the same clear, fresh tone as above.
I left it for another hour or so and the scent did get warmer and sweeter, and when I smelled it close on my skin I clearly detected a fresh floral note, very subtle though. It still smells of lemon and but also of mint leaves that you soaked in water and a nice dose of sweet and velvety flowery scent.
Base notes: cyclamen, lily of the valley
The base smells nicely of camphorous woodys tones that do possess that bittersweet, herby and woody tone of green tea I love so much in Bvlgari The Vert Extreme, with the exception that Herba Fresca dealt a frugal role to green tea and it's mint that's more prominent.
The woodsy note is light and fresh, and gently compliments the skin. After 3 - 4 hours depending on temperature and skin type I'm offered a nice, green and only slightly dry base of powdery woods reminiscent of freshly cut grass or dewy meadow. This will then stay with me for about five to six hours then I'd need to re-apply. The drydown on my boyfriend is definitely a lemony note which still can be felt on his skin when he comes home in the evening, so I can't really fault this Eau de Toilette for having poor staying power, it's all down to skin chemistry.
~ Conclusion ~
Herba Fresca is an Eau de Toilette that has grown on me and a now a definite favourite of mine on a hot day. Overall, it's a fresh, green fragrance, something I'd call a fresh citrus / green aromatic. It's an unusual, unique blend that stays light, crisp and clean throughout and is not at all overpowering. This scent only has a sillage in the first couple of hours, and then it will stay close to the skin and will last up to 6 - 8 hours. It is an Eau de Toilette so it may not last for the whole day perhaps only in winter.
Using 80% non-synthetic ingredients, the Aqua Allegoria fragrances are a 'fragrant fantasy' in that the blends enhance and perfect the beauty of our most commonplace, everyday fruits, flowers and herbs. Jean-Paul Guerlain has now a staggering 21 of these fragrances under his belt since 1999. He composed mainly for women though some of them can be worn by both sexes.
~ Price / Where to buy ~
Department stores: Debenhams, John Lewis, House of Fraser and online fragrance stores (e.g. www.escentual.com)
£29.50 / 75ml Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca Eau de Toilette
~ Additional rating ~
Composition: 5 / 5
Originality: 5 / 5
Value for money: 4 / 5
Overall value: 5 / 5
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on Ciao! UK
Herba Fresca is like a barefoot summer's walk in the early morning, in a dew-damped garden where the first scents of grass rise from the soil, blending with mint, fruit trees and wild flowers.