When Guerlain implemented its Parisienne collection in 2005, Guerlain's then artistic director, Sylvaine Delacourte, explained that it was dedicated to reissues of former limited editions that some customers missed owning. Since then, seventeen different preexisting scents have been issued in this collection, which currently comprises eight fragrances. Upon rerelease, some of the scents were renamed: Metalys (formerly Metallica), Quand Vient l'Été (formerly Voile d'Été), Attrape Cœur (formerly Guet-Apens), Mayotte (formerly Mahora), and Mademoiselle Guerlain (formerly La Petite Robe Noire Modèle No.2).

Now, Guerlain has launched yet another Parisienne christened with a new name: Promenade des Anglais, named after the celebrated promenade along the Mediterranean at Nice. Described as a green-fruity-powdery blend of bergamot, fig and orris, the scent's ingredients sound like a reissue of the Aqua Allegoria of 2008, Figue-Iris. Guerlain has confirmed that this is indeed an EdP version of Figue-Iris.

The Aqua Allegorias are created to be uplifting and easy to wear, highlighting one or two notes. In addition, they constitute Guerlain’s most affordable fragrances, ideal for an impulse purchase at the airport. This scheme really doesn’t do justice to Guerlain’s Exclusive collections, EdP or not. We’d be a lot more excited if the marketing department would reissue the impossible-to-afford L’Abeille perfumes, instead of something you can still find on eBay for half the asking price. It’s actually not the first time though, that Guerlain has reissued an Aqua Allegoria fragrance as a high-priced Exclusive. In 2013, the brand reissued Aqua Allegoria Jasminora as Cour des Senteurs Versailles for the new Guerlain boutique at Versailles.

Like Figue-Iris, Promenade des Anglais is a simplistic fragrance, although the noticeably higher concentration alters the overall impression into a warmer, richer and muskier fruity-floral fragrance than Figue-Iris ever was. It’s probably made with better and more expensive raw materials too. Up top it’s fresh and tart, bubbling with bergamot and grapefruit, and a pronounced fruity note. Unlike, say, passion fruit, figs aren’t particularly known to have a strong scent. However, there’s a certain tenderness and greenness to the fruit in Promenade des Anglais that could mimic the impression of a fig. The green effect persists, with woody notes of violet leaf and vetiver, almost masculine ingredients, but mixed with a sweet and powdery base, and a healthy dose of white musk. There’s a dash of vanilla in there too. When Figue-Iris was launched almost eight years ago, someone called it "Insolence mixed with Herba Fresca", which is not far off the mark.

Visually Promenade des Anglais is more colourful than we’re used to for a Parisienne. The juice is tinted a pale mint green colour, while the ribbon is purple. To be honest, it’s not exactly a pretty colour mix, but it matches the original ad material for Figue-Iris, which was also green and purple. Since the recent launch of JonOne’s arty graffiti bee bottles, the new theme at Guerlain is “an explosion of colours”. We just hope that all those coloured liquids won’t stain our white shirts!
(January 2016)

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