Review: Lumieres d'Agrumes Pierre Guillaume
A thirty-plus Celsius heat is the perfect time to test the refreshing qualities of summer fragrances. And I mean in the toughest conditions, no cheating with air conditioning.
For this experiment, I chose Pierre Guillaume's new trilogy Lumieres d’Agrumes, which was recently released as a summer salvation from the heat (see the announcement and the review by our own Nicola). Which of these three scents - 07 Solsekia, 7.1 Cologne Grande Siecle, or 7.2 Morning In Tipasa - will be the best citrus cologne for a hot summer? (In my opinion, of course.) You will find out from this article.
To be honest, I was betting on 7.2 Morning In Tipasa the most. Not because of the extensive, beautiful quote from the eponymous story by Albert Camus, although it really is beautiful. Not because of the city mentioned in the name either, which kind of hints at the African sun and heat. It came from my own experience - in the numbered series of Pierre Guillaume fragrances, where originals are numbered X, the first derivatives X.1 and the second derivatives X.2, it is the latter group that creates the most contemporary impression.
It has a rather soft, but invigorating beginning - the bergamot manages to shoot before the mint, which falls victim and quietly withers, giving its last aromas to the Mediterranean tea. It's black tea with spices and mint, served slightly warm. Then the scent glides into a quiet and calm woody base - a freshly planed tabletop, a brand new wooden boat, a boy scout glider or a kite, whichever you prefer. To the resinous pine wood, a little clean musk and honey sweetness is added from the tip of a knife, and it is done. The fragrance refreshes a little at the beginning, then follows with a soft woody-musky background, without attracting much attention. Clean and easy, not very refreshing, for cool summers.
Notes: Wild lemongrass, Peppermint, Mediterranean Pine, Bergamot, Jujube tree honey.
I didn't expect 7.1 Grand Siecle Intense to win, sorry. Not that I'm opposed to classic chypres or revitalizing vintage compositions - it's just that green citrus chypres are more likely to show their power, toughness, and inflexibility than that they help to cope with the heat. Chypre fragrances act like a steel rod of belief in yourself; my chypre managed to last, and so will I.
Galbanum is here only for the first minutes of green bitterness, then 7.1 behaves like a lemon chypre, with a very long-lasting lemon-citrus accord. I recommend it to lovers of lemon, geranium, and almost all classic male chypres - you won't get growls of animalic notes and a truly dark woody-mossy base, but you will appreciate the chypre sharpness with a powdery shade and a harsh, tart woody base. Personally, this very persistent fragrance did not help me to cope with the heat - it is a rather hot perfume and a good warming agent. I will try wearing it in spring or fall when it gets colder outside.
Notes: Bergamot, Bigarade, Lemon leaves, Iris, Honey, Chypre accord, Galbanum, Cypress.
I didn't know what to expect from the new 07 Solsekia - the reference to the Mexican Riviera didn't work for me, since I haven't been there. A marine accord and a wet wood accord can work in any direction; aquatics have been made since the 1980s so a new one can help cope with the heat in a new way, or it can slide into familiar scents.
The citrus part of 07 Solsekia is very delicate and floral; do not expect a lot of citruses from the fragrance. There's a wet freshness evoking a dense green shade, cool seawater, apple and pear juice with ice, vegetable greens. Aloe Vera juice is what I would use to describe its cooling effect. But then, rather unexpectedly, in the green coolness and bliss, black pepper and chili pepper are making their entrance. They do not bring any warmth, but boost the fragrance with energy, against the background of wet wood and an aquatic accord. Water, pepper, wet wood - it sounds like Preparation Parfumee by Andree Putmann - but in this case with a beautiful, green and moist aloe juice accord, very beautiful and original. This is the best option for a thirty-degree heat, in my opinion, it's very persistent, pleasantly moist, and invigorating, although not very citrusy.
Notes: Citruses, Blue Agave, Pimento, Mexican Orange Blossom, Driftwood, Vetiver, Musks.
The Eaux de Parfum of the new Lumieres d'Agrumes trilogy by Pierre Guillaume - Solsekia 07, Grand Siecle Intense 7.1, and Morning In Tipasa 7.2 - are available in 50 and 100 ml, priced at 102 and 152 EUR, through the brand's official website.
Sergey Borisov Editor, Columnist
Sergey Borisov studied Physics at Krasnoyarsk University. He's been known in the Internet perfume world under the nickname moon_fish for more than 15 years. His texts about perfumes have been published in Russian print and online publications such as GQ, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, The Rake, Glamour, and other magazines. He loves oud oils, as well as vintage perfumes, and notes of leather, vetiver, neroli, and orris. In 2013, Sergey joined the Fragrantica team.
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