This is a pleasant scent, comfortable to wear and would not offend anyone as far as I can tell. Yet, I give it a thumbs-down. Here's why.
Where are the conifers: fir, pine, balsam? Simply not to be found, in my experience. There is absolutely nothing green or foresty here -- not a bit.
The scent is spicy-soft, with bright ginger notes held against a kind of soapy-fresh foundation. It is not overly sweet, nor as 'foody' as I had expected. It is sheer and translucent, as are most in the Aqua Allegoria line. The later dry-down has slight hints of incense, and a whisp of nutty, smoky notes.
For what it is, it is OK. But for what it is not, it is simply not up to this Conehead's expectations.
Those looking for more available (and better, IMO) ginger-incense scents should try Serge Luten's Five O'Clock au Gingembre and Miller & Bertaux's #2 Spiritus/Land.
Together with Pamplelune, Mentafollia and Herba Fresca, this is probably one of the very few successful deliveries in the Aqua Allegoria's range. Aimed to evoke Christams atmosphere, Winter Delice is a well balanced mixture of sweet, slightly gorumandic notes, and coniferous galore. Pine needles, fir and a sort of copal-like resin are juxtaposed to a sweet vanilla/gingerbread accord with an amazingly pleasant result that's sweet without crossing the border turning to be cloying. Incense, mostly detectable during the drydown, adds even more coziness to this "reassuring" fragrance. Very very nice.
Although I found many (but not all) of the Aqua Allegoria series to be among the worst things that Guerlain has produced since the corporate takeover--even worse than L'Instant--I absolutely adore Winter Delice. I've often wondered why it was included in the series, as it's as different from its soliflore companions as it could possibly be.
I was lucky to find a 100ml bottle at my local Marshall's for a giveaway price, and about six years on I still have around 40% left. It's a formidable scent--a little goes a long way--but I'm now reserving it for special use in cold weather, as it has ceased to exist in Guerlain's lineup. The name Winter Delice (sans the Aqua Allegoria designation) has since been bestowed on one of the Guerlain exclusives, but notes for the newer scent are significantly different.
For me, Winter Delice conjures up everything that is wonderful about the colder months of the year--evergreens and the smell of holiday baking combined in a rich, deep gourmand fragrance that is actually quite, quite sexy. It recalls both Caron Nuit de Noël and JPG Classique (two fragrances I also love), though less refined than NdN and much more so than Classique.
Perhaps if it had been allowed to stand on its own and not lumped in with the Aqua Allegoria high-pitched monotone florals, it might have stood a better chance at commercial success. Instead, many of the other early fragrances in the series went to their deserved fate--but took Winter Delice with them.
Such a pity that this wonderful fragrance is no longer available. If only Guerlain would bring it back.
Immediate sniff had me in deja vu big time... about 60 seconds and I'm proud that it came to me so quickly... I'm gettin good at this! Winter Delice is remarkably similar to Tom Ford's Italian Cypress. But I'd say it's a touch sweeter and more ambiguously gendered than Italian Cypress. Really beautifully rendered fragrance, and more gourmand, less raw-woody-forest-floor than Fou d`Absinthe by L Artisan Parfumeur.
I've wanted this for awhile because of all the positive comments about the pine scents it's known for, so I finally bit the bullet and picked up a sample.
This is supposed to be Christmas in a bottle? I smell either civet or dirty musk instead. Very heavy scent to my nose, and the animalistic note completely destroys everything else for me. And I can't believe it's considered a feminine or unisex scent, because it comes across so strong to me as a male scent. I'll pass on this one; it's awful.
Tried wearing it a second time and had complete revulsion with it. Had to scrub it off.