Not horrible, but not up my alley so to speak. Among the Guerlain Allegorica series, Pamplelune is probably the best. The allegorica series is meant to tell an story through imagery--hence the name allegory. I suppose they each tell a brief and subtle story about some seasonal beauty or another spending spring on the wind-swept fields of Provence or something like that...The allegorica series, as one of Guerlains newer fragrances, lacks originality and traditional craft and uses inferior ingredients to boot. The grapefruit here is good, but the florals and blackcurrant are too much.
At first spritz, how pleasantly refreshing to find a true grapefruit, sans anything overly sweet. Just a crisp refreshing jolt of sunshine and cleanliness. Like crisp linens dancing on the line. Grapefruit as in many true natural fragrances is very difficult to reproduce well enough to fool the nose.
Rose, vetiver, and lavender I find are rather hard to be true to as well. This gift by Guerlain is just that, a gift. To comment on the sourness, yes, I must admit it is there, but then again, this is a frag. that is shooting to be as true a replication of something organic as possible, and well, as for that, we are also organic. Though the reason fragrances came about was to mask this problem. Not sure how this issue can be avoided, without loosing the truth of the Pamplelune. I know how you fell though, yes, it is disconcerting when you are trying to smell as fresh,crisp and clean as a late summer breeze, when the winds of change blow by and you begin wonder if this was the best choice of fragrance for that sleeveless gown at cousin Ceilia's wedding...???
T I do say I have had to finally agree with the unfortunate sour, almost shockingly unpleasant undertones of how shall we say, " Eau de Bathe, s'il voussoirs plait! ".
Gorgeous juicy, sharp, holographic, flawless grapefruit to start with, but it only lasts 20 minutes or so. The aftermath is powdery-vanillic and smells like extract of grandmother. The grapefruit note disappears completely. As much as I love the grapefruit blast, the drydown is just a bit too feminine and too non-grapefruity for me.
I desperately want to give this a thumbs up, because the opening is so delicious. Lovely, bright, mouth-watering grapefruit -- and I love grapefruit in any manifestation. It stays grapefruit. More grapefruit. Still grapefruit. And then it's gone. I get a faint, faint whiff of the sourness some people read as B.O. but by then it's pretty much completely vanished. All this is under an hour. I really don't have the patience to re-apply every 40 minutes, so won't be purchasing. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the all-too fleeting pleasure that my sample can give me.
All of the elements of this are nice... the grapefruit is citrusy, (though not as sharp as I like), and the vanilla and patchouli are both present, pleasant, and accounted for. I love grapefruit/citrus, vanilla, and patchouli, separately and in MOST combinations, but do not enjoy the combination of grapefrut and patchouli together on my skin. The the long middle portion of Pamplelune smells like a lighter version of Angel's vanilla/patchouli sweetness, but without the overwhelming qualities that makes people love it or hate it, so it might be a nice lighter alternative to it.
Where is the LOVE? This used to be my favorite Aqua Allegoria, and my favorite grapefruit. Now it got this sharp, bitterness that I suddently dislike, and that persists for hours. Same fragrance, different brain? Is this what to expect from menopause? Good grief. I can't give it a negative because I used to love it so. Neutral it is.
Pamplelune is deceptively simple, persistent and wonderfully naughty. I was all over its grapefruit and slight floral accord until the vanilla evinced itself about three hours into the drydown. Vanilla is a deal killer for me. Too bad, I really, really loved the opening and heart notes.
The opening is fantastic, fresh, stimulating, mouthwatering. Then a smell that I associate with dead damp grass on a steamy cloudy day shows up, something that I now realize is the patchouli on my skin. If I reapply it, Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune keeps wearable, but that patchouli is like ashes in my paradise. I will wear it some more, because it's a Guerlain after all, and maybe I will change my mind despite the patchouli (or even because of it - funny, because I enjoy patchouli incense sticks a lot, but when it comes to perfume, it has been disappointing).
Further proof that the Guerlain base and/or unsweetened grapefruit notes generally do not work on my skin at all! Bitter, almost metallic tangy start, moving quickly to a combination acrid/sweet powder smell on dry down. I could imagine it would "open" nicely on those whose skin can tolerate high levels of sharp citrus, though.
I really enjoy Pamplelune, and there seems to be an almost animalic hint somewhere in there...matter of fact, the drydown reminds me quite a lot of the scent of my pet bird's feathers. That said, a few of my friends visibly flinched when encountering the sharp, completely un-sweet grapefruit topnotes of Pamplelune and disliked it immediately, so wear with caution...or at least, be prepared to have a mixed reception.
This is definitely a European rather than American take on grapefruit; it's complex and dark and quite dirty rather than light and crisp or sweet. I find I love it and hate it in about equal measure. The sulfrous notes add interest but are also a turnoff, depending on how I decide to take them at any given time. I don't smell vanilla; I wish I did.
Initially, I smell a strong burst of the most accurately "real" grapefruit peel I've yet encountered in a perfume. Heaven. Within 10 minutes, the sulfrous notes make themselves known, and I find myself alternately fascinated and repulsed. Within a couple of hours, just the faintest grapefruit lingers and I'm strongly reminded of tangy B.O. or garlic. I have learned to be careful not to get any of this on my clothing.
This is definitely a scent you'll want to wear for a while before deciding to purchase.