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I'm sad to report I'm somewhat disappointed in this one. Partly due to my preconceived notions about what a Guerlain bay leaf/licorice scent should smell like - and partly due to its similarities to other scents I've smelled before.
The top notes remind me instantly of a sugared cocktail drink (something pastel colored, mixed with vodka in a high stemmed cocktail glass...shaken not stirred). I've smelled this before, I thought. It took me a while to figure it out - this is the house note (base) for most of the fragrances by Fresh. I have owned a few Fresh fragrances (Sugar Lychee, Pomegranate Anise, Cannabis Rose) and that opening sugary, fruity, transparent combination is unmistakable.
It is a scent that can be easy to like - but to me smells very 'done'. The two times I sprayed it on (in Sephora and at home) elicited a 'you smell good' response from others around me. You think that would make it easy to give this scent a good review. But I expected a scent much more complex and less 'fruity floral' (like every other scent in Sephora')!
The scent tones down it's opening 'sugar' note slightly when the middle/base notes arrive, but by then the bay leaf (not very spicy, to this bay leaf lover) and a very fruit flavored licorice appear, rather than the black licorice accord utilized so well by other fragrances. Neither is enough to keep the scent from teetering gently into shower gel fragrance territory. I get absolutely no amber, and the violet arrives at the very end (I detected it by sniffing my arm up close).
If you admire the scent of licorice scented, sugary cocktails perhaps AALR is for you.
I personally, expected much more from the house of Guerlain.
03 October, 2008