Perfume Review: Aqua Allegoria Figue-Iris (Guerlain)

I like heavy Oriental perfumes. Bring on the spice, deep flavors, and heavy moods!

The problem is, Spring is Springing... My preferred genre is Too Much in warmer weather.  I need lighter, brighter options or I need to move to Siberia. I'd rather not move.

green. very, very green.         via
I have been interested in perfumes with fig notes. I have tried a few, but none were what I wanted.

Maybe I don't like fig in perfumes. Maybe I don't "get" fig in perfumes. Seems to me everyone likes green fig notes that are representative of the fig tree. As in: tree, bark, sap, sticks, unripe figs.

Not me. I want ripe figs. Purple figs. Dessert.

Walking through my Sephora two weeks ago, I noticed the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria bottles. So pretty. The golden netting around the top, in a honeycomb pattern! The little bee on the button top! The graceful shape of the bottle itself...

I looked more closely... one of the packages had a fig on it. Out came a blotter. Spritz. A tentative sniff.

Interrrrrresting.... A ripe fig. A touch of citrus (just an eensy bit). Vanilla. (Of course. It is Guerlain, after all.) Verrry interrrrrresting...

I asked for a sample.

The Aqua Allegoria line was a concept deployed by Jean-Paul Guerlain, intended to create watercolor-style impressions of natural notes.

Figue-Iris, the bottle that caught my eye, was created by Jean-Paul Guerlain himself, and released in 2008. Notes, besides the fig and iris, include bergamot, grapefruit, violet, "milky notes", woods, vetiver and vanilla.

Let me jump to the end of the story, then backtrack: the sample was used. Emptied, in fact. I now own a full-sized bottle.

What sold me? The bright opening, lightly citrus-tinged with the promise of vanilla. The fig note, ripe and milky and sweet and luscious. The delicate floral blend of iris and violet, both subtle, that create a bridge from fig to base. The Guerlainade-Lite drydown, which sticks around for hours, a lightweight, pulsating, vanilla woods.

Figue-Iris is not green, does not have a strong or long-lasting heart, and is not very Iris-y. But it is light, comfortable, close-to-the-skin, and lovely. It is perfect. It is Spring.

Which perfumes do you like in the Spring? Are you a fan of figs? If so, the greener the better, or dessert-y like me? What do you think of the Aqua Allegoria line?

Aqua Allegoria Figue-Iris
House: Guerlain
Perfumer: Jean-Paul Guerlain
Notes: Fig, iris, bergamot, grapefruit, violet, milku notes, woods, vetiver, vanilla
Released: 2008
Sample: requested at Sephora. Then I bought a bottle.

Final Word: Figgy and fresh, and a perfect Spring scent.

Other reviews of Aqua Allegoria Figue-Iris (Guerlain):
Bois de Jasmin: Guerlain Laurier Reglisse and Figue Iris : Aqua Allegoria Perfume Review
Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Figue-Iris
Now Smell This: Guerlain Figue Iris & Laurier Reglisse, the 2008 Aqua Allegorias ~ perfume review
On Basenotes
On Fragrantica
On Makeup Alley


  1. I'll probably be hauled off and shot for saying this, but quite a few of the Aqua Allegoria line leave me with a case of the "meh"s. There are exceptions: Madarine-Basilic, Lemon Fresca, and my all-time favorite, Pamplelune. You see a theme going here, right? ;)

    I do love fig. Green fig, ripe fig, figs to smell and figs to eat, fresh and dried - heaven help me, I love them all. I haven't had a chance to try this one, but it definitely goes on the list after your review!

    Favorite fig of all time: A Midsummer Day's Dream. Philosykos has nothing on that..;)

  2. I love them , I had the fig . I started with Winter Delice , Rosa Damascena . I have so many I can't remember them. The new ones have not been so good. I must search E:Bay for the fig. At the moment I wear Molinard's Fig.

  3. Great you have your new Spring scent! The bottle is gorgeous. Many figs sound coconutty to me and that is not a smell I like. Perhaps I need to seek out other figs before I dismiss the note entirely.

    The Aqua Allegoria scent I love is Tiaré-Mimosa. I fully expected to hate it when I sampled last Summer. It really took me by surprise.

    Tiaré-Mimosa is such a happy scent! I don't care that it doesn't really smell of Tiare or just smells really good. (I can imagine the disappointment of someone expecting proper Tiare and Mimosa notes)I'm considering a full bottle purchase!

  4. So far I tried two perfumes with distinct fig presence: Wild Fig & Cassis (Jo Malone) and Philosykos. I like the former more.

  5. Tarleisio, I need to check out A Midsummer's Day Dream! I like Philosykos, but (so far) I don't *love* it. Waiting to see if warmer weather changes my mind!

    The AA's seem to have appeal to the masses, but a lot of perfumistas seem lukewarm in them as a whole. I like the brevity, straightforwardness, and bright burst at the beginning, and the non-objectionable drydowns are great because I can add something else later. The AA's are great for non-fume-friendly environments, too, and then I can pour on something heavy immediately! ;)

  6. Angela, I think I love them, too. Trying to track down some of the older ones!

    Is the Molinard a green fig?


  7. JoanElaine, That one is on my to-try list, too. I think you've nailed it: they're HAPPY. I like to keep a playlist of happy songs. The AA's are my happy playlist, too! :)

  8. Undina, I will try the Jo Malone, thanks! I have a sample of Philosykos - opinion pending. ;)


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