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 “O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

How are thy leaves so verdant!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

How are thy leaves so verdant!…”

The Christmas carol, O Christmas Tree, is not one of my favorite holiday songs.  As a matter of fact, it downright annoys me.  Its repetitiveness drives me mad. O Christmas Tree or if you’re German-speaking, O Tannenbaum, is the most popular and commonly sung carol of the season and one of the only carols that nobody knows the lyrics to other than “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree” because it has so many versions.  I just hum the rest.  If you can sing this song in its entirety, my hat’s off to you!

Why does this song deserve a feature on my blog post, you ask?  Because Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice is supposed to remind me of Christmas trees. (So it says on the tin.)  Winter Delice was a limited edition release launched in 2001 under the Aqua Allegoria series. The Aqua Allegoria series is accused of being the more simple of all fragrances in the House of Guerlain aimed to appeal to the less sophisticated younger generation.  As written by Perfume Shrine:

“It’s easy to look down on the Aqua Allegoria line as an entry level for Guerlainophile wannabes. Compared with the house’s megaliths, such as Mitsouko, Shalimar or Vetiver, these seem like fragrances with much less monumental heft and no aspirations for posterity. Yet this “allegorica” line hides a few gems that are more than a simple sent bon and some which manage to be memorable in themselves.”

I never knew a dichotomy existed between a real Guerlainophile and a Guerlainophile wannabe.  I was under the impression that if you liked a particular fragrance from Guerlain or any perfume house for that matter you choose a perfume based on the sole fact you enjoy smelling and wearing it. I didn’t know your fragrance of choice would pigeonhole you into a specific category.  Wow, that’s interesting!  But I digress.  Back to Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice.  It is one of two in the series that has a cult following.  Despite this fact, many reviewers consider it average or unimpressive.  Others thought it completely unwearable.  The majority say (on the internet anyway) Winter Delice doesn’t knock you off your feet compared to the Guerlain megaliths. It’s just an o.k. fragrance which makes me wonder why the cult status?


Winter Delice is a limited edition addition to Guerlain’s “Aqua Allegoria” fragrance collection. Although aimed at women, some of the fragrances in the range can be considered unisex. The range are designed to be reminiscent of garden walks. They are light like colognes but are longer lasting like an EDT. 

Notes:  Fir trees, Scotch Pine, Balsam, Somalian Incense, Sugar, and Vanilla

From the vial:  Old man’s cologne,  a bit of pine, and sweet smoke

Wet on Skin: Strong pine-fir accord comes through, a tiny bit balsamic, no camphor, sweet dry smoke.

Drydown: As it dries down, it takes on a very smokey and dry quality, it makes me want to cough.  If you’ve ever smelled Donna Karan Black Cashmere, Winter Delice shares the same characteristic.  It has a very dry, spicy incense type smell that leaves your mouth parched.  There’s still an undercurrent of sweetness throughout this composition which is due to the sugar and vanilla base. Further development, it turns a bit sour on my skin which I think is where the oddity of this fragrance lies.  I’m not sure if it’s the sugar or the Somalian incense that is doing this but it’s making me slightly averse to the point where this fragrance is intriguing me like watching a fatal accident on the freeway.   You don’t want to look but you keep looking.  This sour note gives it a very dirty, mysterious quality.  The sour mixed with the smell of old man’s cheap cologne reminds me of a man’s sweaty skin.  At the end of the drydown, I get a puff of sweet smoke before it disappears.
Sillage: This is some strong stuff for an EDT.  This is definitely not something you want to wear to the office.  The trail is long as the train on Princess Diana’s bridal gown!
Longevity: 8 hours and still going strong

Pricepoint: $$

Would I buy a full bottle?  No.  This makes me somewhat relieved that I don’t have to go out searching for this thing.
Season and Occasion:  Winter.  I wouldn’t say it was a Christmassy scent.  It’s an all winter smokey fragrance. I smell this fragrance as very masculine.  Although, I can’t picture my husband wearing this, it doesn’t fit his personality or age.   It would suit an older man.
Final Verdict:   Based on descriptions, I was under the impression that Winter Delice was Christmas in a bottle.  I was expecting a walk through winter wonderland.  This fragrance doesn’t conjure outdoor scenes for me, the warm quality gives it an indoor feel.  I picture a middle-aged man entering his log cabin after a sweaty session of chopping wood while taking cigarette breaks during his rest periods. You can smell the stale cigarette smoke and sour sweat seeping through his layers and layers of winter clothes.  He sits himself next to a fireplace of smoking pine and fir embers.  Overall, I’d have to agree with the majority who say it’s an o.k. fragrance up to the point where it turns weird and sour.  If you’re attracted to chain-smoking middle-aged lumberjacks I can see how this fragrance could be a turn-on.  For me, I think I will pass.
Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice is a discontinued fragrance.  This is either bad news or good news.  For people on the hunt, I saw a few bottles floating around ebay.
Looking for more woody scents?  Check out my review here.

[Image 1] via http://www.anticaprofumeriadelcorso.com