The History of Aqua Allegoria

The iconic collection of fragrances, has been breathing the most beautiful scents that nature has to offer onto our wrists since 1999. It has continued to grow and now includes three exceptional scents making up the Aqua Allegoria Harvest collection—Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic, Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Vetiver and Aqua Allegoria Rosa Rossa. The fruit of unique harvests, these raw materials are a reflection of nature with a capital N. Fruits and flowers from fertile soils, shaped by different weather conditions and cherished by the work of growers whose know-how has been passed down from generation to generation: French organic rose water from Grasse, a Marzolo mandarin from Calabria picked before it is ripe, and a Calabrian honey extract, never before used in perfumery, from Guerlain’s own hives.

Aqua Allegoria Harvest

Aqua Allegoria HarvestGuerlain

Secrets of Creation

The creation of fragrances at Guerlain is above all a team effort. “We don’t do anything alone,” Thierry Wasser, Guerlain’s perfumer for 15 years, says right away. “I find that people are not present in the moment. We are there physically but not necessarily mentally. We don’t really participate. When you are present in the moment, even an anecdotal conversation can bring something to the table.”

It was during a conversation with Delphine Jelk, from the perfume unit, that the two noses evoked the memory of small frosted mandarins they found in their native Switzerland. Aqua Mandarine Basilic Harvest was born; made from a Marzolo mandarin harvest that ripens in March in southern Italy (unlike other mandarins that ripen in October-November). “It’s a bitter, green tangerine that is reminiscent of a sorbet. It has a sparkle, a freshness. It has the heart of Mandarine Basil but with an overdose of mandarin,” explains Delphine in a company video.

For Nerolia Vetiver Harvest, the magic comes from honey, a new ingredient in perfumery. The know-how and efforts of local producers – with whom Guerlain has worked for several generations in Calabria – and Guerlain teams were required to develop a process capable of capturing the fragrant molecules of honey. The honey comes from the citrus blossoms that the bees gather and bring back the precious nectar to the heart of the garden where Guerlain has recently set up its own hives. Everything is in everything.

Sustainable Development: A State of Mind

Pursuing its long-standing commitment to the planet and biodiversity, Guerlain has redesigned the emblematic bottle with the bees that adorns Aqua Allegoria: it is now made of 15% recycled glass and entirely manufactured in France. At the same time, rigorous work has been carried out on the perfumes, which now contain up to 95%* of natural ingredients, formulated with organically grown beet alcohol, also grown in France.

Thierry Wasser, the privileged spokesperson of the raw material growers to whom he regularly visits, has a front row seat to talk about the House’s eco-responsible commitment: “Sustainable development is a philosophy, a state of mind. At Guerlain, we try to be consistent in our approach. We have a direction that over time has allowed us to have this belief within the entire company. You can have an idea, but if there is no one to carry it, it won’t happen.” All of the company’s 3,600 employees thus attend a “Bee School” and are invited to take action in turn with the younger generations to raise awareness about the preservation of bees and biodiversity. “It’s our way of spreading this belief, our values of ecology and organic culture; of transmitting a message,” confides the perfumer.

Thierry Wasser

Thierry Wasser Guerlain

What’s next?

When I ask Thierry Wasser what are the challenges to be taken up in the next months and years, his answer is unequivocal: “The naturalness raises points. We try to do well but we need a measure. We can only change what we have measured. We have been members of the UEBT (Union for Ethical Biotrade) for two years. This allows us to evaluate ourselves, to situate ourselves, to take stock of where we are on all of Guerlain’s sourcing channels, including the skin care segment. The goal is to find solutions and create action plans for bio-diversity, on issues such as water management, the cost price of the raw materials we buy. etc.”

Guerlain, with its unique global approach, which relies on the involvement and commitment of its teams as well as its privileged relationship with the producers of raw materials, wants to demonstrate by example that we can do better. Just like them, we want to believe in it.

Shop the Fragrances:


Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic Harvest - Eau de Toilette

Price: $198


Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Vetiver Harvest - Eau de Toilette

Price: $198


Aqua Allegoria Rosa Rossa Harvest - Eau de Toilette

Price: $198