Those of you who have followed The Sniff for a while will know that we are huge fans of the Pierre Guillaume fleet of fragrances here. This is for the simple reason that he produces scents which are fresh, modern and exciting whilst retaining incredible elegance and refinement.
Perfume is most definitely an art form and in Pierre Guillaume we see the talent of an old master put to work on a modern, wearable fragrances. If you would like to read more on Pierre Guillaume and Parfumerie Generale, please see our reviews of Bois Naufrage, and Jangala, two other gorgeous and very different perfumes.
Aqaysos is a recent edition to this established brand, being released earlier this year. It is part of the ‘Huitieme art collection‘ which also includes Aube Pashmina (blackcurrant leaves and satinwood), Fareb (leather, spices and warm sand) and Manguier Metisse (Mango bark and frangipani flower). We would happily smell like any of those combinations!
Aqaysos is described as ‘crystal wood’ in the marketing blurb, goodness knows what that means! The fragrance does start with a cool, translucent quality which is very hard to pin down, but which is really enticing. If you imagine the light waft of air conditioning being switched on in a different room on a warm day. As the movement of air stirs it brings with it hints of something delicious – is it the grass being cut outside, the hint of electricity from a threatening thunderstorm, or just the mineral water in the glass at your side? It’s hard to tell, but the anticipation it brings sends a shiver down your spine.
The comforting familiarity of lime follows quickly, bringing the scent back to something more grounded and less ‘airy’. The two elements are different, but they seem to work in a harmonious push and pull rather than really fighting against each other.
The start of this perfume very much reminded us of a gin and tonic on a warm Summer evening. It has that refreshing but dry, herbal but spicy, citrus but ozonic quality of contrasts to it.
Once the fragrance has really settled, the woody notes come through more strongly. This isn’t a heavy wood though, it’s freshly cut white woods which are delightful every time you catch a scent of them. The ozone, breezy quality persists too giving an overall lightness. This fragrance isn’t full on stormy waters like Every Storm a Serenade, the woody notes anchor it and bring a gentle warmth, but it does have a definite sense of clarity and freshness.
At times there is an earthy quality to the fragrance, rather than the smell of soil it’s more like damp mosses crushed underfoot. There is a slight hint of sweetness about it too, ever so fleeting, but contrasting with the cool, spicy tones.
We really liked every part of this fragrance, but the base was particularly delightful. To our testers it smelled reminiscent of warm cotton, freshly ironed laundry and line-drying clothes. It has that gorgeous breezy cleanliness underpinned by the blonde woods. PG fragrances often have this exquisite sense of balance that really make them sparkle. As a result they are incredibly satisfying to wear.
With this fragrance there is a real sense of anticipation and excitement, it has the zing of electricity about it, it’s the evening before you go on a big holiday, the moment before your date arrives, the scent of the forest on the breeze as you strap on your walking boots. Somehow – and it might be witchcraft – Pierre Guillaume manages to capture those fleeting moments of anticipation in a bottle.
The other stuff
Aqaysos is an incredibly easy fragrance to wear; it has woody elements but isn’t typically heavy like some wood perfumes can be, it’s fresh and airy but has warmth to it, there’s a sweetness in the mix too but it’s only in the background so it never becomes too much. It really is a delight and we can imagine that it will sell really well because it is so versatile and so spine-shiveringly exciting.
This fragrance is perfectly poised at the intersection of what are stereotypically male and stereotypically female fragrances and would work perfectly on anyone. It’s a truly unisex scent.
The longevity of the fragrance is exceptional, lasting well into the evening without reapplication. The sillage, or projection, of the scent is moderate, but the notes that appear in the sillage are gorgeous (clean, warm cotton mostly). This is a scent which isn’t ‘shouty’ or loud, but which quietly murmurs along all day. Anyone who gets close enough to you to get a nose of it will most definitely be beguiled by this harmonious combination of intrigue and excitement.
Aqaysos would be best worn in Spring or Summer, on a warm day due to the cool notes and airy feel.
Aqaysos is available from Bloom Perfumery London, priced at £88 for 50ml (EDP). To our mind it justifies that price tag and would be a great purchase as a gift for someone due to it’s wide appeal – basically it would be hard to go wrong with this one. Bloom Perfumery very kindly provided us with a sample of this scent.
You can also buy Aqaysos direct from Pierre Guillaume.