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Food to Fragrance: Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune meets Grapefruit Panna Cotta

aqua allegoria pamplelune vs grapefruit panna cotta with berries

As I sit here sniffing a blotter drenched in Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune I find my salivary glands going into overdrive. It’s amazing the power scent has over the body and mind to react in the way it does. A few weeks ago a friend was asking me if I had heard about Synesthesia, indeed I have – it was a technique that we would try and employ { although REAL Synesthesia is a disorder that is not intentionally inflicted } in order to smell fragrances on another level. I love to do this – it forces you to SEE a scent as a colour, feel it as a texture or taste it in your mouth.

Some fragrances lend themselves quite easily to this alternate sensory experience – while with others you really have to focus on to achieve the effect. Why all this talk about experiencing scent through an alternative cognitive pathway? Because when I sniffed the blotter drenched in Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune my mind and mouth was involuntarily flooded with a past memory and taste from an evening out with a dear friend.

The Fragrance: Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain. First of all it’s worth knowing that this is a fragrance that is sold exclusively at Sephora. So if you want to experience it you will have to pop into one of their stores or buy it online. With notes of California Grapefruit, Italian Bergamot, Neroli, Petitgrain, Black Currant, Patchouli and Vanilla, there is a distinct citrus juiciness when you first smell the fragrance that is quickly followed by a succulent yet slightly more grounded sweetness that I feel can be attributed to the vanilla. This succulence reminds me of the gentle pop that you hear when you dig a spoon into a creamy gelatinous dessert and pull the spoon out.

The citrus adds a freshness to this scent that makes me feel that it would be preferable for day to day wear, ideally in Spring. The Black Currant adds a berry sweetness that is tempered by the citrus and prevented from being sickly sweet or berry fruity like a more mass market product.

The Food: Grapefruit Panna Cotta with berries. Oh Panna Cotta how I do love thee. I first experienced Panna Cotta in a little Italian restaurant with a friend who hailed from the country of it’s origin. I was afraid to try it as ‘cooked cream’ didn’t sound appetizing to me at all. But I will never forget the gentle succulent pop as my spoon punctured the mold and extracted a hefty teaspoon full of creamy white goodness. Nor will I forget the sensation of the cool vanillaness and citrus’ zest that flew from my taste buds to my brain in the blink of an eye. Pure bliss. Being a cold dessert, there is a freshness to panna cotta that is refreshing and yet sophisticated. This ain’t jello kids! { the recipe in the link above doesn’t include berries, but to experience this food to fragrance match up I suggest swapping out the candied kumquats for black currants or black berries! }

Why it works: The vanilla and citrus evident in the fragrance are the two things that clearly stand out in the panna cotta dish. But it is more than a direct ingredient to ingredient connection; the feel of the scent mirrors the feel of the way grapefruit panna cotta tastes. From the cool refreshingness of the cold milky mold to the cool refreshingness of the citrus scent gently reined in by the vanilla.

Then comes the berries. Like those smattered on top of and around the panna cotta providing punches of interesting berriness to the experience.

Fragrance Tip: While it’s nice to find a fragrance that is unequivocally ‘you’ it’s also good to find a fragrance for different occasions, moods and seasons. Something a bit more ‘close’ { read sweet or skin musky } for special evening’s, something airy and bright for days out and about, something with a statement and bold character for a night on the town with the girls – wearing something that suits your mood and the occasion will help make you feel more confident and happy. Trust me on this one.

Food Tip: Never be afraid to try a new dessert. That should be craven maven cardinal rule #1.

fragrance image via sephora, panna cotta via learning how to cook, recipe by a bird in the kitchen


2 Responses

  1. Beautiful post! This concept you created of blending the sensory perception of food and fragrance is lovely. Stick to it. 😀

    I agree about the ‘you’ scent. There’s no need to stick to just one- Different seasons, different events, moods, they all call for a different ‘pop’ of fragrance if you can get it. I personally love the clean, ‘girly’ feelling of a citrus, fruity scent, but on a cold winter day like today, I wouldn’t mind the toasty, sweet fragrance of a vanilla mix-perhaps with a spot of Lavender or flowers. Or something that makes you smell like a cake! (pure Vanilla or lavender scents give me a massive headache)

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