Thursday 3 March 2016

Rosa Pop - Guerlain's NEW Travel Exclusive

Every perfume company has exclusives and limited editions, but these cater for a very specific customer. Some people just buy fragrance because it's fun or, get ready for a bombshell, because they simply enjoy the smell! For this second group the seasonal release can really appeal if it's presented in a premium way. Alongside the regular Aqua Allegoria release, Guerlain have a tradition of issuing “travel exclusive” versions. Rose had always been a staple of the airport edition but this year’s floral is a little different. Let's journey through the past Guerlain Travel Exclusives before we discover what this year has to offer.

When Guerlain were bought by LVMH, a move which many die hard fans never forgave the family for, one of their primary concerns was the reestablishment of the brand to a modern audience. You have to remember that the company up until 1994 had been trading on tradition and heritage. There is nothing wrong with that, but a new generation were passing Guerlain by in their quest for the latest "in" perfume. So, LVMH brought in external perfumers to help "modernise" the Guerlain catalogue, but the dramatic change would come about in 2003.

One of the dangers of repositioning a company like Guerlain as a "luxury" brand is that it can be seen as taking it out of the reach of everyday customers. With this in mind, and also because of a desperate need to reignite the customer following, Guerlain took the decision to launch their first "travel exclusive". With Love appeared in 2003 created by Christine Nagel, and there would be a further three releases in this "love series". Precious Heart launched in 2004 by Frank Voelkl and both Colours of Love and Love Is All in 2005, by Christophe Raynaud. Also in 2004 you had Vetiver Pour Elle by Jean-Paul Guerlain, although this was only available in France.

The now regular "travel exclusive" Aqua Allegoria arrived in 2010, and since then there have been four. All attributed to Thierry Wasser, the list comprises Bouquet Numero 1, Bouquet Numero 2, Bouquet de Mai and Flora Rosa. This year sees number five, Rosa Pop, released. Apart from a huge display at Nice airport its launch seems to have been fairly low key, even the visual is a reworking of the upcoming Pera Granita. So, having finally arrived, let's see what Rosa Pop has to offer.

It is described as “the spirit of peony with a touch of red berry”. Interestingly the first thing that hits you is a huge dose of violet, which is accompanied by a powdery sherbet quality, before it turns into something a little more clove-like. The impression of “red berries”, similar to Estee Lauder’s Modern Muse Rouge, then starts to work its way through before a tonka laden peony finally blooms. This all happens very quickly with little development, and such a brash use of violet conjures up a picture of Insolence’s uncultured younger sister.

At €68 for 100ml I’m sure that there will be many vacations this year that are fragranced with Rosa Pop, but I think that I'll be staying with the mainland versions.


  1. Wow, now I really want to try it!

    1. It's exclusive to Nice airport until March 31st, although it does seem to have sneaked into other airports already