Rightfully, this should have been called Violette Velours, but I guess that didn't have the right ring to it. While the lavender topnote is undeniably crisp and beautiful, it's exactly that, a topnote.
I have a certain "method" to smelling. A quick inhale will give you the general idea of a fragrance, but preceding that with an deep exhale gives you a much fuller representation. I've always found this very effective personally, but hearing it mentioned by a pro on BBC's recent documentary on perfume, I felt vindicated. Using this method, you can actually catch some lavender well into the drydown of LV, but it takes some focus. After the obvious topnote, which seems to emphasize some of the anise-like qualities of lavender, violet immediately takes centre stage and pairs up magically in a "Goodies" candy manner.
The rest of the fragrance's progression shows a dusting of iris and a nice sandalwood-esque drydown. It's not quite as natural smelling as Ylang Vanille, but I suppose that's to be expected with a violet scent. Either way, it's all very lovely, very cozy, and in keeping with the "velour" reference in the name.
Sadly, most of the best Allegorias have been discontinued, but can still be found relatively easily online for not too much money. I wish Chanel had paid closer attention to this when creating the lackluster Jersey.
Perfumer: Jean-Paul Guerlain (or Mathilde Laurent)
Notes: Lavender, iris, sandalwood, vanilla