Madalina Stoica-Blanchard and Julien Blanchard, a marriage behind niche perfume brand Jul et Mad are like the cutest and most perfect couple a perfume world has ever known. They not only look good next to each other but they can also literally read each others minds. During Esxence 2014 in Milan they presented a new chapter to their love story, Aqua Sextius, which stands for Aix-en-Provence in Latin. This region in the South of France was founded by Gaius Sextius – Roman consul around 200 years B.C. This is a place where a couple got married and they vacation there.
Aqua Sextius opens by giving an impression of sunny morning at the Mediterranean coast. It’s very bright, sparkling and vivid with colors. The first note I could smell on my skin was the grapefruit, very lovely and tart one. Just a few minutes later I could smell a juicy shot of bergamot which adds a refreshing sensation to the scent. A little while longer and mild tones of orange and mandarin appear above the skin surface. What I love about the opening is that slightly sour aromas of grapefruit and bergamot are countered with oranges and mandarines which are both sweeter.
After 30 minutes this new Jul et Mad composition becomes just a little bit less prominent and its bouquet quiets down minimally. I could notice a wonderful vibe of tea, probably some green tea variety. It was nicely blended with the citrus accord in the opening, adding it a surprising twist of verdancy. Mimosa is the first sign of floral elements in this fragrance, it appears after 45 minutes or so, bringing both flowery and light powdery facets to Aqua Sextius.
After 1 hour the flowers in the bouquet of Aqua Sextius begin to bloom, kind of taking over the scent from now on. These are some white flowers for sure and as far as I’m concerned I probably detected some jasmine, orange blossom and neroli. Together they’re gifted with a very pleasant and tender sweetness that kind of feels like the second skin. Further into the fragrance development I could smell pine accord, the needles to make it clear. With this note a nice dose of aromatic vibe was added to the scent making it more vibrant and senses-affecting. In the background of this specific note I could detect a slightly salty sensation of the sea notes. It feels fantastic so far!
The subtlety of the ozonic smell of sea is a very good thing about Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius. I like it even more for the fact that it seamlessly proceeds to the fig note. I’m not very much into fig in perfume but the one that Julien and Madalina reserved for this perfume is probably my favourite fig so far. It feels incredibly warm and ripe, like it was hiding the secret of the Sun within the flesh. To me this chord has both the green quality of a sun-warmed leaf and a milky, sappy facet of the fruit itself.
The very appealing thing about Aqua Sextius is that its base notes kind of don’t fit the aromas that appeared earlier, yet they fit perfectly to the whole idea. These notes also appear very slowly granting this perfume with super longevity. A very subtle labdanum appears after 5-6 hours of wearing the scent, when the “Mediterranean” perfume ingredients begin to dissipate, yet they still don’t disappear completely. It takes almost another hour before amber appears, warming up everything. Cedar and guaiac wood, appearing around 8th hour, they make the fragrance more substantial while oakmoss gives a dry and refined touch of luxury.
The very latest of a drydown is created with a musk accord and from the observations I’ve made during Esxence, people were reacting very differently to it. For example, on Julien and me it felt really clean while some other people felt a little bit more of animalic qualities or even a comeback of citrus with a powdered finish from musk. Isn’t that interesting how different our noses perceive the smell?
When I wear Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius I feel happy. To me this perfume represents a real day in Aix-en-Provence. When the day begins – it’s sunny, so the perfume is bright and sparkling, during mid-day it’s hot – so you can smell all flowers and plants warmed up by the sun and in the evening everything begins to quiet down – that’s when Aqua Sextius begins to smell more woody, resinous but still light. This is a story from the sunrise to the sunset. At least that’s what I think. And if this perfume was a picture, it would look exactly like this.
At the mini launch party for Aqua Sextius I had a pleasure to talk to Cecile Zarokian, who is a nose behind this fragrance. She said that it was a real challenge for her to create a long-lasting perfume inspired by a Mediterranean Sea, the smell of cologne and so. As soon as she had heard the idea of Madalina and Julien the idea started forming in her mind, almost 6 months later we have a perfume that is light but lasting, complex and harmonious.
Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius bases almost entirely on natural ingredients which can be told just by smelling the composition. This extrait de parfum lasted on me for 10 hours in non-air-conditioned Triennale and for over 12 hours in normal weather including going out. It will be available at Jul et Mad online shop and at the retailers at the beginning of May and will come in 3 sizes: 50ml spray bottle with a 7ml Nomad spray (filled) – all packaged in a new dark grey (they were light grey earlier) coffret box, 5ml miniature “love dose” and a new 20ml travel size called “le compagnon” which is a sleek and glossy pen-like bottle made of black glass.
[note] pictures are all mine, all rights reserved; Aqua Sextius love dose was a gift from Jul et Mad.
I haven’t tried anything from this line yet but I get more interested with every review I read. one of these days I’ll get some samples. I’m glad you found some good stuff in Italy. This one sounds like a perfect summer holiday scent from what you’ve described.
You should try them all, the quality and lasting power are amazing, so are the scents. And they yearn lots of positive energy from blogs and websites. Aqua Sextius is perfect for summer, especially for a sightseeing day so that it last
Mmmmhhh, Aqua Sextius sounds so tempting, thanks for the review!
My cousin used to live in Aix-en-Provence, it’s amazingly beautiful there and I remember the wonderful Paul Cézanne museum since he is a painter I really love – so AS immediately goes on my to sniff list.
(On the first picture the bottle looks like it’s lying in a coffin…but this pastel green colour is stunning!).
My pleasure! How cool, I’d love to live or at least vacation there. You’ll be able to try it in a month time.
The picture is not perfect but the coffret is luxurious and you can take off the lining for a bottle to transform it into a jewellery box. They also measured it so that man’s watches suit too.
I love the color too
Sparkling perfume, sparkling fountain and sparkling review! I love the colour of the juice, the different options in size, and your description of the progression and flow of notes makes this sound like an absolute must-try for me. Thanks, dear Lucas. 🙂
Thanks for the kind words. Aqua Sextius is truly a sparkling perfume. On your list of perfumes to try, give it a high priority, ok?
I most definitely will put it at the top. Hopefully by the time it becomes available, the season here will match and be green, bright and fragrant. I’m looking forward to both the perfume and the spring!
Spring hasn’t sprung yet where you live? It did visit Poland already. I’m sure that by early May you’ll have the weather which will be perfect for new JUL ET MAD
I’m in the Washington, DC area and yesterday we had some freaky snow arrive for just a few hours, but just the kind that is pretty and doesn’t freeze or stick. It’s a day early, but we have a saying “April showers bring May flowers.” It’s about 16C and sunny today. Perhaps spring has sprung, or perhaps it will be sneaky this year and be a surprise.
It’s been 17*C here today, the grass is getting greener, the trees start to blossom. What’s not to like.
I like how it appears that this perfume changes quite a bit as you wear it. Some good notes here, too. It sound very sparkling and very nice!
It develops from a refreshing cologne to something more relaxing, soothing and warm that is more suitable for the evening.
Wahoo! A Nomad spray will be mine once it is available. The color is lovely and the notes sound right up my alley. I was at the French Riviera area over New Years and I can absolutely picture (no pun intended) how some artists visited and never wanted to leave after seeing its beauty. The light shining on this part of the world seemed to have an extra twinkle in it. Wonderful review!
In May, sweetie, in May. I didn’t even know that it’s possible to buy just a Nomad spray from Jul et Mad!?
You’ve been around so you know how picturesque the place is, I need to go there one day.
Thank you :*
Hmmm, maybe it’s not possible to buy a nomad spray by itself. I’ll get a love dose instead. By the way, the picture of the sparkly fountain is spot on as to how the sun hits the water there!
Yes, I’m certain it’s not possible. You could buy a love dose or maybe Le Compagnon travel size if you like the perfume much.
I’m glad I chose the right picture! I liked those fountains!
Lucas, as always, love your reviews. So detailed I feel like I am smelling the fragrance myself. This will be a ‘must sampl’e for me. I have not tried this brand yet, but anything that reminds me of the lovely Mediterranean definitely goes on the test list. Is this being sold at niche perfume stores or on their website? (If you know :-))
Thank you 🙂
The brand is young but they achieved a lot during the time they’re on the market. And I love how they listen to perfume community launching smaller sizes as well.
You can buy Jul et Mad scents at their website but they also have various retailers in Europe, US.
Ok, the important question now is: when? It’s not on their web site yet : -( . I want my love doze! It’s such a beautiful color. And a very convincing review.
Sweetie, Madalina told me that their online shop and other Jul et Mad retailers will have Aqua Sextius available at the beginning of May. The perfume is beautiful and the juice color too. I’m happy you find the review To be convincing
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