Now that August is finally here it’s time for me to start the countdown until my own summer holiday begins, which will happen on 30th day of this month. With currently reoccurring waves of hotter and milder weather I tend to seek for help among perfume, as there are quite many that are able to tame the heat and make you feel better on a hot day. Last week my head turned to the brand of L’Artisan Parfumeur again (this happens sometimes, even if I’m not devoted fan) because of three fragrance samples that arrived at my doorstep thanks to a generosity of a friend in Germany. A day with each made me realize that they are perfect for summer and for holidays, therefore they should get some praise from me since there’s still enough time to enjoy our beloved citrus.
Sur l’Herbe (shown left) begins with a vibrant neroli note. As soon as you spray a little bit of it on your skin, this white floral bouquet will start to bloom. Neroli here is very pretty – quite citrusy with a delicious orange undertone mingling somewhere in the background of essence distilled from orange flowers. Very soon it becomes a little bit more juicy as it if had some lemon too and then it starts to emanate with radiance. Composition of this fragrance contains something that is called a solar accord. I don’t know exactly how it smells but if impression of a skin warmed by the sun with a hint of sunbathing oil is accurate then that would be it. Handful of white musk adds an interesting facet to Sur l’Herbe. Thanks to it the fragrance smells clean but not in a soapy way. To me it’s smelling more like fresh bed lining or a white towel drying outside on a string. Ambery notes add unexpected warmth. As if the perfumer tried to capture the sunlight inside of the bottle. There’s something sensual about it too. Moreover Sur l’Herbe is quite a spacious scent. It has some sort of volume and freedom – the notes are not cluttered but are put together more freely. Oxygen accord provides the impression of a breath of the morning air after the night rain. When cool and pure air fills our lungs. This eau de cologne created by Fabrice Pellegrin was inspired by Le Dejeneur Sur l’Herbe, a painting by Edouard Manet. Its longevity is around 4 hours when applied sparingly.
Au Bord de l’Eau (shown middle) has a super juicy opening. Seconds after it’s sprayed on the skin it reveals a mouth-watering lemon note that is so true to reality that you’ll want to check if someone next to you is actually squeezing a half of this yellow citrus. It has a smell that balances on the edge between sweet & sour. Once bergamot joins the composition the fragrance gains more tanginess and zestiness, making it feel very delicious and refreshing at the same time. Next a hint of neroli appears. It feels like the same type of gently floral, orange-tinged bouquet that is full of sunlight. There’s just much less of it compared to Sur l’Herbe. Further into fragrance development the orange hue fades away, making space for a newly appearing verdancy. The green colour of Au Bord de l’Eau becomes more intense over time, going from pastel green to more brighter shades but never becoming over saturated. It’s green character is hard to define at first, it feels kind of herbal and leafy. Finally rosemary arrives to claim reign over the green accord. It’s herbaceous and green aroma feel almost edible & when I smell it I feel as if I was taken to a little garden somewhere by the Mediterranean Sea. After a while Au Bord de l’Eau seems to be watering down a bit (the l’eau part) and begins to display violet note in a graceful way. At first this flower feels watery, ozonic and kind of crisp but then it reveals more powdery & sweet facet. The drydown is musky and I find it analogical to Sur l’Herbe, as it also smells like a clean cotton – soft and fluffy. This fragrance ends with a light hint of cedarwood. This eau de cologne was also created by Fabrice Pellegrin and was inspired by Au Bord de l’Eau, a painting by Claude Monet. Its longevity is around 4 hours as well.
Histoire d’Orangers (shown right) is another ode to neroli. It starts with a delicate scent of orange flowers. At the beginning it’s sheer and transparent, like a gentle lace or a see-through fabric. After a while neroli facet intensifies a little bit, still remaining very graceful. Even when stronger it has a clean, soapy smell that provides freshness. Couple of minutes later neroli is followed by white tea accord. You can tell it’s arriving when orange hue becomes slightly green on the edges. Tea note brings something peaceful and serene to Histoire d’Orangers, it’s like a whisper inviting to relaxation. I even found something slightly powdery in this note. Another important element of this composition is Helvetolide, a synthetic musk with a slightly fruity side. It introduces something crystalline to the perfume. It’s also warm and later develops into similar fluffy cotton that embraces the wearer. I’d love to wear Histoire d’Orangers on a lazy day I’d spend on reading a book in a hammock. In the heart there’s one more fraction of orange blossom goodness in a form of the absolute of this white flower. Compared to neroli it feels more citrusy, with an unmistaken orange aroma. It also feels a little bit oily with a hint of rustling petitgrain verdancy. Base of the fragrance features Ambrox molecule that adds lovely ambery tones that make the perfume warmer and longer lasting. Finally tonka bean brings something aromatic to the blend with a tiny hint of something creamy and spicy. Perfumer behind Histoire d’Orangers is Marie Salamagne & unlike previous colognes, this one comes in eau de parfum concentration. It lasts for around 6-7 hours on my skin and has small sillage.
Sur l’Herbe, Au Bord de l’Eau and Histoire d’Orangers all smell idyllic and represent a perfect style of a perfume that I’m looking for in the summer. Ideal situation would be if L’Artisan Parfumeur launched a special coffret with all 3 in 15-20 ml sizes. But that’s just a wish, they come in 100 ml bottles. My favorite one is Au Bord de l’Eau. Which one do you think you’d like the most?