Today, as we inch toward September and the beginning of a seasonal shift, we´re revisiting two summer scent icons, Hermes Eau d´Orange Verte and Christian Dior Eau Sauvage.
First up: Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte, created in 1979, contains notes of orange, lemon, mandarin, orange blossom, mint, papaya, mango, patchouli, oakmoss.
Patty: Okay, I really like this one, and I used to wear it a lot… by a lot, I mean re-apply about four times a day because it disappears that fast. It’s a great one for wearing when you want something fresh and green and almost no lasting power. I still love it, but I don’t count on it to be my BFFformorethanaminute.
Lee: You know, I’m experiencing fragrance nostalgia with these two babies – both scents I discovered and wore a lot in my mid-teens. Does that make me weird or just a secret hespiridic lover? With this one, I think I loved the bottle as much as the juice – there was something in that colour which called to the latent sophisticate within (he is still yet to emerge). Anyway, this scent is a memento mori, an echo of existence’s evanescence, or, to stop with the fancy crap, just a smell that doesn’t last that long. Half an hour for me. It’s a sour green citrus with something almost unpleasantly sappy (maybe it’s the mint playing tricks on me) in the top notes and a skin brush of oakmoss and other Hermes sophisticated loveliness in its brief drydown. I wish it could be tenacious.
March: the fragrance notes at Basenotes are ridiculous; this does not have papaya and mango in it. I double-checked and Osmoz has almost the same list! I still don´t believe it. Anyway, whenever there´s a later “extreme” version of a scent, as there is for Verte (the Concentree from 2003 is done I think by Patty´s homeslice Jean-Claude Ellena) … where was I? Oh, yes, stronger versions of scents can be a tipoff to the original´s lack of staying power. Lasting power of a fragrance is a problem I have very rarely; if anything I wish some of them would vamoose a little faster. This thing, though – it gives “fleeting” a whole new dimension. I think it was completely out of sniffable range on me in less than 30 minutes, which is unheard of. I can´t say I was sorry. I think to many folks it´s a nice, juicy, very green orange, but to me that “green” bit is almost pure, um, boxwood. No, thanks.
Bryan: When it comes to the Garden of Hesperides, I’ll visit for a few moments, then ask, so where are the big fat white florals? How about a Rose? Something? I think they’re beautiful but easy. By easy, I mean not so difficult to throw together and market as a cologne or summer version of an existing eau. I just don’t swoon over lemon-lime. With Hermes, big shock, the cologne is Goregeous!!! I don’t nurture old-school love affairs with this scent (nor Sauvage for that matter), but I do respect the workmanship and beauty of this classical, and as March puts it, well-bred Cologne. I get a refreshing scent with a cool twist, which I am guessing is the mint. I don’t want to own this, but I wouldn’t exchange it if I received it…..though it would most definitely collect dust. Give me Amazone instead please.
Next up: Christian Dior´s Eau Sauvage, with notes of lemon, rosemary, petitgrain, basil, vetiver.
March: One sniff and I thought, yes, I remember. This is the ultra-man cologne. There is nothing original I can say about this, and that´s okay. It´s the smell of wealth, power, discretion and good breeding. Fittingly, there´s nothing particularly innovative about it. It´s not “sexy” (except to whatever degree you find wealth, power etc. sexy.) It´s too masculine, in a traditional way, for me to feel comfortable wearing it. Is any of that a complaint? No. Eau Sauvage is the sort of fragrance I´d give to an older man and count myself lucky if I got to smell it on him. It´s not dad-ly, by the way. But it´s not studly, either. The top´s very guy-cologne with all that lemon-petitgrain, but the herby-vetiver drydown is … hang on … hang on, I´m reassessing – aiyiyiyiyiyiyiiiii, that´s sexy. Must be the vetiver? Maybe I just think bankers are hot. Lasted all day on me.
Lee: I didn’t realise that at fifteen I was smelling like old Spanish gents taking their evening paseo around their home towns. I suppose that if there’s a MUA ‘old lady’ category, there’s also an ‘old fella’ one, and this baby sits in there as king of the castle. But, but, but… Just goes to show how idiotic such categorisation is. Okay, to be fair: some days ES strikes me as fusty, old-fashioned, ‘not-quite-me’. But, on other days, I recall why it was such a hit with me in my wide-eyed youth. A lemon and herbal beauty that’ll transport you immediately to the classy barber shop on the corner some time in the second half of the twentieth century. You’ve just got to hope that isn’t Kajagoogoo on the radio.
Patty: The quintessential guy scent. Not too Brute-ish, not too studly, nothing feminine in here, it’s all guy. Not hard to figure out why it was so popular for so long. Well-made, classic with just enough sex in it to keep it from the brink of “tailored stiff.”
Bryan: When I imagine the creation of Eau Sauvage, I picture the genius that is Roudnitska summoning his talents for the “masculine” market. I see all the insipid, silly colognes he could have done. Instead, he pushes the gender envelope and throws in some lightly floral notes and says, this is how a person (no gender required) may smell. I don’t think that this scent is “all” guy….not in today’s pathetic masculine pocket industry. (If I sound bitter, I am). This is a gorgeous, classy, timeless point of view. If a woman wears this, she smells gorgeous. If a man wears it, he is polished and beautiful as well. I understand why this is considered an early “unisex” edt. Here again I respect the composition, and while I wouldn’t want this, just as I don’t want a Magrite on my wall, I like to look at it (figuratively speaking of course) once in a while….or smell it on a passer by.
A quick note….Tom and Erin didn’t contact me….they won the tuberoses…please give my your addresses…[email protected]…..I do so want to share.