Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink…“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,”
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
We in the first world don’t have to think twice about running a tap, pouring a glass of water to drink or even taking a clean shower. Although, recent reports on the news suggest we in Britain may run out of water in the next 30 years if we don’t look at the issue now.
Water is a commodity we need to respect and preserve: it’s the elixir of life, something we can’t live without, but also something we instinctively love. It refreshes us, cleans us, hydrates us and leaves us feeling good.
Last year, whilst discussing perfume with the wonderful Chantal Roos, the nose behind Roos and Roos, she said how she had worked on the first perfume by Issey Miyake, L’eau D’Issey. She explained how, when she first worked with him, he wanted a perfume that well, smelt of water… What does that even mean, and why would a designer want that?
Well, in Japanese society it is not considered polite to ‘invade’ someone else’s personal space, and a heavy perfume worn could be considered to be invasive, hence the water brief. Having a sense of ‘space’ around yourself and others in this society is considered important as well as good manners. Hence the water perfume? The Japanese consider heady perfumes a kind of ‘body pollution.’ This begins to make sense as to why L’Eau d’Issey is such a success nationally and internationally.
Japan has a history of scenting the air around us, rather than scenting the body itself, so think of Japanese perfumery as more of a religious ritual rather than a bodily extension. The cross-over is difficult, from room to body, although it is changing with younger generations. Japan is the world’s second-largest market for cosmetics but one of the smallest for perfume.
Since L’Eau d’Issey, there have been many interpretations of water in fragrance: from ice mountain water to salty sea water and even fresh, green river water running in a tributary.
An important inspiration within fragrance, water as mentioned is the cornerstone of every single human being’s health. It happens today to be International Water Day. Held annually on 22 March, International Water Day addresses the importance of preserving freshwater resources and focuses on managing these resources in a sustainable way.
So in celebration, these following perfumes are an ode to the refreshing quality of H2O, so go ahead enjoy the cool, the aqueous, the sea and its salt, the sand, but most of all, treasure the water.
Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel EDT by Molton Brown London
A sea-soaked fragrance with notes of salt-sprayed cypress, earthy cedarwood and musk, with a modern twist of zesty bergamot and fig leaf accord.
Rain by Marc Jacobs
Splash Rain captures the scent of a cool, refreshing summer shower. This watery floral fragrance is lush and pure with notes of wet-cut grass, tropical rain accord and musk.
Invictus Aqua by Paco Rabanne
Marine freshness that rises from a sensual woody surf, with a hit of amber to boot.
Wave Eau De Toilette by Davidoff Cool Water Woman
Top notes are solar-faceted Bondi beach flower coupled with Sambac Jasmine evoking the seducing attraction of quintessential femininity.
Blue by Jimmy Choo Man
Woody, aromatic, leathery fragrance with top notes of clary sage. Bergamot brings a breath of fresh air and contrasts with the spicy warmth of black pepper with leather revealing itself in the heart of the fragrance, enhanced by grey amber and the vegetal woody facets of cypress.
Aqua Pour Homme Atlantique by Bulgari
A fresh, aromatic Eau de Toilette which captures the elusiveness of water, the evanescence of the ocean – it’s freshness, power, energy.
Déclaration L’Eau by Cartier
Top note of chilled lemon, cedarwood, pink peppercorn and pink grapefruit. It is bright and sunny, fruity and woody. The pepper gives it a spicy touch.
Replica by Maison Margiela Paris
Dive into the ocean on a summer day, explore the ocean, a unique aquatic accord, mixed with aromatic and pure notes of red seaweed, salty ambergris and coriander.
L’Eau by L’Homme Prada Milano
Amber and iris with red ginger and neroli. Fresh and green notes on a sandalwood background.
L’Eau by La Femme Prada Milano
A frangipani flower, fresh and green, with mandarin essence and ylang ylang notes.
An airy mix that is enhanced by tuberose.
Olympēa Aqua by Paco Rabanne
A lemon blossom, salty-vanilla, calamondin aquatic jasmine with ambergris accord and cashmere woods.
Acqua di Gioia eau de parfum by Giorgio Armani.
The first notes are floral, with crushed mint, with a zest of Italian “limone primo fiore femminello.” At its base is the signature of water rooted in the Earth, with LMR cedarwood heart sprinkled with brown sugar and labdanum.
Erolfa by Creed at Les Senteurs
A fresh, herbaceous, ‘oceanic’ fragrance with tangerine, bergamot, sandalwood and ambergris, with an invigorating marine note.
Un Air De Bretagne Eau de Parfum by L’Artisan Parfumeur
Evoking the sea sprays. Composed of a marine accord imagined as a salt vapour, overlayed with the absolute of seaweed and the absolute of cypress, and also bringing a touch of green that evokes Britanny.
Pacific Rock Moss South Coast New South Wales by Goldfield & Banks Australia
Inspired by the southern coastline of New South Wales. Cedarwood gives this fragrance a sturdy base on which to reveal a fresh, sea spray scent that speaks of summer days diving into an azure sea.
Aura Maris Eau de Toilette by Lorenzo Villoresi Firenze at Les Senteurs
Mare Nostrum is the ancient name of the Mediterranean sea. Aura Maris is the sea breeze: fresh, gentle breeze over waves, bringing with it the scents of the Mediterranean–shrubs, citrus, salty foam, golden sunshine and the sea itself. Notes of bergamot, mandarin, narcissus, jasmine and patchouli.
Erawan by Dusita Paris at Les Senteurs
Crisp, green herbal fragrance stirs the senses and blends, in enervating harmony, with fresh floral, citral notes of Petitgrain from the bitter orange tree. Soft muguet accords with earthy Haitian vertiver, while uplifting hay absolute, “a liquid summer’s day,” delivers sunshine, wood, moss, tobacco and fresh-cut hay.
Coumarinic liatrix reinforces this rich, earthy blend, while the intimate scent of clary sage softens and sweetens the accord.
Florabellio by Diptyque Paris
A grove of blossoming apple trees swept by the sea breeze. Nearby, a coffee roaster fills the air alongside an impression of flowers and fruits, a few salty accents colliding with the sweet bitterness of coffee.
Aqua Celestia by Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris
A seamless bond between the blue of the sky and the blue of the sea. Freshness tinted with lime, cool mint and blackcurrant, softened mimosa blossoms from Provence. A celestial, musk-scented escape. Lime from Mexico.
Long Board By MiN NEW YORK
Think of the sun on bare skin. Sea birds sing as the ocean whispers. Balmy, suspended moments spent with friends. Top: cardamom and marine notes. A heart of coconut, solar cream and orange blossom with a base of amber, vanilla and vetiver. Inspired by the exhilarating crispness of mountain air and the purity of cascading alpine streams, a contemporary scent that captures the purity of citrus notes, tea, blackcurrant and musk that is cool, clean, icy and mentholated.
Le Sirenuse Positano by Eau d’Italie at Les Senteurs
Four Neapolitan brothers, the Marchesi Aldo, Paolo, Anna and Franco Sersale turned their summer house in Positano into a charming hotel, overlooking the bay of Positano. This is from the perfume range.
Hôtel Riviera by Hervé Gambs Paris
A journey through childhood memories on the French Riviera, the freshness of cologne with the intensity of a long-lasting perfume. A breath of a warm summer breeze, a memorable journey around the Mediterranean, adding fresh top notes of tangerine and bergamot to a bed of orange blossom flowers heated by the sun before the base of cedarwood rounds out this intense woody/citrus cologne.
Culti Milano Aqqua
A wide-open sea view, one glance sweeping across the bay, the mountain sliding into the deep blue, and the villages perched up high, resembling a painting. A place of natural elegance with a vigorous, almost physical energy.
Salon d’Alexandria by Penhaligon’s Candle
All elegant homes share a sense of order and a display of good taste. The perfume of each and every room should never be overlooked.
Neroli Voyage by Floris London
A vibrant citrus marine fragrance around a journey of discovery across the Ligurian Sea. The fragrance opens with a citrus burst of neroli and lemon, complemented by marine notes The dominant neroli accord continues into the heart with jasmine flower and spicy notes of ginger and aromatic fennel seed. Depth in the base is from oak wood, supported by warm notes of musk and amber.
Wood Sage & Sea Salt by Jo Malone ( perfume and candle)
Escape the every day along the windswept shore. Waves breaking white, the air fresh with sea salt and spray. Alive with the mineral scent of the rugged cliffs. Mingling with the woody earthiness of sage. Lively, spirited and totally joyful. The luxuriously rich body crème with its conditioning oils of jojoba seed, cocoa seed and sweet almond help to hydrate, nourish and protect the skin, while delicious signature fragrances leave your body scented all over.
Renaissance Man by Chris Collins Alchemy of Fragrance
Aromatic, spicy citrus merges with warm ginger, sage, and honey and is topped off with vetiver and sandalwood for depth and impact. Its spicy and marine accord top notes give a fresh and dynamic effect to the perfume, while sage and honey warm the heart notes to give an energising effect.
Colonia Pura by Acqua di Parma
A contemporary and refined olfactory interpretation of the Italian cologne. A radically fresh fragrance, delicate and bold, which embodies the most modern side of the Italian lifestyle. Head notes of spicy coriander are combined with the classic citrus notes of cologne. In the heart, sambac jasmine and petit-grain meet the green facets of narcissus absolute, revealing a vibrant sensuality. Hints of musk and patchouli sealed by light woody notes of cedarwood characterise the depth of the composition.
L’eau des Hesperides by Diptyque
Bitter orange oil, peppermint oil and immortelle, a flower that gives an astonishing combination of peachy-apricoty fruit, green leaf and ripe human body. The result is an exercise in transcending the genre.
Micro love by Jusbox
Perfume superstar Dominique Ropion has played with a musk, ozonic accord in homage to the Zoo TV Tour by U2. The fragrance is electric, abstract, aerial. With top notes of ozonic accord, crisp apple and neroli. In its heart, cinnamon, violet and clary sage, whilst its base is made up of white cedarwood, suede and grey amber.
Mare Pacifico by Linari
A water and marine aquatic set of notes where lemon seaweed contrasts with birch Spanish cypress oil and matte absolute.
Apsu by Ulriuch lang
Greens, cilantro, violet leaves and bergamot in the top meet white tea, dewy jasmine petals, water lily, pimento berries and iris in its heart whilst the base is white musk, cedarwood, amber and frankincense.