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Au Bord de L’eau

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Launched in 2017, Au Bord de L’eau, along with Sur L'herbe, is part of L’Artisan’s first ever cologne collection. Both fragrances were created by nose Fabrice Pellegrin and both were inspired by Impressionist paintings. Sur L'herbe was inspired by Le Déjeuner sur L’Herbe by Edouard Manet and Au Bord de L’Eau was inspired by Au Bord de L’Eau by Claude Monet. Like the Impressionist artists did with painting, Pellegrin seeks to create a fragrance that captures a moment, a sensation, through suggestion rather than defining contours.

Originally titled ‘The Seine at Bennecourt’, ‘Au Bord de L’Eau’ was painted in 1868. It shows Monet’s future wife, Camille, sitting on an island in the Seine, looking across the water to the village of Gloton. The simple setting is defined through bold colours, light and reflection rather than through form and location. Au Bord de L’eau cologne has the same effect.

It opens mild, refreshing and green from bergamot and zesty, lemon oil. The top notes settle into a subtly sweet lemon scent that lingers, making Au Bord de L’Eau luminous at this stage. And then, slowly, slowly (I mean like an hour in) sweet, warm, floral orange blossom comes forward along with aromatic, camphorous rosemary and cedarwood. It’s herbaceous and woody and complex and luminous all at the same time. And then, another hour or so later, the most beautiful earthy, powdery violet note emerges, over the scent like a veil, supported perfectly by the herbal freshness of the rosemary and resting on a base of musk and wood.

For me, this cologne is a successful olfactory expression of the Impressionist painting but that aside it is a gorgeous unisex skin scent that conjures the feeling of a gentle summer’s day and that’s a feeling I want to experience time and time again.

A word of caution: the word ‘L’Eau’ in the name of the fragrance refers to the painting that inspired it and not the notes in the fragrance. ‘Au Bord de L’Eau’ is not an aquatic fragrance.

Notes: bergamot, lemon oil, orange blossom, rosemary, cedarwood, violet and wood.

Type: EdC

Parfumeur: Fabrice Pellegrin

Price: $5.00