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Eau Fraîche is a stunning summer fragrance from indie niche line Monsillage.

‘Eau fraiche’ means ‘fresh water’. And as well as being a fragrance from Monsillage, it is also a fragrance category. According to the Guide to Perfume Types:

Eau fraiche is similar to eau de cologne in that the scent will generally last for up to two hours. Eau fraiche has an even lower concentration of fragrance than eau de cologne, normally only 1% to 3%. While eau fraiche has a low fragrance concentration, it does not contain a high amount of alcohol. Along with the fragrance, the remainder of eau fraiche is mostly water.

Eau Fraîche from Monsillage is in fact, an eau de toilette, which has a higher concentration of fragrance than either an eau de cologne or an eau fraiche. Got it? Good, because I wouldn’t want you to miss out on this Ms. Michaud’s summer stunner because of semantics.

Eau Fraîche opens fresh and vibrant from lemon-scented verbena sweetened by juicy mandarin. The second I smell it, I relax into it. Soon, the fruits make way for a note of aromatic, heady lavender to emerge. The lavender moves forward while the verbena recedes, playing a supporting role in the background throughout the development of the fragrance. Then the herbs show up – thyme, spicy and warm and rosemary, minty and woody. This is the phase I caught coming from Ms. Michaud that summer’s day. It’s what made her Eau Fraîche memorable for me. But when I started wearing it, I realized there was more to love. Like the lilac at the heart. Here it’s aquatic and soothing with the top notes shimmering above it. The base is woody from cedarwood and vetiver, which also gives it some depth.

The drydown is fresh and soothing. A combination of ingredients in harmony and with a natural richness that make Eau Fraîche the perfect foil for summer heat. But what stands out to me is that it smells real and that speaks to the quality of the ingredients.

The first time I smelled Eau Fraîche was on a woman, and I could not get the scent out of my mind or my heart or my head but if I had smelled it on a man, the effect would have been exactly the same I’m sure.

Notes: verbena, mandarin, lavender, thyme, rosemary, lilac, aquatic note, white cedar, vetiver, musk and ambergris.

Type: EdT

Parfumeur: Isabelle Michaud

Price: $5.00