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Launched in 1988 by Maitre Parfumeur at Gantier as part of their Les Aromatiques collection for men, Garrigue was inspired by the scent of the fragrant piney shrubs and aromatic herbs the mistral wind gathers on its journey from the north to the Mediterranean coast.
This aroma is the signature scent of Provence, especially of the Vaucluse region of the Southern Rhône Valley, and is called garrigue (gah-REEG).
Provence’s hot dry summers and cold, gusty winters means vegetation takes a beating from the wind in the winter and the heat of the sun in the summer so the trees are shorter, chène vert – the oak known for its wind breaking properties -  abound, and woody, aromatic shrubs like thyme, rosemary and juniper, flourish. These plants thrive in the south of France because they have adapted to the climate by giving off fragrant oils that form a protective aura around them. This scented aura repels the harsh rays of the summer sun and is the source of garrigue.

The eau de toilette opens green and bitter from bergamot mellowed out by a fresh, citrus note from lemon. This is a fairly standard opening for a man’s fragrance, but lemons are indigenous to the south of France, so they belong here making the opening less contrived than most. Then, as the opening fades, wild thyme, rosemary and sage come forward. They smell sun-bleached and dry and are lifted with a piney note from juniper berries. Rosewood gives it a lovely sweet note tempers any harshness and hints at a woody base of sandalwood softened with musk.

The drydown is dry, cool, soft and woody – just like the scents air carried by the mistral. And, while it is labeled a ‘masculine’ the gentle sweetness from the rosewood definitely make it unisex to my nose.

Garrigue is evocative of a place, more than a person or an experience, yet one whiff brings all the memories of times spent in Provence back to me. But I don’t wear it for sentimental reasons – I have many other memory triggers of Provence.  No, I wear it because that wild thyme, rosemary, sage and rosewood combo is something I want to smell on my skin again and again.

Notes: bergamot, lemon, wild thyme, rosemary, sage, juniper berry, rosewood, sandalwood, musk

Type: EdT

Parfumeur: Jean-Paul Millet Lage

Price: $5.00