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Note Series #22 – AQUATIC

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Note Series #22 – AQUATIC
Four 1 ml. decants for $17.00 for $13.00.
Venice, September 22nd 2007, 8:00 am Vaporetto to Lido de Venezia - La Serenissima by Memento – salty, exotic, and poignant 
Venice opens with the smell of the sea – the salty sea. Bergamot adds a cool freshness, tempered by anise, which adds a very slight sweetness. A soft floral note of peony appears, to give it organic depth sandal wood rounds it out with a woody note, while patchouli and musk give at an exotic earthiness, a reminder of Venice’s past as a powerful trading post with the east. Venice delivers as advertised: it’s what you would smell standing on a vaporetto in the chilly air of an early morning in fall, moving on the salty sea between an ancient city and an island with sandy beaches populated not by summer swimmers and sunbathers, but a few tourists and locals in light sweaters and jackets. Venice belongs to you.
Epice Marine by Hermès – salty, spicy, and radiant
Epice Marine by Jean-Claude Ellena translates as Spice Sea, but the opening sparkles with bergamot, a lime-lemony rush very tart, green, and fresh, which is quickly followed by a cool spray of salty sea air – if you’ve sailed in cool weather you’ll know the smell/taste I’m talking about. Then the spice surfaces, led by a cumin accord that is different - toasty, woody, nutty, edged with a salted caramel, and it immediately adds a delicious warming sensation to the cool opening. The marine note becomes noticeably stronge, the smell of the seashore at low tide – wet rocks and tide-pools, sand, seaweed, shells, misty spray, grasses – not blue, but grey-green, vegetal, watery and salty fresh. To me, having grown up beside the ocean, this is a comforting familiar smell, and is pure heaven. I can even hear the seagulls. And then I detect a whiff of something different, and the seashore recedes into the background.  A smoky note, the amber peaty note of Islay whiskey takes its place, alongside the toasty spices, infusing a hazy radiance into the Epice Marine, like incense scenting a cozy space with the sound of waves lapping the shore.  
Sel Marin by Heeley – salty, woody, and calm
Sel Marin has a citrusy bergamot opening that is fresh and bracing; as it blooms, a gentle saltiness appears alongside a greenness from algae that balances it perfectly. At the base, vetiver gives it backbone while cedar and birch give it a woodiness – not a warm woodiness, but a deep, damp conifer forest woodiness. To my nose, it is the smell of the sea and shore – not sea, sand, sun and sweat - but a cool, calm, contemplative siren of a scent that is the perfect antidote to a hectic holiday season.
Côte d’Amour by L’Artisan Parfumeur – salty, grassy, and evocative
Côte d’Amour, an understated and minimalist scent, was created by Celine Ellena, Jean-Claude Ellena’s daughter. It opens with an unusual aromatic accord like sea spray and rain drops on hot sand and rocks. This salty wet-dry accord is evocative of the smell of the shore at ebbtide. In the heart Cote d’Amour sweetens a little with peppery rose, aromatic heather, gorse blossom and broom, which smell hay-like, green, grassy and herbal but with a sweet alcoholic edge that floats above the salt. I came close to tears the first time I wore Côte d’Amour because it captures the smell of my West Coast seashores, the cool-salty-water green-algae dry-rocks-sand-mineral herbal-brown-kelp-driftwood sand-dune-vegetal-grassy-floral tidal-pool smell that is hard-wired in my brain. I’ve worn Côte d’Amour this summer because it smells so fresh and natural, a connection to the real world of past and present. I’ll wear it in winter, too, for the very same reason.

Price: $13.00