Blog post by Gwen

Au Bord de l'Eau – citrus and green and luminous

Photo: courtesy of L'Artisan

A few weeks ago we had some good friends over for supper. We get together fairly often, so it’s always easy with this group. Lots of food, wine, good conversation and laughter.

At some point in the evening, when we were sitting around the table after the dishes had been cleared and another bottle had been opened, someone posed a question to the group: name your most moving art experience. This sparked lively conversation around the table and my turn came,the answer was easy: Monet's Garden at Giverny.

I recall everything about that day vividly. It was a perfect day in June and we were on a driving holiday through France. I remember driving on the country roads, the “D” roads, my husband at the wheel, his white shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows, the radio blasting French jazz. I was the navigator, pregnant, a little car sick and a lot distracted. But all that evaporated when we arrived at Giverny. Walking on the Japanese footbridge over the water lily pond, touring the gardens, studio and house. I can see in my mind the yellow dining room and yellow and blue Limoge place settings. It was a memorable experience in so many ways, and I came away from it with a deeper appreciation for Monet and his work.

This brings me to Au Bord de L’eau from L’Artisan Parfumeur. Part of L’Artisan’s first ever cologne collection, it was inspired by Claude Monet's painting titled 'Au Bord de L’Eau'. Like the Impressionist artists did with painting, perfumer nose Fabrice Pellegrin seeks to create a fragrance that captures a moment, a sensation, through suggestion rather than defining contours.

Monet painted ‘Au Bord de L’Eau’ 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 this 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. 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 gorgeous unisex skin scent that conjures the feeling of a soft summer’s day and that’s a feeling I want to experience time and time again.

Note: 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.

Check out Au Bord de L’Eau in our Shop.