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Eau Sauvage – True love never dies

Image - Wikipedia - Dior boutique, The Crystals, Las Vegas

I reconnected big-time with an old love a couple of weeks ago. We’ve hardly left each other’s side since our reunion - we’ve even been sleeping together.

My husband is totally OK with this, in fact, we make a divine threesome. Our shared true love is Dior Eau Sauvage, one of the all-time greatest Men’s fragrances ever, a citrus-herbal-wood perfection created by the modern master perfumer, Edmund Roudnitska, in 1966.

Eau Sauvage was the first real gift I gave my husband. When we met, he didn’t wear cologne at all, it just wasn’t on his radar, but Eau Sauvage changed all that. It became his signature scent and he (we) wore it exclusively, and happily, for twenty years or more. Then it became part of his scent wardrobe, pushed to the back of the shelf to make room for new bottles featuring more exotic notes in the olfactory pantheon, such as leather, woods, incense, amber, musk, oud, but Eau Sauvage was brought out and spritzed for those very special occasions which required an extra dose of classic elegance.

Eau Sauvage is the epitome of masculine refinement. From the very top, sparkling, clear, and bracing, with its opening notes of bergamot and lemon floating on an herbal cocktail of rosemary, basil, and lavender, Eau Sauvage effortlessly commands attention. The citrus effervescence subsides as it dries down into the heart, and the aromatic citrus accord mixes with the rose, jasmine, and iris florals, becoming light and slightly sweetened, but with an almost watery quality.

It’s argued that this watery sensation can be attributed to Roudnitska’s pioneering use of hedione, a synthetic molecule said to have a diffusive lemon-jasmine odor with a hint of an aquatic note, but he used such minute quantities in Eau Sauvage that this effect is more the result of his artistic vision and technical mastery.

As Eau Sauvage dries down into the base, oakmoss, vetiver, and musk form an earthy, grassy, animalic accord, making what is a seemingly simple scent suddenly much more complex. At this point, Eau Sauvage becomes powerful, with a radiant but quiet sensuality that promises more pleasure to come. The long dry-down is dreamy and the chypre elements slowly resolve into an airy woody base with a hint of warmed-skin amber, a sophisticated come-hither finish made to slowly fade on an irresistibly sexy lover.

Roudnitska was in the process of refining his approach to perfumery when he created Eau Sauvage for Christian Dior – he wanted to abstract, simplify, blur genders. Apparently, he predicted that women would want to wear this mens’ fragrance, too, but he went on to launch the official female version of Eau Sauvage, Diorella, in 1972. Luca Turin gives the two scents a five-star rating in his guide, and refers to Roudnitska’s distinctive “Vietnamese beef salad accord” that appears in each of them, which he describes as “an odd overripe melon effect that still feels both elegant and decadent.” He describes Diorella as “a perfected Eau Sauvage and one of the best masculines money can buy” and states that both are masterpieces. Perfumes the A-Z Guide, pp. 206 and 237

Viewed as ground-breaking when it was launched in 1966, Eau Sauvage gained benchmark status as a citrus scent, and inspired many excellent fragrances in the mens’ category over the past few decades. But none can truly match the simple elegance of Eau Sauvage, which is still part of its magic, even after almost fifty years and several alterations to the original formula.

Victoria Frolova from Bois de Jasmin believes that “…the beauty and the genius of this fragrance lie in its perfect balance…between simplicity and complexity, between artistic merit and pure pleasure. Eau Sauvage is one of those rare perfumes that have plenty to say, but that are easy to understand.”

Eau Sauvage is a true love for my husband and for me, one we understand and connect with on a visceral level, every time we smell it, perhaps because we have so much personal history attached to it.

But it’s more than that. Our 30-something son normally doesn’t use scent. On the occasions when he chooses to wear it, it’s usually Eau Sauvage because as he says, “It smells so damn good and my wife loves it”.

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

Eau Sauvage is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml..