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L’eau Chic – Oh yes! (September 18, 2011 New Fragrance Listing)

Photo - Wikipedia - Les Deux Magots - Paris "chic" with geraniums - 2006

I’m not much of a gardener, it’s just not something I enjoy. So, when I do have to fill a gap in the garden, I head off to a nursery and ask for something ‘hardy’, bring it home, dig a hole, fill it with water, drop the plant in, do a little dance to tap down the earth around it and give it this encouragement: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere….” This kind of tough love works especially well with geraniums, which is a good thing cause I am partial to geraniums - they remind me of Europe, where flowerboxes everywhere overflow with them.

I love the big red classic variety, but not just the color or the look of them. I love the smell of the leaf and the root  - intoxicatingly green, sharp, earthy and dirty. So I was pretty excited when I heard that Parfums de Nicolaï was coming out with a scent inspired by Patricia de Nicolaï’s childhood memory of the geranium soaps that her parents used in their bathroom. The frag, called L’eau Chic, was launched while I was in Paris, so of course I had to check it out. I walked out of the shop with a smile on my face, a song in my heart and a bottle of L’eau Chic.

Wearing L’eau Chic makes me happy; it’s as simple as that.

Green, sharp Bourbon geranium is there right at the start. This variety has a minty aspect that is boosted by the addition of spearmint and peppermint and then tamed by aromatic lavender. The result is an opening that isn’t loud or sharp, but refined and elegant. The geranium stays right at the core of the scent where fragrant sandalwood adds a woody note, and sweet Roman chamomile gives it a slight fruitiness and iris rounds it out with a floral note. Soon, clove comes forward giving it a little spiciness that is warmed by pimiento. White musk at the base adds an animalic dimension that stabilizes it all. Quite simply: L'eau Chic is the ‘ooh’ in ooh-la-la!

This is not the heavy earthy, dirty smell of geranium leaf and root that I love – no, this is a new kind of geranium love. De Nicolaï’s treatment of geranium doesn’t diminish its unique character; it refines it so that it becomes elegant, stylish and well, chic. I have been wearing L'eau Chic since I bought it and I think I’ll keep wearing it into the fall and winter because it smells so good, because it makes me feel so good and besides, every season needs a little ‘chic’ in it.

L'eau Chic is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for1 ml.