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Bottle Full of Sunshine — AERIN Waterlily Sun Eau de Parfum

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Like most people trudging through the frigid months of January and February in the Northern states, I’m beginning to come down with a case of the winter blues. It doesn’t help that I grew up in sunny Puerto Rico, where temperatures rarely drop below 70 degrees and snow is a literal impossibility, and that, despite over 15 years studying and working in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York, I’ve never become accustomed to the cold. Once you add the fact that it turns dark at 3:30 p.m., it’s easy to see why people’s spirits dim around this time of year and glum-looking countenances abound. But, rather than be consumed by the winter blues you need to find ways to lift those spirits — and you’d be surprised how vital a role fragrances can play in invigorating the mind and soul. Sometimes, it seems, you can — and should — follow your nose.

 Which leads me to the newest addition to the AERIN Fragrance Collection, a scent that embodies optimism and joie de vivre. AERIN Founder and Creative Director Aerin Lauder says the AERIN Waterlily Sun Eau de Parfum ($110 at NeimanMarcus.com) was inspired by “the waterlilies of the gardens of Giverny” and hence “reflects the tranquility of a peaceful place: quiet, warm with sunshine, and filled with beautiful gardens.” The scent, then, was rooted in one of Lauder’s childhood memories: that of visiting the Japanese-inspired water garden owned by painter Claude Monet, the serene place he so often immortalized in his romantic watercolors.

It’s challenging to capture the feelings evoked by a personal memory through a fragrance and yet, when you smell Waterlily Sun, you can imagine yourself admiring the wisteria-covered, jade green-colored, beech wood Japanese bridge arching over Monet’s water garden, weeping willow trees on either side of the walkway and, below it, a serene pond with lush nymphaeas floating on the water’s surface.

There’s a distinctly aqueous quality to the scent but it’s reminiscent of a standing body of water — not of salty oceans or rushing rivers — so that there’s a serenity conveyed by that watery element. Floral notes, meanwhile, make the aroma feel delicate and feminine, but they’re subtle in nature, enveloped by the watery notes, so that it almost feels like you’re smelling the air in which these blossoms naturally thrive, as opposed to clutching a bouquet of these flowers and pressing it against your nose. And to give the scent a sunny disposition, a hint of citrus is added to the aromatic composition.

The AERIN Waterlily Sun EDP, then, contains Sicilian bergamot and lush dewy garden top notes that lead to a jasmine sambac and waterlily heart. A hint of creamy musk, meanwhile, tempers the sweeter, more feminine notes, giving it a creamy, carnal base.

Packaged in a sleek, clear rectangular bottle, the perfume features a golden neck and gilded accents that reflect the buoyant, dreamy, hopeful nature of the scent, while the cap is adorned with a jade-like stone that feels apropos given the Japanese inspiration of Monet’s garden design and the color of the bridge he had erected therein.

Every time I smell this luxurious aroma, my spirits are lifted and I’m reminded that, despite the snow in the forecast, spring really is right around the corner and, with it, the rebirth of blossoms like the ones in Monet’s special garden.

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