Experience the Mystery of the Sea with New Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection Eau de Toilette
Maybe it’s because I grew up in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, where the beach was always just a stone’s throw away or because, as a kid, my father cultivated his love of sailing and, as a result, packed up his entire family nearly every weekend for a new seafaring adventure, or maybe it’s because my mother was always so enamored by the ocean that she’d spend hours painting sandy expanses and crashing waves, but, whatever the reason, I feel the most serene, joyful, and pure when I’m by the ocean. And, since fragrances are so deeply personal, since they appeal to our emotions, romantic sensibilities, fantasies, and memories, it’s only logical that I’d be drawn to aquatic scents. Over the years, this has certainly rung true as I adored and frequently wore Giorgio Armani’s Acqua di Gio (the women’s version, of course) throughout my late teens and later became smitten with Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue EDT. Now, I have a new sea siren seducing me with her scent: the Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection Eau de Toilette ($98 at Nordstrom.com, NeimanMarcus.com, and SaksFifthAvenue.com).
But what does it mean when we describe a scent as “aquatic”? After all, the ocean mist may have a light salt-tinged aroma, but that’s hardly the scent replicated by most fine fragrances described as “aqueous” or “aquatic.” Well, in the end, it’s less about developing an aromatic clone and more about creating a mood — in other words, the key is to capture the sensation of an ocean breeze against your face and shoulders, to remind you of the lullaby produced by the ebb and flow of the tide and the waves crashing against the shore, of the the sense of freedom and happiness felt when the sun kisses our skin or sand covers our toes. And yes, to an extent, it involves the usage of dewy and watery fruits that will give the scent it’s fresh feel. In the case of Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue, that watery yet sunny feel is created via top notes of Granny Smith apple and Sicilian lemon. Elie Saab’s Le Parfum Resort Collection EDT, however, incorporates a more unique combination of fruity top notes to achieve the desired effect, combining the juicy sweetness of mandarin oranges with the lush, ripe, earthy, slightly milk scent of figs. The choice of fig as a top note proves genial in that it instantly transports us to the Mediterranean (Romans were known to feast on these sweet and fleshy fruits) and, when paired with the joyful, mouth0watering mandarin note, specifically places us within a sun-drenched coastal area such as the French Riviera or the Amalfi Coast.
Next, the notes at the fragrance’s heart begin to radiate, evoking a sense of romance, luxury, and femininity. Chief among these notes is orange blossom, which is the signature note within the Elie Saab Le Parfum collection. An extremely popular note within the world of fragrance, orange blossom is extracted from the white petals of the flowering bitter orange tree. In this aromatic composition, the note evokes the sensation of a warm breeze blowing through a blossoming orange grove, the air tinged with the sweet and zesty aroma of the flower petals. There’s a vitality and an exuberance to the note, but it’s not an adolescent giddiness — it’s a self-assured, tranquil, grounded joy. It’s the warmth of the sun against your cheeks as you close your eyes and tilt your head backward to better soak up the rays. When married with the romantic feel of white jasmine and the exotic glamour and tropical allure of frangipani, the floral bouquet further magnifies the sensation of being on a fabulous summer getaway.
The base notes of amber and cedar, meanwhile, give the fragrance its staying power and add a bit more luminosity and an irresistible sultriness to the aroma.
Master perfume Francis Kurkdjian hoped that this fragrance would be released in “waves,” each capturing a specific moment within a narrative — like a series of snapshots (or Instagram photos, if you will) that together reveal one cohesive story. And, as usual, Kurkdjian was extremely successful in accomplishing his goal — in fact, part of the fragrance’s allure is that it never seems to come to a standstill but, instead, constantly shifts, morphs, evolves, and transcends. There’s always a new chapter in the story, a new fleeting moment in a complex, ever-changing, nuanced, and compelling narrative. The ocean is rife with mystery, its currents change in intensity, its surface topography constantly subject to change due to winds and tides, the sun’s rays reflected off its surface in a plethora of directions. In that sense, this is probably the truest olfactory homage to the aquatic realm. As you wear this fragrance, then, you will embark on a journey filled with fleeting moments — thankfully each moment is radiant and majestic like the ocean itself.