If you like your perfume to be subtle; preferably cold, and wistful – but not old-fashioned – then you might want to try L’Eau d’Hiver, a gentle and melancholy scent authored by that most minimalist of perfumers, Jean Claude Ellena. A chill of winter: bergamot, angelica, and a delicately ozonic note of ice-blanketed fields, as you gaze, incuriously, from the upstairs window, cradling tea.
The watery, woodish heart of the perfume – floral touches of iris, hawthorn, carnation and white heliotrope – lend touches of reassuringly honeyed reminiscence with their soothing notes of vanillic caramel. They are notes, however, that are attenuated: sad, muted watercolours, as if seen from memory or frosted glass.
The delicate, soft transparency to L’Eau D’Hiver, this beautiful, wan smile of pale, sugar-dusted almonds, is appealing initially as a comforting touchstone. Eventually, all this fades, however, to nothing more than a sweet, featureless note of self-effacing colourlessness.
For the timid, and those who steadfastly plough their quiet and steely self assurance yet want a marker, this scent has a place, though. For the poetic. Shy, bookish girls in love with Sylvia Plath.