L’Eau Du Navigateur, unfortunately now discontinued but quite findable if you search hard enough, is one of those distinctive and beautiful scents that make my stomach flip. There is nothing else anything else quite like it: a seamless, delicate, composition that is somehow unfathomable, even mystical: the desert, or early evening sunlight, dappling on warm Moroccan terracotta. There is an honesty here: something pure and noble that elevates this smooth, enveloping perfume to a higher plane.
So many of the incense perfumes now on the market seem to seek to recreate the arid religiosity of actual church or temple incense, and they can be one-dimensional, aggressive, even depressing. This, though, which predates that trend by twenty years, is more complex and soulful: a soft, gentle, twilight in an imaginary Damascus.
A light, fresh, and very mellifluous blend of resins, tobacco, spices, citrus and incense; ambery balsamics, and a most inspired base note of coffee absolute (truly wonderful, actually, and the first perfume ever to use this unusual ingredient: lending the composition the sandy, enveloping, and trustful warmth of a kaftan), L’Eau Du Navigateur is a unique, and beautifully androgynous composition with a sillage – God-like, almost – that trails the air around it as if kissed by desert winds.