…by Jean-Claude Ellena
Top note: bergamot
Base notes: iris, hedione, hawthorn, heliotrope
L’Eau d’Hiver (“winter water”) may be the most comforting fragrance there is.
Almondy scents, like heliotrope blossom and almond extract itself, have a uniquely comforting effect on me–aromatherapy, if you will. I’m not quite sure why. I could say “Grandma’s baking,” or maybe Grandma’s cherry-almond Jergens lotion, that iconic scent of boomer childhoods. At any rate, I love the smell. And I’m in particular need of comfort now, due to the sooner-than-expected loss of my beloved cat Esmerelda, done in by kidney disease at the age of 11. And I can say with confidence that Ez would have approved of today’s review. She once came nosing around while I was sampling a candied-almond fragrance (L’Artisan’s Jour de Fete, for those keeping score at home), sniffed the sample vial, and burst into purring. I’ve never had a cat react that positively to a perfume before. (This was not Ez’s only assistance with perfume sampling. When I was sniffing Annick Goutal’s citrusy Eau du Sud, she raced up, grabbed the sample card, tossed it up in the air, and raced away.)
So. On to L’Eau d’Hiver. Winter is my least favorite season, so I approached this scent with some trepidation. Would it have a chilling effect? There is a breath of freshness at first, due to the bergamot (a particularly fresh form of citrus) and hedione (an aromachemical used to impart radiance to fragrances). The opening is cool and delicate, like a thin rind of ice, but the body of the scent is warm. The heliotrope (also known as “cherry-pie flower” because of its scent) gives it that almond quality I love, but the scent is still delicate, not doughy or cloying. For some reason, this scent smells “periwinkle” to me, a pale lavender-blue. Which happens to be my favorite color. So, all in all, this is a winner for me.
Let’s do our 3 Criteria (remember them?? Seems like a long time since I did a perfume review. Or any post, for that matter.)
Personality: I’m not sure it’s exactly “me,” since it’s such a pastel scent. But it has such a personal effect on me, it might qualify for that reason alone.
Comfort level: Comfort in a bottle.
Rating: 5 out of 5