4/3/12

Eau Sauvage (Dior)



True story: last year I dated an American woman who lives five minutes away from my current residence. We went together for about eight or nine weeks, and then I foolishly moved in with her (it helped that we were friends for two years prior to dating). Our relationship was predicated on a mutual love of travel, and culture, and adventure. We both wanted to visit Japan. Her father lived and worked in Japan, and her home was full of Japanese souvenirs. The idea of going together to this foreign land was very compelling, but not compelling enough. I lived with her for about four months, and our relationship steadily deteriorated during that time. When I finally moved out we held on for another month, and then I ended it. One major point of contention was that somehow, in this short span, her attitude toward visiting Japan went from a chirpy "we'll do it the minute we're ready," to a dour "we don't have enough money, and when exactly do you suppose we will?", to a downright bitter "we'll never be able to go, it's not worth talking about anymore."

I could get into the intricacies of this tonal transformation, but it's boring. What happened following my lawyerless divorce, however, is rather interesting: I decided the same day as the breakup that I wanted to try my hand at a relationship with a Japanese woman. I figured, hell, I had a long relationship with a Polish woman once, and for all its calamities, it was far more rewarding than this futile stint with an American. And I want to visit Japan, so why not consider incorporating Japan into my love life?

About two months later I received an email out of the blue from a Japanese marriage agency that I had enrolled in several years earlier, and completely forgotten. The header read: Japanese Lady Interested in Contacting You. I checked it out, and sure enough, a well-educated travel agent in Osaka was interested in meeting me. I wrote to her. She wrote back. This went on for several months. Then, out of the same blue, this woman tells me she wants to visit me, and is flying into New York City. She's staying at a hotel. She wants to try her hand at a relationship with an American man. And she eventually wants this American man to return the favor and visit her in Osaka, a trip considerably more affordable than Tokyo. This ticket may be writing itself.

With this development, I began to ponder many things - how's my Japanese these days? (Horrendous.) Will I have to bow whenever we meet? (Maybe.) She's serious as a heart attack about this - am I? (Yes.) What fragrance should I wear when we meet?

That last question is probably the least pressing concern, but for the sake of my blog, I'll make it the focus here. For whatever reason - I'm not sure why - the same fragrance keeps popping into my head: Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior.

Eau Sauvage is a rare bird. Tailored after classical unisex Eau de Colognes, Edmond Roudnitska's masterpiece has weathered the many style storms of the last forty-six years to come out well ahead of anything released in the last fifteen or twenty. It's just that good. The citrusy lemon and bergamot top-to-heart structure balances coriander, basil, jasmine (Hedione, in its mainstream debut), oakmoss, vetiver, patchouli, and musk with such delicacy and finesse that it seems to incorporate the very aura of spring and summer into its character. It wears close to the skin, which makes it unobtrusive, and its spartan freshness is unlikely to offend. Eau Sauvage has the added benefit of smelling incredibly adult, very "grown man" without being stuffy, and light enough to avoid seeming dire (Encre Noire it's not). Eau Sauvage is a safe bet, a quality fragrance, and classical enough to smell new. How many young Japanese guys are walking around in Eau Sauvage?




Recent headlines are trumpeting its upcoming flanker, Eau Sauvage Parfum, which is actually an EDP. Evidently this version will feature bergamot up top, myrrh in the heart, and vetiver in the base. It sounds divine. It'll be released a month before my lady friend arrives, so it bears checking out. But even if a Japanese woman isn't coming to visit, anything by Dior bears checking out. Hopefully my local Sephora will stock the EDP concentration, but if not, no biggie. Regular Eau Sauvage is surprisingly inexpensive and readily available. I should own it anyway.

There's no telling how my date will turn out. But if I do choose to wear Eau Sauvage, at least I can't blame my fragrance if things go to shit.

I'm not so sure I can say the same about another potential scent for the occasion, which I'll review next . . .










8 comments:

  1. I actually tried Eau Sauvage last weekend. At the same time I also tried its flanker Eau Sauvage Extreme. Extreme on the back of my left hand, regular on my right. Regular Eau Sauvage opens with an enormous citrus blast that a bit too much for me TBH. I prefer the Extreme version, because of how it smells and because it's longevity on my skin was much better.
    Will I buy Eau Sauvage Extreme? No I don't think so, because I wasn't bowled over by its scent. For Dior-made freshness I prefer Dior Homme Sport, of which I own the original formulation. While at the store I took the opportunity to take a whiff of the new DHS 2012 formulation. Very nice reformulation of the original but it takes some time for the ginger to come through.

    Eau Sauvage Parfum should be interesting to check out too once it's available here.

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    1. Haven't tried DHS, although I understand it's quite good.

      Eau Sauvage is certainly a bit sharp, especially in the first few minutes. EDC-type fragrances tend to be rather harsh. The good ones soften with time. My guess is the parfum version will be a totally different animal altogether.

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  2. Oooh, I'm intrigued about the ending to this story ...

    Eau Sauvage Extreme is my reigning favorite men's cologne, and I like Eau Sauvage a lot. I can see it "translating" to Japanese scent preferences (from what I know of them). And, I hope you get to go to Japan. I had a fantastic time there, and it's nice to see people going post-earthquake, too.

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    1. Yeah, I'll definitely go at some point, regardless of how this turns out. Eau Sauvage Extreme sounds good on paper, but I have a little bit of a negative bias towards anything with the word "extreme" in its name. Kind of sounds silly to me. But yeah, I would think anything in the Eau Sauvage brand would appeal in all countries. Pretty universal stuff.

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  3. I've been sampling Eau Sauvage for the last couple of weeks whenever I could. Pop into a local department store (buy Bottega Veneta for my mum, Tommy Girl for the missus), apply a spritz of Eau Sauvage from the sample bottle and be on my way sniffing away at my wrist. I must say that Eau Sauvage really grew on me.

    So while in France I did like the French, I bought myself a shiny new 100ml bottle of Eau Sauvage EDT with magnetic cap. Eau Sauvage is an excellent warm weather scent, with 80+ °F temperatures in the Jura department I can attest to that. Now back home that "summer in a bottle" sits next to its Parfum brother.

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    1. Thanks for sharing. It grows on you. I was a little surprised to read in the newest "little book" version of The Guide that Sanchez now considers it the same as Lime Basil Mandarin by Jo Malone. Must get me some of that to compare. Meanwhile, I think Eau Sauvage is the best thing to ever happen to me.

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  4. Jo Malone fragrances are not available in the Netherlands which is a shame, I bought my sample from surrendertochance.com

    Lime Basil and Mandarin is very nice, but it is no Eau Sauvage. It's different enough that you will not mix up which one is which.

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    1. Jo Malone is one of those brands that I've had almost no contact with, aside from Red Roses, which is very good. They're not very high-visibility here in CT. I want to try them but I'm not drowning in overwhelming desires to wear Jo Malone fragrances. I've read that they're mostly light, sunny compositions that make pyramids as sheer and stealthy as possible, although that is something I'll have to judge for myself. I'm not surprised that you found LB&M nice but no Eau Sauvage - it's one of those fragrances that is nigh impossible to top.

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