Notes: grapefruit, mandarin, rosemary, salt flower, dune flower, cypress, gorse, coconut, rose, heather, maritime pine, broom, floated wood.
Côte d’Amour, the follow-up to L’Eau de Jatamansi in L’Artisan Parfumeur’s organic line, is at once more and less than its predecessor. It is marginally more potent, assertive, and lasting, yet also a degree less distinctive. Like L’Eau de Jatamansi, Côte d’Amour demonstrates the beauty to be found in simple, natural top notes. Where the first scent had bergamot and cardamom, the second has mandarin and rosemary, equally luscious, rounded and balanced. The citrus notes endure for about fifteen minutes – not long, but about 50% longer than L’Eau de Jatamansi’s.
The next phase is a milky-sweet accord of coconut and rose with some vaguely defined woods in the background. While the echo of rosemary lingers, it prevents this arrangement from becoming unrelievedly sweet. The herbal note’s eventual full retreat leaves the composition smelling both slightly unbalanced and a touch too close to suntan lotion for my full enjoyment, though by this time Côte d’Amour has dwindled to a very mild skin scent. A little while on, and the coconut too drifts away, which relieves the Coppertone effect and cedes the drydown to a mélange of creamy woods and a faint suggestion of rose. Even this is gone within three hours, no matter how thoroughly I douse myself.
Marketing a scent this fleeting as an eau de toilette pushes the envelope, if you ask me, but at least the 8 oz. jug that Côte d’Amour comes in acknowledges its ephemeral nature. Like its predecessor, Côte d’Amour is pleasant, but not perhaps memorable enough to counterbalance the limited strength and endurance. Less so, in fact, than L’Eau de Jatamansi, since its middle section flirts too closely with suntan lotion banality.
11th June, 2014 (last edited: 12th June, 2014)
This is a great "dirty" scent, it's unexplicable why l'Artisan discontinued it. If you want a scent very different from the mass-market, here it is.
Top notes of verbena, something sweet (maybe vanilla? I really don't know), and also a "dirt" note that works quite well. A gentle aquatic note drifts in after a few minutes, softened by the vanilla-esque sweet note. Almost smells like coconut at one point. Despite the fact that it uses fairly common notes, it uses them incredibly well and in a way that still makes this scent unique. Definitely worth looking into. Should be noted that the vanilla makes it slightly feminine.
Let me start off by saying that this is a really enjoyable scent. It stands out, it smells nice, and it's very pleasant and very sniffable. I think it most certainly showcases the talent of Céline Ellena. It's just "not me." It is just a wee bit too feminine in a floral and powdery way. In that region of perfumery, my comfort limit is probably Kenzo Power. If you can imagine a seaside version of Kenzo Power with a bit more exposure of the florals, a bit more restraint on the powder, and only a hint of woody and traditionally masculine notes, you would have something close to Côte d'Amour.
The fragrance starts off with a fresh aromatic and slightly floral feel, which is quite nice. I detect some subtle notes which feel a lot like its sister scent, L'Eau de Jatamansi - but in a very nice familial homage way, not in a copying way. This may be the grapefruit and mandarin. In any case, it is a bit "zingy" (Mike P.'s word), but not quite as much as Jatamansi. It has that same clarity which foetidus noted in Jatamansi, too. As the scent progresses, it provides a significant shot of powder/soap. This is very sniffable, and it does seem to capture one's full attention. It is not at all incompatible with the maritime image. There is actually a bit of sillage - it was competing successfully with dog odor as my dog, overdue for a bath, was riding around with me in the truck. I don't detect a lot of wood in the drydown. The base is extremely subtle, but nice. I know that other reviewers get a strong marine or salt component for the duration of the scent, but I really only get a mild (but long-lived) maritime presence. This may be due to my skin. Nevertheless, I do get a very strong white and blue association with the scent - a color theme very successfully exploited by the scent's packaging. I initially feared some kind of sea monster - perhaps a beast called "Caloone" - but no - there is nothing here to fear.
This scent gives me the image of a beautiful woman on the deck of a ship in the morning breeze, while the sun is still low and obscured by lingering clouds. She's clean, and fresh, and wearing a white terrycloth robe. The wind blows her hair, and she smiles as she leans against the railing and looks out over the ocean, waiting just a bit before she plots a new course to somewhere exciting and adventurous. Meanwhile, I'm on the shore, skipping rocks, walking my dog, and breathing in my Sel de Vétiver. I imagine what it must be like to be on a ship. We will never meet, but it's OK. C'est l'amour.