When I read Sanchez/Turin The Guide I was taken by the idea mentioned in the review of Equipage. It was said to be fashioned after the scent of cold pipe. My mind went to plumbing. The image stuck with me long after I put the review down. Over the course of time, it dawned on me that Turin had meant the kind of pipe you smoke. Not too bright, I know, but it did make me seek out Hermès Equipage, a fragrance I loved from first sniff.
But Serge Lutens has redeemed me! He has made a fragrance that smells like condensation on cold metal pipes. L'Eau Froide smells like cold metal, it smells like a stony brook in autumn, it smells like drinking melted water from a metal camping cup in winter. It's made of frankincense, but it smells like snow.
We use the expression 'skin scent' as a placeholder for a perfume's later stages of coziness, quiet and low sillage. It’s when the scent has faded to the point that you must jam your nose to your wrist to make it out, at which time you're actually smelling your own skin far more than the perfume applied 12 hours prior. 'Skin scent' coziness can be applied to almost any perfume, but it will never be used to refer to l'Eau Froide. L'Eau Froide points out that the scent of live warmth is the true olfactory association with skin, as if we can smell the blood within the flesh.
L'Eau Froide might pass as the scent of a marble bust, but that is as close as it comes to flesh. You'll never mistake it for a skin scent.
18th May, 2015 (last edited: 21st June, 2015)
A beautiful scent, clean and fresh. It is the smell of fresh cotton sheets, and powdery laundry. Slightly starchy, slightly floral and zingy. This smell represents I am clean and a few MPs should invest in it! Or a lot of it, they would probably placed on their MPs expense sheet! All of Serge Lutens fragrances are quality items, they are pricey but when considers the price of Creed Fragrances, they do seem remarkable value.
L'Eau Froide's mentholated frankincense top note is an interesting play on the name ("Cold Water") and on the "chilly" facet of the incense note. Unfortunately, the construct collapses almost immediately into a very ordinary mild white musk drydown that feels more like laundry detergent than a personal fragrance. The clever incense-on-ice idea is executed with far greater flair and conviction in Comme des Garçons' excellent Zagorsk. L'Eau Froide is an intriguing concept that falls short on delivery.
Menthol-balsamic opening, with cedar-incense notes (Iso E), subtle white musks, and a rather generic, pale floral accord. Lutens does Helmut Lang, or Costume National. The menthol-balsamic note is not bad, it has a nice, sharp medicinal vein, a kind of "medical-invigorating-balmy" vibe. A rarefied, thin, white-grey opalescent mood, fascinating itself, and quite thermal too – I think of those ultra-modern trendy pools with Jacuzzis and spa areas. Linalool drydown. Astutely and completely synthetic, not even comparable to "real" Lutens' golden age, but making the effort to judge it as-is, it's – barely – not bad.
Tiger Balm Incense Soap
L'eau Froide opens up distinctly herbally minty fresh - a cross between toothpaste and chinese metholated oil -rub- tiger balm . Thankfully this only lasts a few minutes at most..... before a mild, clean incense comes into play and pushes out the chinese medicine image . Unfortunately for L'eau Froide ,the incense is fleeting and then it becomes a near copy of the original L'eau with a tiny sour edge to it.
Practically identical in the dry down of clean soapy mild musks. L'eau is just a smidgen sweeter, that is all . Unless you huff your arm skin endlessly I doubt anyone would notice.
Dare you smell of chinese headache oil ? Dare you ? I dare not.
Pros: Clean and fresh * zing !! *
Cons: Chinese medicine Vibe in the start"