Aquatic floral in the L’eau de Issey vein, though the latter is much louder, where a fug of the usual just-don’t-stop synthetic signifiers of hydrofreshness in perfumery suggests an imaginary blossom. Doesn’t blare as powerfully as some aquatics do, but anyone wanting to part with the money demanded should consider a head examination.
I had thought that the inclusion of “water” in the title suggests that this would be either a light, watery fragrance or an aquatic… the former is the better description. Water Calligraphy has a floral character – the first two times I tested it, I got a sharpness to the accords, which I accepted because I related the sharpness to the ink used in calligraphy. Through subsequent trials, the sharpness has disappeared and the floral character has become floral with its subtle, mixed-flower notes.
The grapefruit rind opening is smooth, pleasant, and short lasting. After the grapefruit zest, I get the floral accord with a prominent water lily and a backgrounded jasmine. Later I think I might be experiencing the magnolia, but I’m not sure. As far as I’m concerned it’s pretty much a water lily heart and water lily / vetiver base, and that is a problem because this particular water lily presentation is rather unspectacular … which is to say it smells like a good quality shampoo. I don’t think of the water lily note as synthetic or juvenile or annoying or unpleasant. It is well-done and enjoyable… but it is not premium. This fragrance could well be a designer offering. I like its aroma, its subtlety, and its excellent longevity ... just not enough to pay niche prices for it.
Faceless and forgettable fruity floral. At this price level I expect more than a facsimile of floral shampoo.
Sorry to be a downer, but I really haven't enjoyed Water Calligraphy very much. It's a fruity floral based on that cheap strawberry shampoo note that Bond No 9 over-uses (you can call it "reseda blossom" all you want, but it's still the ubiquitous smell of 90's fruity shampoo). It's got some pleasant jasmine, but that strawberry dumbs it down enough that it doesn't really appeal to my inner jasmine-fiend. The most interesting aspect is a very wet-smelling leafy green element. It's similar to L'Ombre Dans L'Eau in that way that the greens make it somehow smell wet, but dark and not aquatic. But this isn't enough to save Water Calligraphy from smelling like just another forgettable Bond No 9 fruity floral, which is especially sad coming from a house like By Kilian, which has some fantastic, interesting, and unique perfumes in its line-up.
WC is a mainstream-smelling but still well-done (even if somewhat synthetic) watery musky floral, though I have not seen musk listed as an note anywhere. The water effect that is suggested through the use of water lily and magnolia is a bit metallic, but then again, that is a facet of magnolia itself. Overall, there is just something about this perfume that is evocative of the Bond No. 9 style. I'm specifically thinking of Chelsea Flowers and Wall Street. Ultimately, although WC is unoriginal, it does a good job of being what it is: a watery musky floral. Still, a light hand when applying is in order.