Opens with a plastic-y orange candy note that sits unintegrated on top of the rest of the composition. The orange note never really seems to mesh with the skin. It also doesn't begin to integrate with the heart and base until well after an hour. The drydown is very pleasant and earthy, dusty and woody, and natural. On top of it, though, the contrast of the artificiality of the orange note never quite goes away. The orange almost "feels" sticky on my skin, and occasionally still wafts up, unintegrated, from the earthy base in a cloying way that I just want to stop. Unfortunately, I find this contrast to be unrefined. Too bad, too, because the base is really very nice, earthy and original.
I'll cut to the chase. It's an aquatic, post-AquadiGio fragrance--very fresh perhaps, very run of the mill as well. Nothing more. I'll take my mint in dryer, cleaner, less cheap, young and tangy forms. (see Ralph Lauren Safari for an interesting eucalyptus-y manly barbershop mintiness--yeah!)
On paper, the scent had a little bit of a dirty edge underneath that I thought would elevate this fragrance above the aquatic fray. On my skin, though, (the counter woman insisted I try something "new"), those edgier elements are nonexistent. I could easily be wearing lacoste (in)essential, or any of the other tangy aquatics out there.
Sorry, not for me. Could be generically used in place of a number of fresh aquatics by the 25 and under crowd, though. And for that, it gets a neutral. Not offensive, just absolutely no use to me.
Agreeing with a few previous reviews, this is certainly a fragrance that is skin-specific (IMO the best are).
On me, it does open with a sharp lemoniness, albeit a very pleasant one. (I can't imagine how this would open as smooth and warm on anyone...the drydown perhaps--the opening, no way). It has a near girliness that actually comes off well on many masculine guys (think balance...offsetting the manliness). It reminds me very very much of the early 70s lemoniness of Love's Fresh Lemon that groovy girls at the time would wear, including my older sister. Very straightforward fresh squeezed citrus. Its other sharpness is not dissimilar to a bugspray kind of sharpness, but, again, I enjoy this edgy freshness. In this sense, it has a unisex quality that's fun and sexy for a macho guy to wear casually.
Then the honeyed notes come through, balancing and warming, and remain to pin down the rest of the drydown. The ivy notes maintain a nice green edge through the drydown. The citrus impressively maintains its presence. The drydown is summer southern nocturnal floral--warm, sparkling and lemony.
It is one of the scents where the notes listed are clearly articulated and detected. In that sense, it is not highly integrated or refined. But it is exactly this casual quality that makes it a "weekend" fragrance, no?
Somewhat unisex, it is sexy on dark-featured guy who can use the freshening balance. It is an underrated casual citrus, and one of my favorites.
I finally finished my bottle, and it was well timed for me to graduate to something more mature. While I had it, though, I enjoyed it and received compliments. Good, safe office scent for the under 35 set.
Manages to be fresh without being overly aquatic, not an easy feat for late 90s scents. Its green notes are soft, not sour or sharp. Its florals are fresh and dewy, not powdery. Its mintiness and conifer notes are, again, not sharp, but are clean. Meant to evoke an alpine meadow, and, to me, it feels like that.
Great longevity for a fresh scent. However, could only be considered sexy in that safe, neutered 90s kind of way, which I've moved beyond. This makes it inessential and gets a neutral rating at this point because of it. If you're young and want fresh, clean, soft and natural (not synthetic), it is recommended.
This was chosen for me as a gift by my then companion during my year abroad in 1990-91. He had Cool Water, which was, at the time, wonderful (first I'd encountered it), because it hadn't "arrived" in the States yet, and, not yet being ubiquitous, was tremendously sexy for a guy in his 20s. So he chose Relax for me.
Now, to Relax. Yuck. The drydown is too powdery for me. It has a complexity that doesn't feel well integrated, but overdone. The powderiness has a cloying quality that makes it almost unbearable in warm weather. The patchouli/amber feels too rich and aromatic and sweet.
The astringent ingredients don't seem to keep this one clean. The sweeter and spicier notes dominate in the blend, and could really use that offset to keep it clean. That lack of cleanliness makes me only yearn for the craft of the much-maligned Cool Water even more (but one can't wear the same as one's companion). alas, I had to wait until the year was up to ditch this one.
Take away any drydown, and you have a very successful, juicy fresh citrus, which never comes off as lemon pledge, and never has an "aquatic accord" quality. It is, however, "wet". The first time I smelled this on somebody, at grad school, they came in on a rainy day, and this wonderful lemon and tangerine splash refreshingly projected from them. very attractive. I indirectly, through a girl, found out what it was and immediately went out and got a small bottle. I really enjoyed that bottle. It's an easy fresh fragrance that doesn't require a commitment, can be used liberally. Not great longevity, but not terrible for a fragrance with so little base. Good projection for a citrus, while the top and midnotes last. Perfect for casual settings where more complex or longlasting drydowns aren't wanted.
Never rebought, because I got older and felt I could get that freshness from Burberry Weekend, plus a more mature grounding. Still, now writing this, I may go pick up another small bottle again, just for those rainy, wet days, for which it is the olfactory equivalent of wearing a crisp lemon yellow rainjacket.
I have come to live for the drydown of Eau Sauvage, and getting older is worth it just to be able to finally wear a masterpiece such as this one.
I was born the year this was released, and my early and mid 70s memories as a kid were of this being the fragrance to graduate to for my older brothers, whose lady companions would give it as a gift and swoon about it when they'd wear it. I do remember it (the drydown) as peppery, tarry yet fresh, still with a bit of lemon, very memorable. As a kid, that became the scent of being a sexy guy, at least for my family's body chemistry.
Unfortunately, there IS the fabled slight fecal quality that you really have to give in to to finally "get" eau sauvage. Once past that, it has a tremendous, clean earthiness. the vetiver here is a resinous vetiver that still maintains a freshness from the herbs and, remarkably, the lemon somehow. And it never, never gets powdery. Mostly, though, it is that peppery resin. I love it, love it. Classy but earthy, clean but a little dirty, astringent but resinous, dark but sparkling at the same time. Sex. Not for under 25, unless you're settled and down to earth. Dress up with it, or wear it dressed down, it will meld with you. That is to me what a great fragrance should do, transform your own natural skin character.
This is truly classic, and I'm happy that it finally works truly successfully on my skin. I feel really good and grounded when I wear this. No going back now.
wow. I hesitate to rave about safari, because I don't want anybody else to rediscover this as I recently have. I'd smelled it on others and really liked it back then, but didn't think it would suit me. Now, at a youthful 41, I tried this on my own skin. It's exactly what I've been looking for but didn't know existed. It's masculine, fresh, but not cheap or fruity or 'watery', or 'accord'-like. It's so well integrated, no notes dominate. although not listed as a note, there is an integrated mintiness, in an old school masculine but timeless way. I have found a standard fragrance for years to come, i believe. Unless I burn out on it or they change it. I read one person say they think they had tweaked it. can anybody else vouch for this? Anyway, I'm hooked.
25th November, 2007 (last edited: 19th April, 2008)
A friend of mine gave me the better part of a bottle of this. He said it didn't suit him but he thought I might like it. I do. It's casual, fresh, clean. Not a classic, but easy to wear. I can spray it on without worrying about being overpowering.
Unsung hero of sport fragrances. Clean but not too fruity or watery as the trend has been for a few years now. The drydown and basenotes stay 'green' and fresh.