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This is a tough one, largely because it's weak. I searched far and wide for a sample of the non-Fraiche version, and eagerly hoped for a grayish-blue herbal aquatic like Bombay Sapphire Infusion. The opening is really well-done: crisp cucumber, juniper, herbs, and just a trace of mint face off against strong but completely un-sweet aqua notes. It has a little bit of the Blenheim-style herbs that I dislike, but not much. Very alpine, sharp, and bracing. It's not quite what I expected...more earthy and less surreal than the original, with more trees and less ocean than I predicted. It weakens faster than you'd expect, but the piney sting remains for a relatively long time. It has just the tiniest bit of violet to sweeten it, which I don't think is necessary at all but isn't enough to do any harm. Very natural pine in the end, but surprisingly weak, so I'm tending to group it mentally with the short-lived moist bitter green genre. I'll grant a reluctant thumbs-up because the natural pine base is unique.
07 October, 2012