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There are not all that many heliotrope-themed fragrances around and so a comparison with the inaugural one, Après L'Ondée, feels unavoidable. However, L'Eau d'Hiver is no simple imitation: it is muskier, its jasmine is far more indolic (though as part of a quieter floral section overall), and L'Eau d'Hiver has a completely different consistency to Après L'Ondée, even if they do share the same palette of dove-like hues. L'Eau d'Hiver feels and smells increasingly like a pale honey as it dries down, threatening to obscure its almond cadences completely. It is not at all unpleasant, this musky nectar. But the problem with L'Eau d'Hiver – which feels like it has taken its ghostly Guerlain predecessor as a sort of negative guide – is that it has the strong whiff of artificiality about it and its notes feel unnaturally prolonged, especially when compared to Ellena's evanescent, entirely natural smelling, Angéliques Sous La Pluie. This, unfortunately, smells a little plasticky.
01st March, 2011