When I first moved to New England and the Florida boy was grumping about the lack of beaches; I was told that I would come to appreciate the rocky coastline. In the height of summer that was never exactly true. I wanted soft grainy sand to lay out on not craggy outcrops. Where it became true was when we would venture out late in the fall, north towards Maine. With some chill in the air as we would walk along the rocks, hopping from one to the other, there was a complex scent in the air as the minerality of the rocks mixed with the sea spray. Along with bright late fall sunshine this was an aquatic kind of perfume I could want. Just as I headed into the fall of this year I received my sample of L’Artisan Parfumeur Un Air de Bretagne which reminded me of those rocky coastlines.
Un Air de Bretagne was based on what I think is the French equivalent to Maine; the Brittany coast. Perfumer Juliette Karagueuzoglou uses many of the popular ingredients you fine in the aquatic style of perfume but she manages to give them a little more heft evoking the fall rather than the apex of summer.
The best example of her adding something to the ordinary comes right at the beginning as Calone is part of the sea spray accord. Calone is this classic ingredient but in Un Air de Bretagne M. Karagueuzoglou wants to capture a more kinetic crash of big waves against the algae covered boulders. So, she adds some of those green algae-like accords along with a kind of iodized note. It takes the Calone and transforms it into something different than almost every other fragrance which relies on it. There is more energy to it as the melon-like quality is covered over by the green and mineral aspects. She perfectly captures that fall day when the spray hangs heavier in the air. A softer style of green comes as neroli comes out of the sea spray and sends the perfume towards a base of ambergris and cedar.
Un Air de Bretagne has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
I have mentioned many times how much the aquatic genre has evolved, especially over the last three or four years. Un Air de Bretagne is one of those next generation aquatics. I have become a fan of the genre again because some of our most talented perfumers are finding new ways to display old tropes. M. Karagueuzoglou has shown that there is still plenty to explore on the rocky coastline of Un Air de Bretagne.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by L’Artisan Parfumeur.