As I go through my time learning about perfume materials there are little factoids, I file away to use in a future review. Some of them are so interesting to me, as a chemist, that I want to find a perfume so that I can trot it out. One I learned about last summer had to do with seaweed absolute. As aquatic perfumes have evolved, I have been happy to see newer versions more willing to go against the “fresh and clean” quality which launched the genre towards something more realistic. One of the ways is to use seaweed absolute to provide a more realistic scent of the shore at low tide. The predominant scent it provides to perfume is a vegetal briny effect. By itself it provides that powerfully. What was really amazing was a trick the chemist I was with showed me. When you take a drop of the absolute and spread it out on a strip you can detect a hint of jasmine in-between the iodine and the vegetation. It turns out that in this specific variety of seaweed they have found through chemical analysis a small percentage of methyl jasmonate. The scientist’s mind was afire with how nature would do this. I also knew I was going to write about it as soon as I found a perfume which used seaweed absolute. That time has come with Berdoues Azur Riviera.
Azur Riviera is part of the Grand Cru collection within Berdoues. I have found this collection to be above average versions of well-known styles of perfumes. They tend to be simply constructed good fragrance. Sometime that is all anyone needs. As the name portends it is meant to capture the scent of the French Riviera. In that sense it is a typical Mediterranean type of fragrance with sea spray and ozonic notes over florals. The difference is the use of seaweed absolute as the base note. Perfumer Jean-Marie Sanantoni uses it to provide a slightly different twist on this style of fragrance.
The first two-thirds of Azur Riviera is familiar territory. The top accord is that beachside accord of ocean and wind. The florals chosen are a lively orange blossom and an expansive jasmine. Then M. Santantoni brings in the seaweed absolute. This provides a more grounded brininess than the top accord version. This is seaweed that has freshly been washed up glistening with the ocean water on it. It adds a bit of nature to the fantasy beach milieu. What I enjoy, and I admit this might be my overactive imagination, is how the jasmine seems to find a place within the iodine and brine.
Azur Riviera has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
Like all the other Grand Cru releases this is another above average version of the style of perfume they are making. What attracted me to it was my chemist’s curiosity at the jasmine within the seaweed.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Sephora.