Diving into Aquatic Scents

Diving into Aquatic Scents

  As we move into April, we might be bracing ourselves for some more wet days ahead (though the weather so far this year has perhaps been a little too mixed for such predictions!). In any case, at Les Senteurs we’ve decided to prepare for rainy days by focussing on Aquatics (sometimes referred to as Marine fragrances). This modern fragrance family does not usually evoke thoughts of English rain, but sea, lakes, rivers, and streams. Perfumers uses a variety of natural and synthetic materials to create this effect. For many people Aquatic scents will represent hot summer days on the beach or a sense of freshness following an indulgent bathing regime. Many aquatics use calone, a synthetic ingredient that creates the effect of a gentle sea-breeze with its aroma. From shaky beginnings Aquatic fragrances have developed into a particularly eloquent style of perfumery. These clean, fresh scents were particularly fashionable in the 1990s, in fitting with the chic minimal aesthetic that was becoming so popular. Perfume connoisseurs who remember the first aquatics will appreciate how much the genre has developed over the past 30 years, being used to create a wide variety of olfactive silhouettes. 

Aquatics combine beautifully with other fragrance families due to their lightness. This makes them an excellent choice if one wishes to layer fragrances. This technique is can be applied in the same way that we layer our clothes (particularly at this time of year when changeable weather can mean that it can be best to prepare for any eventuality). Much as you might choice to layer the items of clothes that complement each other in colour and style, you can choose fragrances with complementary notes. Discover more about how to apply this technique effectively by reading our earlier blog, and then maybe you’ll want to give it a try yourself!

Woody notes are often used to complement aquatic notes - for a seaside scent elements such as cedar, sandalwood and amber can be used to great effect. Aquatic scents will often use ‘saltier’ ingredients such as seawood, oakmoss or cedarwood to achieve a marine freshness. For example, the base notes in Sel Marin by Heeley, an unsurpassed aquatic, evoke thoughts of vetiver, cedarwood and birch drying in the warm Mediterranean sun. This scent is a gentle sea breeze captured in a fragrance. A bright note of lemon initially pierces the senses, and the fades to cool marine greens. Another example of a serene oceanic scent is Erolfa by Creed, with uplifting nautical-inspired notes. At the heart of this suave scent are ginger and pepper notes which blend beautifully with the marine notes, and an ambery cedar base that gives this fragrance a certain presence and gravitas. Other Aquatics produce a more tropical aroma, conjuring visions of rosy sunsets and cocktails by the sea. Tudo Azul by Anima Vinci is one such fragrance, perfect for the perfume lover who enjoys fruity notes. An energising, carefree fragrance inspired by the Brazilian caipirinha cocktail. Opening with a vivid lime note, this scent is an uplifting sea breeze blended with a touch of tropical rum. Underlying this is a dancing vetiver, contrasting with the fresh nature of the fragrance. A scent that undulates predictably like an ocean wave.


A freshwater fragrance, on the other hand, might benefit more from floral attributes, such as magnolias or water lilies. Silver Mountain Water created by the House of Creed is an excellent example of a freshwater scent. Inspired by the Swiss Alps, this light modern scent has notes of Chinese green tea, black currant and silver birch creating a refreshing aroma, which captures the purity of a snowy mountain top. It is sure to make the wearer confident but relaxed, urban yet inspired by nature. Au Lac by Eau d’Italie uses water lily, rose bud and jasmine petals, alongside a crisp aquatic note, to create the impression of a garden of gorgeous white flowers blooming on the shores of Lake Como.


Floral notes can also have oceanic associations: Fior Fiore also by Eau d’Italie uses floral notes to conjure the enchanting memory of warm summer nights spent by the ocean. Delicate top notes of green and golden pear combined with lily of the valley open to a gorgeous, creamy floral heart - the exquisite scent of Sirenuse jasmine will stay with you all year round. 

Some Aquatic scents do not carry associations of oceans, lakes, or rivers, but are simply refreshing. One such scent is the exquisite Couleur Primaire by Les Eaux Primordiales which creates an aromatic impression of freshly-washed laundry, glinting white cleanliness and well-being. Jasmine, musc and aldehydes make this a joyful, fresh scent ideal for the rejuvenating season of spring.


All of these examples illustrate the exciting and ever-changing nature of Aquatic fragrances. They are versatile, combining and crossing through many different fragrance families. Some might bring a sea breeze of nostalgia and cause memories of seaside summers to drift across your mind each time you smell it; others can energise and revitalise like an ocean spray, bringing a clean, refreshing sparkle to even the most urban environment, transporting you to a sun-drenched beach even when it seems like a distant dream.

Explore our full range of Aquatics here




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