ALL hail the Classic(s)…
Summer is ultimately about sun. Often sun comes with water; in the form of beaches, pools and lakes. There is a casual ease about the long rambling days of summer as the cool morning air melts under a softly pulsating sun which kisses the air with its lusty warmth.
Summer is a time when even the most uptight Brit dons colorful pants and strips down to his swimming briefs (god forbid) to enjoy the water and soak up the fun.
Summer is also the time for forbidden romances—when weeks of dieting after the winter holidays gives way to sorbets and ice-cream; where a flash of your girlfriend or wife tanning as she lays down remind you of naughty desires; when the smell of coconut, salt and wafts of summer food, alcohol and pheromones fills the air.
In an earlier post TGG waxed poetic on the ins and outs of summer scents (here) and featured citrusy concoctions from Le Labo and Santa Maria Novella to a true wonder: salty air and sun-tan lotion-scented cologne from CB I Hate Perfume.
Fruits and flowers are an easy stretch of the imagination for colognes; but there is another genre, which we will call “aquatic cyphres” that bring the crisp, steely and refreshing aspects of water (or what we think of water anyway) to the fore. It is a genre almost singe-handedly created by Pierre Bourdon who in 1988 took the world by storm with his concoction for a cigar-house and called it “Davidoff Cool Water”.
In the last breaths of the 1980’s came a new meme onto a world; a world full of possibilities one which was to shed things like floppy disks and cassettes for the Internet and the iPod. That meme was “Cool Water”- with racy ads, a full media blitz and it’s lingering sexy smell it was the equivalent of a song that at first you love then love to hate. No kid in America missed this phenomenon and if you were in middle school or high-school a coveted bottle or an erstwhile splash guaranteed you would become your school’s Casanova. It was an aphrodisiac, a statement, an emotional sentiment- it also spawned many imitators, all fabulous perfumes on their own right such as Aqua de Loewe, Aqua di Gio, Polo Blue and Dolce & Gabbana Blue: all reversed engineered versions of the original.
All perfumes are self-identifiers, markers of emotion and this is what makes them great. Pick a bottle of this up; albeit bashfully, and splash some on the way out to the market, the beach, lunch or for the night bar-hopping—you will see the response.
The top notes of lavender, herbals, citrus and jasmine with a heavy aquatic nose recede to reveal middle notes of sandalwood (ever so slightly in order to remind you this is a male scent after all), musk and cedar. It’s ethereal.
“’What is that?’ is the most common response by women of a certain age…” says one of our contributors who we’ll call ‘Jay,’ “… a whole generation of women came of age and discovered their sexuality with men wearing cool water; it’s an immediate smell-association thing…” Of course it can backfire and moreover no where was Cool Water more popular than in the states; but nevertheless it’s allure does translate. All you need is a nose.
GG Classification: Spring/Summer
Recommended for: sunrise through sunset- possible catnip (or a slap in the face). Oh and definitely go light on it! Many women remember Cool Water as being a very “strong” scent but they moistly remember it from the their youth when guys usually spray waaay to much on…