Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Eau Libre on the Day of the Republic

Eau libre is a long, long discontinued fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent. Launched in 1975, suffering a general lack of success, it was soon discontinued and as such, it's not easy to find.
For some reason, I was obsessed with this fragrance. It slipped under my fingers several times so when I got a miniature for more than I was actually willing to pay, I thought myself that it should rather be damn good. I sniffed it then, thought to myself Okay, works, I'll test it someday later.
I never did.
I'm in the middle of a move. Most of my stuff is somewhere far away in the cartons, including a good part of my
Today I wanted to go to I Tatti to do some work. The day started cloudy and windy, I got up to the hill to find out that it's public holiday, library is closed and I'm left to do whatever I want. Or, to be exact, that I'm free to study whatever else I want and where I want so I went home. I remembered that I got the small bottle of Eau Libre to try so I splashed it over my arm and...

... and there was the initial warmth and then some herbal bitterness that reminded me of being out in the wild. I searched the internetz to find the notes but I failed. My guesswork is thus: artemisia, juniper, rosemary, maybe sage, lavender, a touch of lemon... and then I don't know. I did however find that the fragrance was created by Michael Hy who also made Calandre for Paco Rabanne - and now I feel an urge to find and try that one.
I understand why Eau Libre was a marketing fail. It has character, lots of it. It reminds me slightly of Yatagan by the initial bitterness but Eau Libre doesn't have the celery undertone (one guy I know described Yatagan as Eau du Bouillon and I can quite understand it), instead, it's warm and comfortingly herbal but not herbal in the dusty pharmacy sense of Knize Ten.
It struck me. It didn't dig up any forgotten memories nor anything specific, I only got an Urge. One of the emotions that are better danced than ranted about; it was Urge to do something which was underlined by the melancholic weather - cloudy, windy but with patches of blue sky, great visibility and bright cold light. Imagine Piero della Francesca's landscapes. I thought I may go out in the woods and take a few pics of plants but before I arrived home to toss the laptop on the table and take my camera, the sun started to shine and ruined the atmosphere.

I love fragrances and I love many of them. Most evoke something, be it a specific detail or just general atmosphere, splash of colour, a piece of dance. Yet, most don't hit me as a ton of those rectangular things of which houses are built. I can think of one more only, the sadly discontinued Basala.... sigh. If life generally sucks and we'll all get old, arthritic and then die, why the hell can't we bathe in scents we like?

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