I’ve always envied those who can wear Chanel No. 5, but after countless attempts at every formulation, I’d given up hope. Heavy, soapy, hopped up on aldehydes, Chanel No. 5 wears me (to use one of Chandler Burr’s tag lines); I don’t wear it.
When Eau première was released, I didn’t even try it.
Somehow, in a recent chat and sniff at my favorite department store perfume counter, I was persuaded to give Eau première a trail run. And. I. Swooned.
What sets it apart immediately from its iconic sister, is Eau Première’s citrus top note. A perfectly blended citrus. I’m crazy about this note. It floats, gracefully suspended, never tumbling toward lemon curd, never colliding with cologne, never dipping into dryer-sheet cleanliness. When the citrus note settles, it provides a lasting, diffused brightness.
Eau première helps me understand the abstract quality so admired in No. 5. I recognize the citrus but do not visualize lemons. I recognize the blend as floral, but no single flower stands out. I recognize a “tone” I’d ascribe to musk, but detect no musky odor. As I grasp for words to describe Eau première, my mind wanders away from perfume material, toward fabric texture: silky. Some perfumes trigger images, others connect to sounds; Eau première stirs a memory of tactile sensations.
Fortunately, my skin likes it, too. I smell it in the morning over 20 hours after application. And I apply my perfume very lightly.
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