For Love of Winter Water: A Valentine Request

A winter weekend of solitude was accented by an exploratory fragrance journey to Barneys in Boston, whereby I tried out a trio of scents for winter wear. I was on the look-out for my Valentine’s Day wish list, and it boiled down to these contenders: ‘Bal D’Afrique’, ‘Black Saffron’ and ‘L’Eau D’Hiver.’ I went in expecting to purchase the ‘Bal D’Afrique’, and request the ‘Black Saffron’ as a Heart Day treat, but as is usual on my cologne expeditions, this one took a twist and a turn, and ended with me using some Christmas money to get the ‘Black Saffron’ right up front (more on that later).

Which means my Valentine’s Day wish list has boiled down to but one selection: L’Eau D’Hiver. Executed wondrously by Jean-Claude Ellena, this loosely translates as ‘Winter Water’ and is meant to personify this season’s softer, melancholy aspects with a powdery bit of heliotrope, tempered by iris and honey to add warmth. Somehow, the genius that is Mssr. Ellena comes through, as the scent manages to be both icy and warm. It’s also one of the most sophisticated fragrances I’ve tried in a while. Available online here from Barneys, it’s a price point down a notch or two from Tom Ford, which should be a relief to Andy. Unless he feels generous and goes for the 100 ml… (Relax, I haven’t given up on Mr. Ford, but his latest ‘Patchouli Absolu’ is not on my must-have list. L’Eau D’Hiver most definitely is. )

As for Valentine’s Day, as much as I appreciate the sentiment of flowers and chocolates and such, they never last, and if I stand any chance to turn my burgeoning belly around I can’t have candy in the house anyway. This season, it’s about the fragrance. (Hey, it can always be worse for the wallet: I could be touting the virtues of diamonds, and sending someone on an errand to Tiffany’s.)

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