As a kid, I grew up in New Zealand where I would witness torrential rain persist for weeks on end. Swollen, heavy droplets would fall from the heavens and dapple the ground. The aroma of the deluge was magical. There was something beautiful about the earth as it came alive with shimmering pools and silver rivulets of water.
Nowadays, as an adult, living in Scandinavia is not much different. The reality is that we get about 8 weeks of fine weather each year, and for the remaining ten months, we contend with grey skies, brisk winds and recurrent downpours. It can be disheartening and inconvenient. But on some occasions, I still like to stand at the windows of my sitting room and just watch the might and majesty of the rain. Water can be truly awe-inspiring.
In perfumery, the element of water or l'eau is often reinterpreted by perfumers who seek to produce a scent that is sparklingly refreshing. Many of the world's finest noses have tried to capture the essence of water through olfaction. Surprisingly, the virtually unknown Australian boutique fragrance house Renée have made a regal effort in achieving just this. Simply titled L'eau, Renée offers an ethereal blend of spearmint, basil and mint - which is as crisp as fresh spring water - over a heart and base of rose, violet, nutmeg and dewy oakmoss. The result is a tender scent that is somehow both enlivening and calming.
I find this an interesting study of the 'water' concept. Perhaps one might say that there is no truth to this perfume... that its components are diverse and arbitrary and nothing has been "appended" from the true elemental source. But water, ultimately, is odourless. So, with unabashed artistic freedom, I believe that L'eau embodies the true poetry and romance of a real summer thundershower.
L'eau is an eau de parfum, available in handy 10ml and 50ml sizes. Visit www.renee.com.au for more information.