It’s always a special thrill to discover an affordable and interesting perfume, and we love to share such little gems with you. Today is Elisa’s turn.
The easy-going, effortlessly good-looking, yet overfamiliar and somewhat unexciting chum in a romantic comedy – the one the hard-to-please heroine inevitably falls hard for in the end – that’s L’Occitane Eau des Baux. This near-perfect amber – available at your local mall for under $60 per handsome, flask-like 100 ml bottle – is so thoroughly pleasant and charming at first sniff that a hardened cynic like you or me might be initially suspicious. What’s going on here? Is this some kind of ruse? Is this “nice guy” going to let me down if I trust him too soon? Do I only like him because he reminds me of somebody else?
After testing Eau des Baux repeatedly for several years, I finally realized it’s a what-you-see-is-what-you-get situation, bought a bottle and haven’t looked back.
Like our prototypical plaid-shirt-wearing, stubbled friend, Eau des Baux isn’t fancy or complex. It’s pretty much linear from top to bottom: there’s a smooth woody section – like cedar, but without the sweaty aspect; a slightly green, herbal note, which gives it a fresh and clean feel, like you just washed your hands with eucalyptus soap; and a sweet, warm background hum like vanilla tobacco.
If you try hard, you can pick out other details – is that a lemony side to the resins? A bit of a nutty, boozy Amaretto accord? But the structure is balanced in such a way that you just relax into it; nothing sticks out or announces itself, and you feel no particular need to understand or describe what you’re experiencing. What’s the point? Eau des Baux is a reminder of the simple enjoyment of a good smell. And it lasts and lasts.
L’Occitane Eau des Baux includes notes of cardamom, pink pepper, cypress, incense, tonka bean, and vanilla. It’s available from L’Occitane online or in stores at $55/100ml.