I remember buying my first perfume as clearly as if it was yesterday. Of course, I had my Charlie and Fire & Ice but this was the first perfume I bought for myself. A milestone moment, you will agree! It was a hot, humid summer, I had just received my first pay cheque and all I wanted was Davidoff’s Cool Water to cut through the heat, put a spring in my step and get me from a deadeningly dull office in the morning to a sexy bar at night. I had no clue about marine notes and aldehydes at that time but even my uneducated nose knew that this was the perfect go-to fragrance… crisp, fresh and feminine.
Today, my vanity is overflowing with a zillion oceanic and marine-inspired fragrances but somehow, I have never been without a bottle of Cool Water. To be honest, I don’t spritz it on that often nowadays, given the number of scents vying for attention, but it’s always there, like a half forgotten memory that lingers in the subconscious, speaking of first dates, of slurping ice cream pops on the Marine Drive promenade deep into the night, of spicy corn-on-the-cobs while getting drenched in the rains at Worli’s sea-facing boulevard, of the first time I wore a sari, of the first time I met my future in-laws, of the first time a friend broke my heart, of the first time another one put it back together. It’s all there, in that precious blue bottle that never seems to date, never seems to fade.
Cool Water has seen a lot of flankers but somehow none matched up to the original. And now, strangely, that distinction has been captured by what at first sight seems to be its complete opposite – Davidoff Cool Water Sensual Essence, a glamorous, sensual and seductive fragrance that appears to be more sunny and tropical rather than cool and oceanic. But let it settle onto the skin and the connection starts becoming apparent – this is not the glare of a scorching summer sun; rather, it’s the sparkle of a golden sunset reflecting its shimmering rays on the ocean’s surface. It’s not the cloying sweetness of hothouse flowers but the seductive flavours of salt and sea on warm skin. It is, essentially, the Cool Water woman late in the evening, emerging from the ocean with the sun’s final siren song. She is sexy and radiant, casting her spell of seduction after a day spent basking in the sun.
Perfumer Nathalie Lorson has achieved this delicate balance with notes of exotic flowers and vanilla. The top accords of the composition are bergamot and red fruits that lead to the floral heart of orchid and frangipani. The base rounds the fragrance with aromas of vanilla, musk and woods. The first impression is bubbly, smooth, yet velvety with hints of soft white flowers and a sweet hint of cranberries. A beautiful composition!
The golden flacon underlines the softly shimmering effect of the sun, evoking the aura of the last rays warming the skin in the late afternoon. The shape of the bottle reminds of women’s sensual curves, while the gold coloured box evokes sunset shades shimmering on the sea – a radiant flacon for the seductive mermaid. And the longevity is superb – Cool Water Sensual Essence lasted on my skin the whole day, in hot and humid weather (35 C and up!).
In short, if Cool Water represents the irresistible natural femininity of a mermaid deep in the blue oceans, with Cool Water Sensual Essence she unveils her power of seduction, resting on the sand and enjoying a sunset moment as the world is drawn to her by an enchanted spell. Glamorous and sultry, the sunlight caresses her skin, leaving a delicate trail. They are two facets of the same femininity, completing each other over a span of 16 years (Cool Water was launched in 1996). And this one is equally destined to be a classic.
Price: Rs. 4,350 / £46 / US$75 (for 100 ml EDP)
Which was the first fragrance you ever bought for yourself? And do you see yourself more as a Cool Water or a Cool Water Sensual Essence kind of woman? Would love to know!