Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Random rave: Eden, Cacharel

Eden is a classic love-it-or-hate-it scent, as you can see from the wildly varied reviews at Basenotes. This is a random rave post, so clearly I'm in the love camp, even though I ought to be a hater. Any perfume that touts itself as a mixture of fruits and patchouli is trying very hard to rouse my bitter feelings. I doubt I would ever have even sampled the stuff if not for the lure of the lotus and water lily notes. No matter how many times I'm disappointed with the candied, sour or plastic treatment the lotus flower usually receives in commercial perfumes, I can never resist its promise. Where there is sniffing there is hope, and when the hope is occasionally realized--well, you forget about all the losers.

Eden is not the ultimate lotus scent. I wouldn't even say lotus is a particularly prominent note in its strange melange of earth and water. Still, it has something of the spirit of the lotus about it, with its curious marriage of murk and clarity. The lotus blossom is an exquisite beauty that lives in the muck, and its scent somehow conveys that contradiction. So it is with Eden. A lot of the insults hurled at Eden--"dank," "musty," "weird," "sorrowful"--are absolutely on target, and are among the things I love about it. At the same time, it is floral, exuberant, sensual, even "clean." And yes, the haters are right when they say it doesn't smell like a garden or a forest. In fact, it doesn't smell like anything but itself. It is sui generis, a unique dream of a scent that tempts me with a whisper of something unknown.

Notes per Basenotes: Water lily, Lotus flower, Melon, Pineapple, Violet, Mimosa, Patchouli leaf, Sandalwood

The Garden of Earthly Delights (left panel), Hieronymus Bosch, c.1500


Mary said...

Thanks for the review! Those notes sound really nice. I think it would work for me, so I've added it to my 'to test' list.

Lotus inspires so many wildly differing interpretations in perfume, doesn't it? Some of them nice (L'Occitane Lotus Flower parfum extrait), some of them ghastly (BPAL Black Lotus).

ScentScelf said...

Holy Conglomeration, Batman! Pineapple & violet?? Melon & Patchouli?? Lotus Flower, mimosa...sandalwood? Okay, I can see why this is love it or leave it, on paper at least.

Thanks for opening my eyes to it...will look for an opportunity to sniff.

Julie H. Rose said...

Between your review, the ones on Basenotes, and the thoroughly positive one in the Guide, I am intrigued.

I have to admire any scent that elicits such strong and contradictory reactions.

When a scent can appeal to everyone, it's usually tepid. No offense, no overt pleasure.

BitterGrace said...

The thing about Eden is that it really seems to react with its wearer more than most. I know LT scoffs at that (or did), but I think Eden proves there is such a thing as skin chemistry.

SS, the only one of those notes I'd question is the melon. If there's a melon in there, it's a very green honeydew, certainly not a ripe cantaloupe ;-)