Mauboussin Histoire d’Eau, 2002

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Perfumer Christine Nagel

Is this the intermediate species between the classic amber oriental and the Lutens cedar oriental? Its 2002 birth date tells me no, but my nose says it could be. Histoire d’Eau is a smoky, spicy cedar/amber. There is just enough sweet amber to fall into the Shalimar camp, and enough cedar and fruit to be an Serge Lutens neo-oriental. It also has an opacity that sits right between Shalimar’s richness and Lutens/Sheldrake transparency. Unfortunately, the middle ground is not necessarily the ripest locale for inspiration. I can’t help but feel with a some editing (stronger art direction?), this could have been much better.

I understand the comparison to Luten’s Daim Blond that I’ve read, but it’s a bit of a stretch. Histoire d’Eau does smell like it a bit at the outset, but it doesn’t hang together like Daim Blond, which I find much more of a piece. Histoire doesn’t so much fall apart as become flatter over the course of the heart. It rallies a bit in the drydown, leaving a pleasant but unexciting spicy cedar.

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