A lemony cologne can't be sultry, you say? I thought the same thing. Colognes are all about the sunny citrus fruit–cool and dry or juicy and sweet–and not much else, so I thought. I wasn't much interested. But then I found Dior's Eau Fraîche. I had no idea Dior had bottled the formula for an ideal summer "vacances."
Eau Fraîche is all warm, savory lemons on a bed of naughty oakmoss and civet. The citrus isn't sharp or sweet, but very rounded, making me feel indolent rather than refreshed. Having smelled Guerlain's Mouchoir de Monsieur lately, I would describe this as a more unaffected, more effervescent, and more interesting version of fresh lemon on an animalic base. I haven't found any confirmation that there is civet in this perfume anywhere else, and I almost couldn't believe it when I first sniffed. I mean, civet skank in a juice with "fresh" in the title? You gotta love that. It's so perverse, and in only the best way. This perfume is best suited for Adriatic breezes and drinks after a swim at the Lido, or an amorous siesta on crisp sheets at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Venice, circa August 1928.
I am turning into a Dior girl, that's for sure. Lately my Guerlains have been too heavy, my Chanels too powdery, my Lanvins too dark. In summer, the old Diors just have that perfect husky but effortless tenor to them. I fell for Miss Dior and Diorling long ago. I started loving Diorissimo this spring, and now I can't live without Eau Fraîche. Now all that I need is to get over my anti-melon stance to truly appreciate Diorella and Diorama, and to find the untraceable Dior Dior, and I'll be a true fanatic. Well, okay, it may be too late.
Perfume Shrine wrote a very knowledgeable review of Eau Fraîche that you'll enjoy, I'm sure, if you want to learn more.
You can find Eau Fraîche on fleabay and on some perfume discount websites still, but I don't know details on its production status. It is really rare in the U.S., at least, from what I can tell. Does anyone know if it's still being produced by Dior?