I don't enjoy L'Eau chic by Parfums de Nicolai. There. I said it. and believe me, it's painful to say that I can't see the point of this fragrance from one of my favorite perfumers, Patricia de Nicolai. I get that L'Eau Chic is supposed to be a light and harmless summer thing; it's probably geared towards the random tourist who happens upon the Nicolai store in Paris and steps inside unprepared. That person is less likely to buy Vetyver, Vie de Chateau or Maharnih Intense, so the minty fresh L'Eau Chic is a safe bet. I just expect more from Patricia de Nicolai. A lot more.
L'Eau Chic has an interesting note list that immediately made me think of Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur. However, the Dominique Ropion fragrance is weird and brilliant, while L'Eau Chic is as bland as its name and never manages to rise above laundry soap and toothpaste.
The opening of L'Eau Chic is watery and only slightly herbal. There's kind-of-lavender and kind-of-geranium, and my nose (and heart) try to cling to them and get more. But it's just enough, and soon the diluted mint mouthwash becomes the more prominent note. All of that is quickly drowned by sudsy water and a sad and generic pale laundry musk. Supposedly, there's another white musk in the base that makes L'Eau Chic very long lasting. However, I'm utterly anosmic to whatever Patricia de Nicolai used to anchor the fragrance, because all I get is the sheer faded soap that (thankfully) goes away after about an hour. So far I've drained a couple of samples, about 4 mls worth of this perfume in my attempts to befriend it (who doesn't want to be chic?). I'm sure this thing has its fans and its market, but I had enough.
Notes: Bourbon geranium, peppermint, spearmint, lavender, sandalwood, Roman chamomile, iris, clove, pimiento, white musks.
Parfums de Nicolai- L'Eau Chic ($5, 30ml) is available from Luckyscent, Parfum1, MiN NY, and Osswald.
Watercolor by Jojo LaRue.