When Davidoff‘s original Cool Water was launched in 1988, created by leading ‘nose’ Pierre Bourdon, it made quite some splash – and went on to become one of the bestselling men’s fragrances of all time. Today, this fresh, contemporary classic remains a go-to fragrance for countless men around the world.
Notes of zesty bergamot and fresh peppermint, aromatic rosemary and lavender, a touch of fruity pineapple and so-green galbanum are garlanded with the lightest touches of flowers: jasmine, honeysuckle, orange blossom. But the woodsiness of Davidoff Cool Water ensures that it remains utterly masculine: juniper berries, sandalwood, cedar, tobacco and oakmoss – and the tiniest hint of spicy coriander.
Strangely enough, The Perfume Society has a little bit of history with Davidoff. Once upon a time, the Society’s Jo Fairley was dispatched on an assignment to interview Zino Davidoff, the founder of this namesake brand. But more than just being sent to ask him questions, Jo’s mission – for a magazine – was to be taught to smoke a cigar by this charismatic Russian-born gentleman, who (long before he became a well-known fragrance name) had built his empire on sourcing the finest Cuban cigars, for a discerning clientele. He succeeded. She’s never forgotten it. (Although it’s still the only cigar she’s ever smoked in her life.)
For any luxury brand, of course, a fragrance beckons. But few predicted quite the storm Cool Water would unleash, creating its own fragrance category: ‘new freshness’, capturing ‘strength, nature and purity’ in a bottle. As the Fortheloveofperfume website puts it, ‘typically, these fragrances combine cool florals to create a fragrance reminiscent of a cold splash of water, or a refreshing dip in the pool’.
The original fragrance clearly lends itself to a perfumer’s creativity: since its launch, it’s been reinterpreted many, many times in limited editions (usually for summer) which sparklingly play up or play down elements in its ‘perfume pyramid’. Davidoff Cool Water also has several Fragrance Foundation Awards to its name, the industry’s ‘Oscars’ acknowledging scent creativity and success. This landmark men’s fragrance, meanwhile, has been followed with Hot Water, Adventure, Davidoff The Game – and more…
But when, women wanted to know, were we going to get in on the Cool Water act? We had to wait until 1996 for Pierre Bourdon’s aquatic creation, ‘inspired by the world’s most beautiful bodies of water’. Think: the languid tropical pools of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The crystal-clear, icy-cold spring-fed lakes of the Bavarian Alps, or the rushing streams of Scotland. The turquoise seas of the South Pacific, too. As they explain, ‘To be submerged in water is to become ageless, weightless, freed of life’s daily concerns’.
But just how does a perfumer conjure up a scent that’s ‘as refreshing as water itself’? With invigorating fruity elements of blackcurrant, honeydew melon, pineapple and quince. At Cool Water Woman‘s heart, you can enjoy lotus blossom and waterlily, May rose and jasmine. And of course, every fragrance needs base notes to ‘ground’ it, so here you’ll encounter vetiver, sandalwood, orris, with mulberry and a touch of honey-like peach.
As with the men’s fragrance, even-more-refreshing editions are launched in time for the warmer months each year: ‘collectibles’ for the many, many Cool Water Woman-lovers, and those who’ve just discovered this iconic scent.
And with each one making a splash, each summer, in its own right…
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