Perfume Review: L'Artisan L'Eau du Navigateur
To all the glamorous pirates out there.
They know who they are.
L’Eau du Navigateur, created in 1979, is said to have been inspired by “the spices discovered by the courageous navigators in the wedge of caravels” as well as by “exotic wood and strong coffee resins”. A wonderful fellow perfumista who introduced me to this amazing scent, calls L’Eau du Navigateur a Pirate’s perfume. It is a scent of an adventurer, of someone who is forever dreaming of far away lands, who suffers from that unbearable and wonderful affliction, wanderlust. This is an urban and urbane pirate, the kind that wears impeccable clothes to his or her mellow city job, and hardly ever lets anyone get a glimpse of the wild side and the longing that is hiding underneath the elegant façade.
…And to prevent any more waxing poetic, let me focus on the scent itself. L’Eau du Navigateur starts with an extremely attractive coffee note, which is smoky, sweet and has an unexpectedly, green, subtly fresh undertone. The coffee note is not so forceful as to completely dominate the scent, but it stays present throughout the fragrance’s development. The mix of coffee, woods, myrrh and (very faint) leather is quite frankly one of the most attractive blends I have ever encountered. What I like about it the most is its soft smokiness. It isn’t the aggressive smokiness of Eau des Iles, nor the meaty smokiness of Kolnisch Juchten; it is more pronounced than that in Bois d’Armenie. For me, L’Eau du Navigateur has the perfect “amount” of smokiness, just enough to give the scent the most appealing husky feel and yet not too much to overwhelm. At the danger of offending this sexy Pirate of a perfume, I am tempted to call it a comfort scent. Its smokiness is like a warm, downy blanket, it envelopes, it cuddles, it soothes…it quietly tells stories of adventures in the far seas, of ships full of precious cargo; it gently hums in one’s ear its lullaby, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum...and, comforted and inspired, one falls asleep to see the colorful dreams about the life one would never lead.
As far as I am concerned, the decision to discontinue L’Eau du Navigateur has been one of L’Artisan’s most mind-boggling and unfortunate. (They should meet the rope's end for that, me hearties!) If you click on another country, for example United Kingdom, L’Eau du Navigateur still seems to be available to buy at L’Artisan’s online boutique. Just not to the US-based buyers. Oh, the unfairness! It can also be purchased at The Perfume Shoppe in Canada, CAN 120 for 100ml.
(My apologies to the people of Le Gallion for using their ad for Eau de Vetyver de Le Gallion here, but it seemed very fitting.)