Ebba: By Sand, Miss Marisa and Miss Marisa Tropical
Every once in a while I encounter a scent that I find sufficiently arresting that it brings everything to a halt, calming me like a good cup of tea. The day slows around me and I relax.
By Sand is one of those scents for me, which is shocking, because it is everything I normally do not care for in a scent. It is sweetly girlish. It is fairly linear, after the wild few seconds of the top notes settling into the long afternoon of its heart. It is initially citrusy, which usually—but not here—translates to “30 seconds until Linda has a headache and smells of armpit.” And it has ripe, decadent fruit, tons of fruit to my nose. It has become one of my favorite early-summer scents.
When first sprayed, By Sand bursts with an almost perverse riot of Kaffir lime, apricot, jasmine, and ginger. I think I smell a very subtle vetiver, but it is gone before I can grasp it, perhaps a fleeting, olfactory hologram of vetiver created by the zesty freshness of the lime and the languid warmth of ginger tea. The jasmine morphs into a sort of candied gardenia as vanilla emerges to warm the scent further. While it is indubitably a fresh scent, indubitably fruity, it is remarkably easygoing and comforting: a cup of warm ginger tea and a plate of apricot scones in a sunny window seat.
Because I was excited to try other offerings from Ebba, more or less at random, I tried Miss Marisa and – out of complete perversity – Miss Marisa Tropical. There is a certain Ebba aesthetic all three of these scents conform to, as if they had been built out of dissimilar materials to form a similar picture – all are creamy, sweet, and conjure up open spaces and greenery in my mind.
Miss Marisa is a remarkable scent, which I think I would give to my young teenage or tween-age daughter, if I had one, as a first perfume. It is at once sophisticated, energetic, and young, without being too seductive or piercing. The heart of the scent is a sweet waterlily and blackcurrant mixture, tart and intriguing. A remarkably fresh mint weaves around the edges of the fragrance. One pictures an excursion to pick fruit at the water’s edge, one’s feet in cool mint and with delicate spring petals falling.
Miss Marisa Tropical is exactly as one would assume it would be: Miss Marisa minus the brilliant mint scent, with ginger to replace the minty piquancy and a heavy freight of fruit, including peach, mango, coconut, pineapple. For the first ten minutes it is on my skin, I find it intolerably fruit-cocktail-like. (Someone stick a tiny umbrella and straw in me, and … well, you get the idea.) But to my surprise, it mellows into an interesting mélange warmed by ginger. The rabid pineapple-coconut scent mellows and it assumes a fruity, creamy aroma that is very pleasant.