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Monday, May 19, 2008

Ebba: By Sand, Miss Marisa and Miss Marisa Tropical

By Linda

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.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, Miss Marisa is supposedly Carmen Electra's favorite scent... I find that very interesting! I just bought a similar scent to Miss Marisa Tropical, Sharon Bolton's Soul scent. It is summer in a bottle. It's got a very fruity start with papaya and pineapple but then the coconut and musk roll in and you all of a sudden smell like the best pina colada ever. My husband goes ga-ga for it. You gotta love that! It's very different than any scent I own, but I love it and it is perfect for the 90 degree weather we're having here in Florida. I love a good surprise;-)

6:33 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Don't think I would have given By Sand a second thought, but am now feeling compelled to order a sample. Sounds like a great summer comfort scent. And may even find I like Miss Marisa Tropical as well. Thanks for the reviews!

10:51 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Hmmm- These read interesting- where are they available?

11:41 AM EDT  
Blogger the oblitterati said...

Both of these sound lovely. I'm wearing Antonia's Flowers Sogni del Mare today and staring longingly at the gray sky. A fresh spray of beach would be most welcome today. I'd been afraid that the Ebba line would be too sweet for my taste but your shout out to ginger and lime put them on my must smell list.

11:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

Kayliana -- Miss Marisa Tropical has a little too much fruit for me, but try a sample -- you might like it. I am on a fresh pineapple kick right now (culinarily) and I continue to try it on my skin, even though I know it's too fruity. That must mean something.

Elle -- thank you! I would definitely sample first. By Sand lasts roughly forever on my skin, and its resolutely fresh, ripe heart/dry-down are really tonic on the hottest days for me.

Tom -- Luckyscent!

The Oblitterati -- oh, they ARE sweet! But I find them really pleasing, and the ginger tea and lime scents give the fruitiness of By Sand a real lift.

12:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Jenavira13 said...

Something I will have to check out this summer, especially the first one, now that sounds intriguing.

12:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

jenavira13 -- I do a summer recalibration, too.

5:55 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I love your sampling a fruity thing "out of complete perversity," which is the way I do a certain amount of my sniffing! Have to try things that sound all wrong sometimes, right? You have made these sound very tempting.

9:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Yum! Linda, these scents sound like the kind of sweet I really love. I am ALL about the mango, coconut, pineapple etc, and I adore Kaffir lime. You made them all sound so delectable! :-)

12:39 AM EDT  

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